PSCI 3440 - Forum

  PSCI 3440

  RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL

  ASIAN POLITICS


  DIPLOMATIC FORUM SIMULATION

  AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Overview


While the breakup of the Soviet Union was mostly peaceful, some violence erupted on the periphery of the former Soviet space. Many of those conflicts are still unsettled today, earning them the title of "frozen conflicts." Our diplomatic forum will give you a chance to role play and discuss (even argue) over who is to blame and how to resolve them.


As a way of exploring the dynamics in the region, the class will participate in a diplomatic forum the final three classes of the semester. Students will be divided into teams, each representing one of the twelve actors. 

  • The Moldovan government.

Specialist on Transdniestria: Ingles

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Cameron

  • The Transdniestrian separatist government.

Specialist on Moldova: Walton-Case

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Steele

  • The Georgian government.

Specialist on Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Holton

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Rayburn

  • The Abkhazian separatist government.

Specialist on Georgia: Alzubaidy

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Guddoba

  • The South Ossetian separatist government.

Specialist on Georgia: Scalici

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Ferguson

  • The Azerbaijani government.

Specialist on Armenia: Haines

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Pajtas

  • The Armenian government.

Specialist on Azerbaijan: Mackew

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Bacon

  • The Ukrainian government.

Specialist on Eastern Ukraine: Gemmen

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Leny

  • The Eastern Ukraine separatists (specifically Luhansk and Donetsk).

Specialist on Ukraine: Hallgren

Specialist on the positions of Russia/EU/US: Baker

  • The Russian government.

Specialist on Moldova/Transdniestria: Dennis

Specialist on Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia: Ross

Specialist on Armenia and Azerbaijan: Jacobs

Specialist on Ukraine: Jannenga

Specialist on Eastern Ukraine: Rockey

Specialist on the US/EU positions: Coxon

  • The European Union.

Specialist on Moldova/Transdniestria: Brice

Specialist on Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia: Barry

Specialist on Armenia and Azerbaijan: Pathmanathan

Specialist on Ukraine/Eastern Ukraine: Pohl

Specialist on the Russian positions: Hamilton

  • The American government.

Specialist on Moldova/Transdniestria: Goldman

Specialist on Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia: Golden-Canute

Specialist on Armenia and Azerbaijan: Tiesman

Specialist on Ukraine/Eastern Ukraine: Katsma

Specialist on the Russian positions: Leslie


Escape

Entity

Emphasis

Alzubaidy

Abkhazia

Georgia

Bacon

Armenia

Russia, US and EU

Baker

Eastern Ukraine

Russia, US and EU

Barry

European Union

Georgia/South Ossetia/Abkhazia

Brice

European Union

Moldova and Transdniestria

Cameron

Moldova

Russia, US and EU

Coxon

Russia

EU and US

Dennis

Russia

Moldova

Ferguson

South Ossetia

Russia, US and EU

Gemmen

Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine

Golden-Canute

United States

Georgia/South Ossetia/Abkhazia

Goldman

United States

Moldova and Transdniestria

Guddoba

Abkhazia

Russia, US and EU

Haines

Azerbaijan

Armenia

Hallgren

Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine

Hamilton

European Union

Russia

Holton

Georgia

South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Ingles

Moldova

Transdniestria

Jacobs

Russia

Armenia and Azerbaijan

Jannenga

Russia

Ukraine

Katsma

United States

Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine

Leny

Ukraine

Russia, US and EU

Leslie

United States

Russia

Mackew

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Pajtas

Azerbaijan

Russia, US and EU

Pathmanathan

European Union

Armenia and Azerbaijan

Pohl

European Union

Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine

Rayburn

Georgia

Russia, US and EU

Rockey

Russia

Eastern Ukraine

Ross

Russia

Georgia

Scalici

South Ossetia

Georgia

Steele

Transdniestria

Russia, US and EU

Tiesman

United States

Armenia and Azerbaijan

Walton-Case

Transdniestria

Moldova

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.


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

  1. What are the grievances of your side? Who is to blame for the conflict to begin with and who is to blame for prolonging it?
  2. What is your position on negotiations that have already taken place (if any) to end the conflict (or at least the fighting)?
  3. What is your proposal for ending the conflict?
  4. What would compel you to launch a military action (or, in the case of the EU, Russia and US, to supply one side with arms)?


Source Material


Google searching is not enough. Google's algorithm cannot be relied on to link to sources that are either reputable or useful. Go here for guidelines on research and sources.

Assignment #1: Peer-Reviewed Articles. Due Saturday midnight [11:59 pm + one minute] on Thursday, February 27.


Based on what you learned in the class presentation by our research librarian, you have a simple --  yet important -- task: find three peer-reviewed articles using the library databases she demonstrated. Pick any one of the following four topics:

  • Russian elections
  • Russian economic reform
  • Russian military reform
  • Russian relations with China


The three articles must:

  • be at least 20 pages length
  • be published in the last six years (2014 and after)


The citations should be in proper format. You can use Chicago, MLA or APA. But note: BE CONSISTENT, and DO NOT make up your own style. You are required to use Knightcite; simply enter the information from the article and it will do the formatting for you.


Format

  • Your name and course number: upper right (not as part of header).
  • Topic centered (one of the four above)
  • Citation 1 (formatted using Knightcite). 
  • 50-word description.
  • Citation 2 (formatted using Knightcite).
  • 50 word description.
  • Citation 3 (formatted using Knightcite).
  • 50 word description.


