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FW: SE Asia resolutions
I greatly appreciate Stacey Sowards' post of these topic areas, and the quality of the SE Asia paper. I do see some problems with these wordings for SE Asia (though not the topic area, per se):
From: STACEY K SOWARDS[SMTP:staceyk@UTEP.EDU]
1. Resolved: that the United States should substantially augment
its role in the development and maintenance of legitimate democratic
systems of government in Southeast Asia.
2. Resolved: that the United States should develop and maintain
legitimate democratic political structures in Southeast Asia through
trade and/or aid policies.
I think the term "legitimate democratic" is meaningless. There is little to no way to give this meaning outside of the geopolitical purpose the term has to construct allies and enemies. The best evidence to endorse particular interpretations is most likely to be defining this in terms of those countries we currently aid. That makes the resolution ask for status quo & more stuff like the status quo. That can create a host of ground problems. I'm not saying the topic divides ground unfairly, but that the topic literature is likely to reinforce interpretations which imbalance the ground.
The second wording has profound implications for fiat as it indicates both means and result. This either mixes burdens or legitimates fiating something beyond the plan.
1. Resolved: that the United States should substantially
strengthen its human rights policy towards Southeast Asia.
2. Resolved: that the United Nations should substantially
increase non-military participation to protect human rights in Southeast
3. Resolved: that the United States should substantially
increase humanitarian intervention to abate human rights violations in
The UDHR topic isn't quite cold enough for me to want another Human Rights topic. I like topic #2's attempt to utilize an actor other than USFG, though. Topic #3 also dances too close to the still cooling Military Intervention topic.
1. Resolved: the United States government should substantially
increase its multilateral strategic treaties with one or more of the
nations of Southeast Asia.
2. Resolved: the United States government should provide
confidence building measures to Southeast Asia.
3. Resolved: the United States government should substantially
alter its defense cooperation strategy to and for Southeast Asia.
I feel that multilateral strategic treaties in SE Asia is too narrow. "Confidence building measures" will legitimate effects absent some really STUNNING specific literature on the term. #3 is better, though far too easy to radically multidirectionalize.
1. Resolved: the United States government should offer trade
initiatives to foster economic cooperation between the nations of
2. Resolved: the United States government should promote fair
and equitable trade practices in Southeast Asia.
3. Resolved: the United States government should aid in the
development of APEC for the purpose of trade.
Probably the best area for this topic area. Any topic with the structure of "Do act X to produce result Y" is problematic in terms of fiat and plan focus. Both 1 and 3 here fall prey to this problem. #2 is way too vague. It really has no act focus. I'd rather see a topic which focuses on the act that plans should embody (absent the rest of case). What plan would meet #2?
1. Resolved: that collective harmony is more important than the
principles of individualism.
2. Resolved: that cultural autonomy is more important than US
market economic success in Southeast Asia.
3. Resolved: that the cultural hegemony of American media in
Southeast Asia is undesirable.
Nice nonpolicy in #1. An excellent debate. I wonder why all these topics are traditional nonpolicy wordings and all the rest are traditional policy wordings. If the community will fo nonpolicy these look like good beginnings.
It may be that there is no good topic wording for SE Asia, I don't know. However, I do think that until we feel comfortable with potential topic wordings we should not even rank the topic area.
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