PSCI 3510 - Simulation

  PSCI 3510

  TERRORISM AND

  POLITICAL VIOLENCE


  SIMULATION

UN Counter-Terrorism Committee/Security Council Simulation 


Contents (scroll down to find each section)

Overview

Countries

Roles

Writing Assignment #1

Writing Assignment #2

Preparation for Simulation

Procedural Rules for Debate

Instructions For All Writing Assignments


Overview

The class will undertake a simulation of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee/Security Council (UNSC) debate on terrorism and counter-terrorism measures. (The Counter-Terrorism Committee has the same membership as the Security Council.) In order to do well, you will have to research your roles so that you can accurately adopt the persona of the country you represent. For the time we are in simulation, you are no longer a student in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You are your country's permanent representative ("ambassador") to the United Nations.


There are 27 students in the class. The Security Council is made up of 15 members, five permanent and ten rotating. Twelve other countries critical to the issues of terrorism and counter-terrorism are invited to participate in the deliberations but do not have a vote.


The goal of the simulation is for the UNSC to pass one or more resolutions on counter-terrorism policy.


Items for deliberation:

  1. Improving the United Nations Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
  2. Responding to state sponsors of terrorism.


You'll find a link to research resources below ("research guidelines"), but one site you'll certainly want to consult is a log of decisions regarding terrorism made by the UN as reported by Security Council Reports.


Country Roles




























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 issues as emotional as terrorism.


Writing Assignment #1: Due Saturday, October 26 at 11:59 pm.

Your first assignment is an annotated bibliography. Concentrate on these questions:

  • To what degree is your country threatened by terrorism? Why (or why not)?
  • To what degree are groups in your country a source of terrorist activity?
  • Has your country been accused of sponsoring terrorism?
  • What role does your country play in the international effort to combat terrorism?


Your bibliography will include two types of sources:

Part I: Scholarly and "Gray" Literature

By "scholarly literature," I am referring to peer-reviewed journal articles about your assignment. You will find these by using the library databases that Maria Perez-Stable showed you in class on Monday, February 25. "Gray literature" is not peer-reviewed but comes from reputable foundations, think tanks, international organizations, and other NGOs. These are not necessarily neutral sources and may very well take a side, but they are known for their adherence to the norms of research (i.e., backing up conclusions with evidence).

Undertake a search for peer reveiwed sources as instructed during the October 1 class session. Find at least six scholarly (and gray literature) sources. NOTE: of these six, at least three must be peer-reviewed sources accessible through the library databases.

Part II: News articles and analysis. 

Look up news stories using Google News and/or Yahoo News (they bring up different results), and/or look at sites on the "research guidelines" page. Find at least six substantive articles (i.e., more than a brief mention of a terrorist act). 


Annotations

Each annotation should be 100-150 words. Address the following (if they are appropriate) along with anything else you deem important. DON'T COPY AND PASTE EVEN ONE SENTENCE OR PHRASE (that's called plagiarism and will get you an E for your course grade!).

        1. What is (are) the main point(s) of the source?
        2. How does it address any or all of the four questions above? 


Format

Heading in upper right corner: name and date only. No title page.

Section I: Scholarly Sources and Gray Literature

First source:

Full citation in proper style (see source page for link to citation styles).

Annotation paragraph.

Second source:

Full citation in proper style.

Annotation paragraph.

And so on...

Section I: News Sources

First source:

Full citation in proper style (see source page for link to citation styles).

Annotation paragraph.

Second source:

Full citation in proper style.

Annotation paragraph.

And so on...

NOTE (important): See "Instructions for all writing assignments" below.


Writing Assignment #2: Due Saturday, November 16 at 11:59 pm. Revised versions based on feedback due Friday, December 6 by 11:59 pm.

Each delegate will write two position papers in response to the Secretary-General's report, "Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism" from December 24, 2015. The papers will address the two items for deliberation noted in the Overview above:

  1. Improving the United Nations Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
  2. Responding to state sponsors of terrorism.


Instructions for position papers


Sample position papers:


Published Position Papers


Position Paper #1

Position Paper #2





Grading Scale for AssignmentS #1 & #2

Grade

Points

A

112-120

BA

106-111

B

100-105

CB

94-99

C

88-93

DC

82-87

D

72-81

E

<72

Grading Scale for Simulation

Grade

Points

A

102-110

BA

97-101

B

91-96

CB

86-90

C

80-85

DC

75-79

D

66-74

E

<66

Preparation for Simulation

There are several steps you need to take to be prepared.

  1. Learn the basic rules for how the meeting is conducted (see next section).
  2. Get accustomed to the norms for writing a resolution. See instructions and samples:
  1. Acquaint yourself with common action words for preambulatory and operative clauses.
  2. Sketch out the parameters of what you'd like to see in resolutions for each debate question (see overview). This might best be done in cooperation (to be done outside of class) with other countries you think are amenable to your approach. In general, you should go into the simulation aware of who your likely allies and opponents are.


Keys to success:

  1. Know your country.
  2. Know your allies.
  3. Know the issue.
  4. Know the rules.


Procedural Rules for Debate

Click here for detailed guidelines for the conduct and rules of the simulation as well as the grading criteria.


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 or see instructions here.) 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 or for each annotation in assignment #1 under the minimum of 12). Paper #2 is strictly limited to two pages.
  • 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 (the fact that POTUS does this constantly does not make it correct). 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.
  • 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. But for our papers, you can use any of the three major styles: Chicago, MLA or APA. But note: BE CONSISTENT, and DO NOT make up your own style. You may find it easiest to use a site that automatically formats your entries such as Knightcite.

  • Never use a web link to a peer-reviewed source you found through the library databases. Follow the citation format of the style you choose.