Grading

  • Sources (do they meet the criteria of peer-review, article length and date?) 30 %
  • Citation format: 30%
  • Following instructions: 20%
  • Writing quality: 20%


Note: this research is practice in locating and properly citing sources. What you find will not contribute to your preparation for the forum.


See below for instructions for all writing assignments.

Assignment #2: Annotated Bibliography. Due 11:59 pm on Saturday, March 28.


Your first assignment is to locate source material on your assigned role. There are two categories of source material: scholarly/professional and partisan/biased. Your specific assignment is to write an annotated bibliography of the sources you locate for your role.


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. The second is the so-called "gray literature" that 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 on the conflict you are studying, but they are known for their adherence to the norms of research (i.e., backing up conclusions with evidence).

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: Partisan and "Biased" Sources

Although "partisan" and "biased" are not words that describe most of the assigned research you do in your classes, they are just what you need for your role-playing. You are "partisan" in that you represent one side in a conflict and are not free of bias. Thus, sources that represent a partisan viewpoint of the protagonist you represent will be valuable in shedding your American (or other) skin and adopting that of your persona. Such sources can be from government sites, local newspapers, and local news agencies. For example, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdniestria (Transdnistria), and Donetsk (eastern Ukraine) all have their own information agencies in English. So do the governments of the region, the EU and the US. In addition, look for speeches by leading political figures on the conflicts: what are they saying to their followers and to the world?

Find at least six partisan sources.


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 TEXT (that's called plagiarism!).

  1. What is (are) the main point(s) of the source?
  2. For the directly involved protagonists in each frozen conflict: how does it help you understand the grievances you have?
  3. For the "outsiders" (Russia, the EU and the US), what does it tell you about your positions?
  4. What progress has been made in negotiations to resolve the conflict?
  5. What hope is there for avoiding warfare and finding a lasting resolution?


Format

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

Section I: Scholarly Sources

First source:

Full citation in proper style (using Knightcite; see below).

Annotation paragraph.

Second source:

Full citation in proper style.

Annotation paragraph.

And so on...


Section II: Partisan Sources

First source:

Full citation in proper style.

Annotation paragraph.

Second source:

Full citation in proper style.

Annotation paragraph.

Lather, rinse, repeat...


The citations should be in proper format. You can use Chicago, MLA or APA. But note: BE CONSISTENT, and DO NOT make up your own style. You are required to use Knightcite; simply enter the information from the article and it will do the formatting for you.


See below for instructions for all writing assignments.


Assignment #3: Position Papers. Due 11:59 pm on Saturday, April 11.


You will write position papers on four questions in preparation for the diplomatic forum. Assignments are collective and vary slightly depending on the size of the delegation. NOTE: it is likely that your research for paper #1 will not be sufficient to fully address these questions.


Group A: Moldova, Transdniestria, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine.

Group B: Russia, US, EU


Group A: Focus on your principal antagonist (e.g., Armenia vs Azerbaijan) and on whichever of Russia, the EU and/or the US that is not supportive of your position.

Questions:

  1. What are the grievances of your side (i.e., the roots of the conflict)? Who started it and who is to blame for prolonging it? 150-200 words.
  2. What is your position on negotiations that have already taken place (if any) to end the conflict (or at least the fighting)? 100-150 words.
  3. What is your proposal for ending the conflict? 100-150 words.
  4. What would compel you to launch a military action (or, in the case of the EU, Russia and US, to supply one side with arms)? 100-150 words.

Each group within Group A is a two-person team. Submit your paper together under the filename "entity-paper-one.docx" (not pdf) where "entity" is your assigned role (e.g., Transdniestria or Georgia). Total length should not be less than 450 words. A bibliography is not necessary.


Group B: Start with the side of each conflict that you do NOT support. Then move to your opposition within the group. That will usually be Russia vs the EU and US.

  1. What are the roots of the conflict? Who started it and who is to blame for prolonging it? 100-150 words on each of the four conflicts.
  2. What is your position on negotiations that have already taken place (if any) to end the conflict (or at least the fighting)? 100-150 words on each conflict.
  3. What is your proposal for ending each conflict? 100 words (minimum) on each conflict.
  4. What would compel you to launch a military action (or, in the case of the EU, Russia and US, to supply one side with arms)? 100 words (minimum) on each conflict.

Group size within Group B is either four or five students. Submit your paper together under the filename "entity-paper-two.docx" (not pdf) where "entity" is your assigned role (e.g., Russia). Total length should 1500-2000 words. A bibliography is not necessary. 


Pay attention to "instructions for all writing assignments" below.


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 (or in the case of the annotated bibliography, minimum numbers of sources and words). Short papers will be penalized severely.
  • 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.
  • 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.



Grading Scale


Assignment I

47-50 = A

44-46 = BA

42-43 = B

39-41 = CB

37-38 = C

34-36 = DC

30-33 = D

below 30 = E

Assignments II and III

93-100 = A

88-92 = BA

83-87 = B

78-82 = CB

73-77 = C

68-72 = DC

60-67 = D

below 60= E

Forum Scale

140-150 = A

132-139 = BA

125-131 = B

117-124 = CB

110-116 = C

102-109 = DC

90-101 = D

below 90 = E