PSCI 3440 - Forum

PSCI 3440

RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL

ASIAN POLITICS

 

DIPLOMATIC FORUM

AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Overview

 

Starting from November 2013 with anti-government protests in Maidan Square in central Kiev, Ukraine, we have seen peaceful demonstrations, sniper fire, a change of government that some consider a revolution and others a coup, the annexation of the Crimea (a peninsula that extends into the Black Sea), separatism followed by a civil war in Eastern Ukraine, potential crimes against humanity, sanctions against Russia, and tense relations between Russia and the West in what some have called a renewed Cold War.

 

The Crimea (near the bottom of the map) was part of Ukraine until March 18, 2014 when it was annexed by Russia. The provinces of Luhansk (pronounced "Loo-gangsk") and Donetsk (in both cases the accent is on the second syllable) have each declared themselves independent republics.

As a way of exploring the dynamics in the region, the class will participate in a diplomatic forum the final week of the semester. There will be five actors: the Ukrainian government, the Russian government, Eastern Ukraine (understood as all separatists collectively, but especially Luhansk and Donetsk), the EU, and the American government. Students will be divided into teams, each representing one of these actors. You will research your role by addressing several key questions that will prepare you for the forum. Your preparatory work will be formalized into two writing assignments.

 

Role assignments:

  • The Ukrainian government: Diljak, Karwacki, Maddox, Rolstone
  • The Eastern Ukrainian separatists: Kasem, Kolarik, Simon, Tsui
  • The Russia government: Harper-Hemphill, Kuriata, Pajtas, Shields
  • The US government: Bariyev, Fader, King, Molner
  • The EU: Bills, Gadelkarim, Walker, Woods

 

Questions that will be addressed at the forum (and which should guide your research):

  1. Was the annexation of Crimea by Russia legal and justified? Why or why not?
  2. Who is to blame for the violence in Eastern Ukraine? Why?
  3. Are sanctions on Russia justified? Why or why not?
  4. What should be the future of Eastern Ukraine?

 

Source Material

 

Google searching is not enough. Google's algorithm cannot be relied on to link to sources that are either reputable or useful. A more productive approach is to be familiar with source material. Since you are likely not reading foreign policy news and reports on a regular basis, I'm suggesting some good sources. I have indicated the conventional wisdom about political orientation. Note, however, that news sources in the US that tend liberal sometimes do not stray from official foreign policy, especially on Ukraine (e.g., the NYT).

 

Go here for research guidelines.

 

Writing Assignment #1. Due Saturday midnight [11:59 pm + one minute] on November 4

 

Address the following issues:

 

  1. What is your version of the events that led to the ouster of President Yanukovich in February 2014?
  2. What is your version of the events that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia? What is the legal case for and against annexation?
  3. What is your version of events that led to (and continue to propel) the civil war in Eastern Ukraine?
  4. How can an end to the current conflict in Eastern Ukraine be negotiated? Assume for this question that your delegation wants a negotiated settlement – but don't be afraid to bargain hard.

 

Instructions: split up these research tasks. Turn this assignment in as a single document, but split up the portions and identify who wrote each section. You may work on sections together (in fact, I encourage that), but each section must be written by one author. The minimum length for the full document (i.e., the one document that the whole team is producing) is ten pages not including bibliography. See writing instructions below.

 

Revised Writing Assignment #1. Due Sunday midnight [11:59 pm + one minute] on November 11

 

Respond to comments and critiques. Do any necessary additional research as needed. "Clean up" your papers as needed.

 

Writing Assignment #2. Due Sunday midnight [11:59 pm + one minute] on November 26

 

Address the following issues:

Ukraine

  • How has your economy and society been affected by events since February 2014?
  • What is the current state of relations (political, trade, etc) between you and Russia?
  • Why should you get preferable natural gas prices from Russia and why should you get financial assistance from the West?

Eastern Ukraine

  • By what principle(s) in international law can you justify the separatists actions you have undertaken?
  • How has your economy and society been affected by events since the civil war started?
  • By what principles are the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics being governed? How do you defend yourselves against the charge that Eastern Ukraine has become a lawless society?
  • Write short profiles of the political and military leadership of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics.

