The events of the past two decades – economic disasters, illegal wars of aggression that have gone unpunished, not to mention the ever-growing threat of an all-out nuclear disaster – have clearly revealed that the contemporary global system is in crisis

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The events of the past two decades – economic disasters, illegal wars of aggression that have gone unpunished, not to mention the ever-growing threat of an all-out nuclear disaster – have clearly revealed that the contemporary global system is in crisis. However, that doesn’t mean it cannot be restored to full health. The intentions of those who laid the foundations of this system in the aftermath of the Second World War (such as John Maynard Keynes or Robert Jackson) was to systematically connect ideas of a stable capitalist economy to that of a just and secure global political order. This system, while not perfect, did work well, especially in the early decades after WWII. So long as the existing international institutions – economic, political, judicial – are reformed, it is possible to recreate the stability and prosperity that characterized global politics in the mid-20th century.
Your task:
Write an essay (8 pages, double-spaced) that agrees or disagrees with the claim above. Regardless of your position, your paper should:
Demonstrate your understanding of the nature and trajectory of the global system that was established in the aftermath of the Second World War, focusing particularly on the ways in which it connects the idea of a stable capitalist economy to a just and secure political order.
Provide an argument about how you see the connections between the underlying logic of that global system to the contemporary on-going crises, focusing particularly on the question of illegal wars of aggression in the 21st
Engage with the arguments proffered by any two of the three main authors covered in class (Stiglitz, Moghalu, North) about the viability of reforming the current global system. You could this in many ways – for instance, use one of the theoretical frameworks to support your argument, while engaging with the other to discuss potential challenges and showing why they are not persuasive.
How to write the paper:
Your paper will be graded on the basis of three main factors:
cogency and strength of your argument
your familiarity and usage of the texts read for class, and the simulation assignment
overall clarity of writing.
Keep in mind that writing styles vary from person to person and there is no single style that will assure you a good grade. However, the hallmark of any good writer is her ability to convey her point of view to the reader in a clear and persuasive manner. Since this is an academic paper, you need to follow a more formal style of writing – which means that you should avoid colloquialisms and follow a proper and consistent citation style.
You might find the following suggestions useful as you start working on your paper.
Your essay should demonstrate that you understand the material, but it should not be a mere summary of it. The essay should therefore begin with an introductory paragraph that presents a thesis statement. In order to be effective, the statement should be very clear and explicit, giving the reader an idea of what you are arguing and which position you are arguing from (For instance, “The problems of the contemporary global system, while manifold and apparent, are not reflections of any fundamental flaws. They are rather the result of wrong-headed policies in response of specific crises (be it that of illiberal states, terrorism, or corporate greed). Therefore, they can be addressed through a series of focused reforms that target institutions like the UN, the IMF and ICC.” The first paragraph should also include a schematic account of how you will go about defending and demonstrating your argument (To make this argument, this paper begins with……I then move to an analysis of….I conclude with….).
The main part of the paper would then be a fleshing out of the claims as you presented the in the first paragraph. As you proceed, you should remember that while the argument must be your own, it must also be well grounded in the readings. Keep in mind that you do not need to present every bit of research that you have done – only use the material that is relevant to your argument. You can and should use textual references and quotations to make your case. Be sure to indicate the author and page number as you quote or make reference to the texts. You should, however, avoid too many lengthy quotations. Do not rely on a quotation, however powerful it may be, to carry the explanatory burden of your paragraph. The quotations you use should substantiate and illustrate your argument, not the other way around.
At the end, you should have a concluding paragraph that sums up your argument, how you went about establishing it, and perhaps reveals some insights or conclusions that your analysis has brought to light.
In writing the paper, keep in mind a few basic rules: be succinct (avoid long and dense sentences, stay away from repetitions, edit unnecessary connecting sentences like “I will now turn to another point”); develop the argument cogently through good transition sentences that segue from one paragraph to the next; provide a fair summary of the counter-arguments; carefully select the quotes you need; and most importantly articulate the broader vision that frames your simulation role.
Finally, a good essay displays care in its self-presentation (spelling, style, etc.) and also some measure of elegance in its writing. Take some time to refine the phrases you construct and the words you use. While you may not be able to bear the sight of your paper after having worked on it for a couple of weeks, do remember that editing is a necessary process. A final read, even if it is cursory, of your completed essay will ensure that you hand it in without any obvious and easily avoidable errors.

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