Political Culture/Policy Preferences. Think about the war between the United States and Iraq. To what degree, if any, did political culture play a role in the decision to go to war, the public’s support of the war, and how public officials discussed the war? Looking at this example, reflect back on historical events and provide another example of how a political culture affected policy preferences.
Social Movements and Technology. In contemporary society (2000-present), social movements or uprisings do not need to occur in person. Many have been promoted and fought on the Web. Technology can provide a voice for those who would otherwise not able to express themselves.
How important is technology in countries that have limited freedom of assembly? Have you ever been in a social movement that was based on an electronic network? If so, describe the importance of technology to the movement’s goals. Based on your answers to the previous questions, explain how to be a force for positive change in the world?
Culture Clash: Tradition and Modernity. Read the case studies “The Democratization of Italy”, “Kashmir”, and “South Africa” in Chapter 2 of Cross-Cultural Perspectives and then appraise the impact of modernity on both the developed and developing worlds with respect to tradition, economic development, and politics. In your opinion, has modernity led to more difficulties in the developed or developing world? Justify your answer with examples from the text and information from at least one of the following countries, which can be found at the CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html):
c. Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
i. Saudi Arabia
Legacy of Slavery and Imperialism in Africa. Read Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa’s Past to Its Current Underdevelopment . Between 1400 and 1900, the African continent experienced four simultaneous slave trades.
a. The trans-Saharan slave trade: slaves were taken from south of the Saharan desert and shipped to Northern Africa.
b. The Red Sea slave trade: slaves were taken from inland of the Red Sea and shipped to the Middle East and India.
c. Indian Ocean slave trade: slaves were taken from inland of the Red Sea and shipped to the Middle East and India.
d. The trans-Atlantic slave trade: slaves were shipped from West Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas.
The trans-Saharan, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean slave trades dated from the late Medieval period and acted as the basis for the more well known trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Assess how the legacy of the slave trade, and intervening imperialist ventures by European nations, has led to the relative underdevelopment of Africa today. How did these twin legacies affect African society, culture, and politics?
Similarities and Differences between American and European Values. Different cultures have different values and reconciling these values is one of the most frustrating elements of foreign policy. Understanding and evaluating values is extremely important when it comes to influencing the conduct of a nation’s affairs. Even amongst cultures that share the majority of their values, such as the United States and the countries of Western Europe, there may be differences of opinion regarding the relative importance of particular values. In November, 2011, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll based on American and Western European values.
After reading American Exceptionalism Subsides: The American-Western European Values Gap(http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/11/17/the-american-western-european-values-gap/), appraise the values of Europe and the U.S. when it comes to the following components:
a. the utilization of military
b. whether they should be engaged with and provide assistance to other countries or be isolated from other countries
c. their beliefs about being a superior culture
d. political beliefs, individualism, or the role of the state
e. the role of religion
f. beliefs about homosexuality
Five Dimensions of Western Countries. There are five characteristics that Western countries share: democratic values, Christianity, Enlightenment beliefs, a common European heritage, and advanced development. Both Russia and countries in Eastern Europe share characteristics of Western and non-Western regions, but do not fit in either group. Using the characteristics listed above, differentiate between the value systems of Russia and Eastern Europe and those in the Western societies.
Muslims in Germany. After watching the video, Muslims in Germany (http://video.pbs.org/video/1559885543), explain why you think Muslims have been seen and treated as foreigners within Germany. What cultural barriers have been erected by Germans against Muslims? Why do you think the younger generations of Muslims are more religious than their parents? What problems do Muslims in Germany face in comparison to those who live in France or the United States?
Annotated Bibliography. This week, you will produce an introductory paragraph with your thesis statement and an annotated bibliography for the Final Research Paper.
Thesis Statement: Generating a thesis statement is perhaps the most important part of the research paper process. It is essential for you to craft a strong, defendable thesis statement upon which you will base further research. Include your thesis statement within an introductory paragraph.
Annotated Bibliography: The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to assist you in developing research analysis skills including critical thinking, writing, and literature research skills. The annotated bibliography should include the following information for each source:
a. Name of the article, including the complete bibliographic citation, using APA format.
b. Summary/abstract of the article – annotation (sometimes it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions in synthesizing the information):
What was done? (e.g., an experimental study investigating the interaction of short term memory and attention)
How? (was it done)
What were the findings? (identify the major ones)
Contributions? (new findings, applications, etc.)
Review the complete instructions for the Final Research Paper in Week Five of your online course or in the “Components of Course Evaluation” section of this guide. To conduct accurate research for the annotated bibliography, consider the following:
a. Research in peer-reviewed journals or other journals that are considered to have reliable information. Do not use sources from the secular press (e.g., Time, Newsweek, or Wikipedia). Review the guidelines for acceptable sources by reading the “Academic Research” section within the Student Responsibilities and Policies tab under Course Home on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.
b. Identify at least five academic sources, at least three that can be found in the Ashford Online Library. If you do find something on the World Wide Web, it must be authored and be a reliable source.
c. In these journals, the research and information is either reviewed by an editorial team (such as for the Academy of Management Review) or a group of peers (such as in many journals you find through the Ashford Online Library).
For information regarding writing your thesis statement and annotated bibliography, refer to the Ashford Writing Center within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.
China’s Rise to Power. After reading, “China vs. the U.S.: The case for second place”, examine how China’s rise to power compares to other cases in which a rising nation has challenged an existing superpower, such as the American challenge to British hegemony a century ago. Describe the political obstacles that China may face in integrating with an international order that has been dominated by western democracies. Evaluate whether the U.S. should attempt to contain China’s rise through containment or engagement.
Social Stratification Systems: Caste vs. Class. India’s caste system, in which there are four major castes, orvarnas, is a social construct that is ascribed and immutable: people are born into this system and cannot move between castes. In American society, class systems, of which there are five, are social rankings based largely on economic position. In America, unlike India, one can transcend class through economic or social success. After reading “Overlapping identities under liberalization: Gender and case in India”, assess whether or not an individual can transcend class in the United States.
As you respond to your peers, address potential factors that can affect class status in the US, especially considering the influx of skilled and educated workers coming from India.
Globalization. After reading “Does Globalization Help or Hurt the World’s Poor?”, please answer the following:
a. When considering the impact of globalization on the poor, what other benefits or costs to globalization should also be taken into account?
b. How do these larger benefits or costs affect your analysis of the benefits or costs to the poor?
c. In what ways do they outweigh them?
Update on the State of the Future. After reading “Update on the State of the Future”, select two topics from the following list and hypothesize how these issues could be resolved.
a. Environmental sustainability
b. World trade
c. Global information and technology
d. Global population
e. Peace and security (terrorism)
The Final Research Paper is a research study addressing a country mentioned in the course. The Final Research Paper provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate the understanding of how cultures and politics affect one another, and ultimately affect social change.
Within the Final Research Paper, address the following:
1. Select a chosen culture within the developing or developed worlds listed below; or alternatively obtain your instructor’s permission to analyze a culture not listed.
2. Describe the culture’s political system.
3. Identify a problem within the selected nation’s culture.
4. Determine how the political system and the culture affect solutions as well as and the development of policies regarding the identified problem.
Potential nations to be examined:
The paper must be eight to ten pages in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least five scholarly resources, at least three of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library, to support your claims and subclaims. Cite your resources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar in your online course.