political science

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POSC 20
Fall 2006
Professor Cherif

Paper Guidelines

Write a double-spaced five page paper (using standard 12 point type font and 1-1.25 in. margins) on the topic below.

Papers must be submitted both in paper format and must be uploaded to Safe Assignment through iLearn. No email submissions will be accepted and no papers will be assigned a grade unless they are also submitted to Safe Assignment. Papers are due by the end of the class on Tuesday, November 21. Any papers received after this point will be marked late and graded accordingly (see Grading Policies on iLearn).

You do not need external sources to write this paper. The text, recommended readings (if you choose) and lectures are sufficient to write an excellent paper. If you are enthusiastic about including an external source, you will need to consult your TA and these may or may not be approved on a case by case basis.

You need to cite and document your sources. For this class, you may use parenthetical citation. For example, if you paraphrase from the textbook, you may cite it as: (BDM, Ch. 5). If you cite one of the articles or recommended texts, it will suffice to write (Waltz 1979) or (Fearon 1995). Lectures may be cited as (Lecture, 10/10/06). If you take a direct quote from any source, it must include the page number, i.e. (Fearon 1995: 135).

Please proofread your papers before you turn them in. Lastly, you may find it useful to consult the grading standards posted on iLearn to learn more about our expectations for the quality of papers.

Paper Topic

President Bush has become increasingly wary of Iran’s nuclear program. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claims that his country is investing in its nuclear program for peaceful purposes, namely the development of nuclear energy. The United States and most of the international community, by contrast, believe that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, and predict that, if left on its current course, Iran will attain nuclear (state) status at some point in the future. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will present a challenge to the United States. The US’s objective is to preserve its security and its ability to promote its interests.

The mismanagement and failure of the Korean containment strategy has provided an impetus for new models of thinking. President Bush’s chief advisor has recommended that the United States pursue a policy of democracy promotion, rather than preeminent strike or negotiation, as a way to curb the threat coming from Iran.

Make an argument for or against the strategy of democracy promotion. In your paper, you should consider the strengths and weaknesses of this policy, as well as those of other strategies such as negotiations (negotiated settlements) or a preemptive strike. You may find it helpful to use Neorealism, Liberalism, Power Transition Theory, Structural Rationalism and the Democratic Peace Theory to structure your response paper. (You may also include the domestic version of the International Interaction Game).

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