Russia

  • Why was the annexation of the Crimea not a violation of international law?
  • What is the argument against sanctions imposed by the EU and the US?
  • How have sanctions affected your economy? Are they likely to change your behavior? If not, why not?
  • Do you believe that the US (e.g., Iraq) and/or the EU (e.g., Kosovo) have been in violation of international law in any way in the last decade and a half? If so, how so?

The European Union

  • In the point of view of the EU, why was the annexation of the Crimea a violation of international law?
  • What sanctions have you imposed and in your view, what impact have they had? Why do you expect sanctions to be effective?
  • How do you justify supporting the self-determination rights of Kosovo but not of Crimea?
  • Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe and is more corrupt than Russia. Why does it deserve EU support?

The United States

  • In the point of view of the US, why was the annexation of the Crimea a violation of international law?
  • What sanctions have you imposed and in your view, what impact have they had? Why do you expect sanctions to be effective?
  • Why should Russia be targeted for violating international law in Crimea when the US suffered no such sanctions for invading Iraq when in fact there were no weapons of mass destruction? Assuming you will argue that they are not equivalent actions, justify how they differ. (In other words, defend yourselves against the charge of hypocrisy.)

 

Instructions (identical to assignment #1): split up these research tasks. Turn this assignment in as a single document, but split up the portions and identify who wrote each section. You may work on sections together (in fact, I encourage that), but each section must be written by one author. The minimum length for the full document (i.e., the one document that the whole team is producing) is ten pages not including bibliography. See writing instructions below.

 

Conduct of the Forum

 

Download pdf for details about the conduct of the forum and guidelines for good performance***.

 

Instructions For All Writing Assignments

 

Submitting assignments

You are required to submit your assignments in the elearning dropbox. I won't accept hard copies. Your papers must be in Microsoft Word compatible. (If you use Open Office, use this site to convert to docx format.) Note: Microsoft Works is not acceptable.

 

Explicit instructions

  • There are minimum lengths. Short papers will be penalized severely (up to a grade for each half-page short). There is no maximum, but I will not be impressed by long papers that are full of fluff.
  • Text should be double-spaced with no skipped lines between paragraphs.
  • There should be no spelling mistakes, typos, grammar mistakes, or syntax problems. Verbs should agree with subjects. Sentences should officially end before the next one begins. Don't jump around among tenses. Never use "you." Don't capitalize nouns unless they're supposed to be capitalized. Keep straight the difference between its and it's, and between their, there and they're. And never, ever use apostrophes for plural nouns.
  • Spell-check will not catch all your spelling mistakes. There is no substitution for careful proofreading.
  • Avoid both fluff and excessive verbiage. Don't wander off into tangents. Be concise, but sufficiently detailed to make your argument.
  • I doubt if I need to say this to any of you, but it needs to be on the record: don't play games with margin width and font size to make your paper longer. Margins should be no greater than 1" on the sides and 1" at the top and bottom. Font size should not exceed the equivalent of 11 point Times New Roman or Calibri. Don't skip lines between paragraphs either. (You'd be amazed what some students will try to pull. I've seen two-inch margins, 16 point font and two-inch gaps between paragraphs in order to try to stretch a paper to length requirements.)
  • Keep your font black.
  • Adhere to the deadline. Late penalties are draconian, and could result in your premature death or dismemberment. (Actually, I'm serious. See late penalty policy on the syllabus page).
  • One third of your grade will be on writing quality and on whether you followed these instructions. If you write a brilliant paper, but one that's sloppy and ill-written, and does not correspond to the parameters written here, you can get a D.

 

Citation Style

Political science uses Chicago style. See the lib guide for a link to Chicago or use an automated formatter:

 

Grading Scale

 

Writing Assignments

113-120 = A

106-112 = BA

100-105 = B

94-99 = CB

88-93 = C

82-87 = DC

72-81 = D

below 72= E

Forum Scale

103-110 = A

97-102 = BA

91-96 = B

86-90 = CB

80-85 = C

75-79 = DC

66-74 = D

below 66 = E