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Southeast Asian and redundancy
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 15:39:14 -0400
From: Daniel Hugh Nexon <dhn2@COLUMBIA.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list NDT-L <NDT-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Topic Committee Report
On Mon, 23 Jun 1997, Boyle, Joseph wrote:
> I am still very confused about something:
> Carrie Crenshaw wrote:
> > Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should
> > substantially change its trade and/or aid policies to increase
> > protection of human rights in one or more of the following Southeast
> > Asian nations: Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia,
> > Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
> What is the rationale for even considering using the phrase 'one or more
> of the following Southeast Asian Nations...' instead of the phrase 'one
> or more of the following...'. I have yet to see a defense or explanation
> of the extra words 'Southeast Asian Nations'. Those words do not in
> anyway serve to clarify what is listed after the phrase (Brunei,
> Myanmar...). The only explanation I can come up with is that someone
> thinks the extra words is some how pleasing to the eye and would like to
> include them.
> 1) The phrase 'Southeast Asian nations' serves no limiting function
> in the topic.
> 2) Deleting the phrase 'Southeast Asian nations' does not change the
> geographical location of the countries listed.
All the phrase does is open the topic up to justification-style critiques
the western construction of the term "southeast Asia." I'd like to
see the link to that position be a little harder to work for.
"Parliament, however, disapointed them by making the surprising decision
that in this case the king was considered a private person who could die,
and therefore the tenants continued to pay their taxes as before."
-- Ernst H. Kantorowicz, _The King's Two Bodies_.
There were a couple of justifications for adding the term "Southeast
First, the argument that the topic should be novice friendly is important.
If thye countries only were listed, then novices might be a little
heistnat to join in the fray. It is less foreboding to have them in
there. It merely proides a descriptor.
Second, there is no real reason not to. While some folks might have a
problem with a critique possibility, I say get over it. Certainly US
hegemony is going to be an argument. that would merely be another way to
go about it.
Third, the argument also exists (if you merely list the name of the
countries) that the country could change its name or that the topic
committee's version of the name is wrong or ethnocentric (Lao Democratic
republic is the official name for example). C-plans to change the name of
the country also exist. At least this puts a geographical check on those
types of positions, right?
basically, the names of the countries themselves, southeast asain, and
ASEAN all had things that were problematic. So the topic committee
generally chose to do two of the three (with ASEAN as an actor it wasn't
relavent and one topic would have had two lists so ASEAN was settled for).
Hope this satisfies your curiousity. Being at the topic selection
committee meeteing was enlightening. I hope that you all consider how
difficult it is of a task to word topics. David Hingstman, Jenny Barker,
Glenn Frappier, Eric Slusher, Tuna Snider, Russ Church, Carrie Crenshaw,
Gina Lane, Scott Jensen, and Greg Simerly all suggested nuances that
problematized all of the topics. Other members of the debate community
also contributed. All of your concerns have been addressed, even though
some of those answers have not made it to the Ls.
The topics should provide fruitful ground, and this year won't be as evil
as I thought.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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