Essays

One of the best ways of developing your essay writing ability is to see how other students respond to similar questions. Reading other students’ essays can provide interesting insights and broaden your understanding of what is possible when answering a question.

The Leverage of the OSCE and EU on Romanian and Estonian Minority Policies

This article applies and discusses a historical institutionalist approach and a contextual approach to domestic receptiveness in Estonia and Romania on minority issues to leverage applied by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union. It concludes that in this case a historical institutionalist approach provides a better explanation of receptiveness and offers more predictive power. The historical dimension of the country and its minority issues is better discussed by this structural approach.

The Greed and Grievances of Canada and Nigeria

Through a comparison of oil governance in Nigeria and Canada as it relates to the two marginalized communities within these oil-wealthy countries: the Ogoni, of Rivers State in the Niger Delta and the Lubicon Cree of Northern Alberta, the main thesis of this paper argues that even in countries as different as Nigeria and Canada, once they have been stripped of factors that are external to oil production and focusing only on the most vulnerable peoples and regions, oil governance conflicts with marginalized communities through a structural violence unconvincingly justified by an economic benefit for the greater public good. In making this comparison the examination of oil governance necessarily includes three parties as identified by discourse theorists Abiodun Alao & ’Funmi Olonisakin (2000) and James Fearon (2005): the governments, the communities and the industry.

¡Viva Pacha Mama!* NAFTA’s Role in Mexico’s Indigenous Crisis

¡Viva Pacha Mama!* NAFTA’s Role in Mexico’s Indigenous Crisis

The paper will proceed in four parts. First it, will briefly explore the general situation of Mexico’s Indigenous peoples. This will be followed by a discussion of the effects of NAFTA on the agricultural sector, paying close attention to the case of corn as it relates to the plight of Indigenous peoples. Third, it will explore the connections between the degradation of the agricultural sector, migration and Indigenous communities. Finally, it will conclude with a brief examination of the major resistance movement that opposes NAFTA in the name of Mexico’s Indigenous peoples, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) of Chiapas, and look at the human rights abuses that have occurred in connection with this uprising.

The Sixth Year of a Fifteen Minute Change: Mexico’s Indigenous since Vicente Fox

As this paper will argue, despite revamping of programs, creation of institutions and rebranding Mexico as a “pluricultural” and “multilingual,” (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, 2006—herein cited as CDI, 2006) [5]the Fox government has failed to improve the lives of the country’s first peoples. At best the new policies, inspired by neo-liberal views of development, encourage continued cycles of dependency. While in the worst cases, they function directly in conflict of the Accords.

A Road to Cultural Imperialism: An Examination of Winch’s Language Games

In his essay, “Understanding a Primitive Society” Peter Winch claims that cultures are enclosed in language games which are both mutually unintelligible and equally valid. In doing so he is trying to prevent anthropologists from concluding that a culture is ‘wrong’ about reality (i.e. their belief system and how that informs their daily life) (Winch 79). Winch sees such judgement as an open door to cultural imperialism; if a culture is wrong than it stands to be corrected by the culture which judges it as such. He has every reason for such a noble pursuit. Writing in the time of African decolonization, he had born witness to the colonialists’ domination of innumerable cultures. Justified out of a ‘need’ to civilize the inferior savages and support the superior Europeans (through slaves and natural resources) this unequal cultural relationship allowed for utter destruction on the continent.

NAFTA’s Chapter 11

When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was negotiated between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Chapter 11 of the treaty was included to protect investors from state appropriation or ‘taking’ and, in theory, requires that the same treatment be given to foreign companies as domestic companies. In American law, the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights prevents the government from seizing private assets without due compensation. A ‘taking’, also referred to as eminent domain in Californian law, is a legal principle that governs how and why the federal, state, or local government can ‘take’ private property.

New Constitutionalism: Theorizing European Integration

In “Theorizing European Integration: The Case for a Transnational Critical Approach,” Apeldoorn, Overbeek, and Ryner argue that orthodox approaches to European regional integration, such as realism, liberalism, constructivism, and traditional Marxism, overlook the diffused power of elite consensus. They believe Neo-Gramscian approaches can reveal the agency of elite interests, and their formation of a neo-liberal hegemonic bloc supporting integration schemes. Stephen Gill has applied this perspective to explain regional integration schemes with the theoretical framework of New Constitutionalism. Yet other Neo-Gramscians contend that New Constitutionalism is pessimistically determinist, focusing solely on the agency of a liberal elite while overlooking the agency displayed by progressive social forces in formulating regional integration policy.

International Development: Bringing the State Back In

NGOs have often been lauded for their efforts in international development. It was long assumed that aid money given to an NGO would be more efficient, more accountable democratically to local civil organizations, and more likely to reach the intended people and not a foreign bank account. As many states democratized, the NGOs assisting them became increasingly dependent on funding from neoliberal donors. Critics, such as Zaidi, Petras, and Kamat, have begun to argue that the NGOs themselves have become unaccountable and undemocratic. They propose bringing the state back into the development process. Yet would this solution be truly effective in light of the massive debts, dependence, and global structural imbalances faced by many developing states?

The Transition to Democracy in Spain and Portugal

During the 1970’s, Spain and Portugal made the political transition from corporatism to democracy. Spain is often viewed as the paradigm case for the transition to democracy model. If Spain’s experience was the generalizable case for the transition to democracy, wouldn’t Portugal’s path to democracy be similar because of the two nations’ similarities? Both countries shared a common geographical setting, history, religion, and corporatist dictatorships. However, markably different factors caused the political changes, producing different government and social structures in each society. Spain and Portugal may have similarities, but these factors cloud the very different processes that occurred in each country’s transition to democracy, bringing the appearance of correlation when in fact there is little.

Food Security and the Role of NGOs

In 1996, leaders came together at the World Food Summit in Rome to address the rising level of malnutrition throughout the world. They feared that if no action were taken, the amount of hungry people in the world in 2010 would reach 680 million, and set a commitment to halve the amount of undernourished people by 2015. Yet ten years after the summit, the World Food Program reported[1] the amount of hungry people has surpassed the 2010 estimate of 680 million and is already at 842 million.

Discuss the Significance of Aid and Peace Dividends for the Prospects of Post Conflict Stability

This essay will discuss the significance of aid and peace dividends in the context of positive and negative outcomes and consequences of its existence. Mid-conflict aid will be discussed in addition to follow-up aid programs, as a pointer to its legacy in post conflict stability. It would not be possible to discuss such a large topic without focussing on particular examples and therefore this essay will draw on examples of aid in the conflicts between Israel and Palestine and in Northern Ireland.

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