- The use of colour in graphical displays
- Standardized testing in the schools
- Joining fraternity
- Independence from parents
- Multi-cultural family
- Moving away to college
- Adaptation to parent's divorce
- Birth of brother
- Birth of niece
- Sister moving out
- Constant moving as child
- Compare and contrast presidential and parliamentary systems of government for their key
characteristics, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. This analysis should include
discussions of how different the two systems are, as well as point to any commonalties.
- Examine critically the idea that each nation or "people" has a right of
self-determination to form a state of its own. What are the problems in defining the right
or identifying who may claim it? What are the problems in exercising it? Examine what
limits might be placed on the right and whether they are justifiable.
- What are the roles of the legislature in a political system, and examine the constraints
that can limit how effectively those roles can be fulfilled? Are there practical solutions
to those limits - what new problems could the solutions pose? Use examples from one or
more countries in answering these questions. Your analysis should include discussions of
the relationship between the legislature, the electorate, political parties, and the
- Examine what `judicial review' is and its role in a democracy, What are the main
controversies about this role of the courts? This analysis should include discussions of
the need for limited government and who should decide those limits. What role should the
accountability of decision-makers to the electorate play?
- O.J. Simpson, guilty or no
- The evidence for HIV as a cause of AIDS
- The cancer risk of second-hand smoke
- Undergoing surgery
- Senior year in high school
- Experimenting with drugs
- High school graduation
- Moving from house you grew up in
- Relationship with Mom
- Having a Twin
- Best Friend
- Death of close friend
- Growing up in small town
- Describe your favorite vacation spot. Use at least three of the five senses (taste,
touch, sound, sight, smell) in your description.
- Democracy is a general concept for a governing process but can have quite different
manifestations. Examine the different forms it make take. Is there a core to the concept?
To what extent is the democratic principle inherently limited by the practical realities
of any political system? Can the people always rule, vote freely, or have their views
effectively translated into the composition of governments or public policy? This analysis
should also mention the problem of majority rule and the issue of how minority interests
may or may not justify limits on the will of the majority.
- Compare and contrast the way in which one of the main ideologies (i.e. liberalism,
socialism, conservatism, etc) has changed from its classical origins to the contemporary
forms it takes. To what extent has this ideology transformed itself? Can one still call it
(for example) conservatism? In examining these questions, you should be able to conclude
whether there is a core of that school of thought which survives and gives it lasting
- Discuss what `ideology' means and the different uses and abuses to which it may be put
in a political system. To what extent can ideology serve as a blueprint for political
action and to what extent does a ruler's ideology practically operate as a public
justification for decisions reached for other, less-noble reasons? You should use examples
extensively that illustrate the main points of your analysis.
- Examine what federalism can mean, and the reasons why it might be adopted as the basic
structure of a state. What problems does federalism help accommodate, and what problems
does federalism itself pose to a political system? Your discussions should draw on
practical examples from one or more federal states.
- Why do interest groups exist? What are their functions? What are the positive and
negative effects of their operation? Analyze how they may complement or undermine
political parties and the institutional channels for political decision-making?
- Compare the strengths and weaknesses of using a proportional representation electoral
system or a single member majority system. In answering this question you should discuss
what an electoral system should be designed to achieve. Use examples. Also, your analysis
should give some idea why a state might choose one form of electoral system over another.
- What are the different roles of violence in a political system, both in maintaining a
particular political order and in bringing about political change? When is violence more
likely to be resorted to and why might it succeed? Is it sometimes necessary? Your
analysis should include discussions of the problems of the institutions in a political
system, different ways the government authorities may resort to force, and the political
culture of the communities. How do value judgments cloud discussions of the legitimacy of
violence in a political system?
- What are the main roles that the United Nations plays in international politics? To what
extent is it successful, and how should that success be gauged? Keep in mind that you
should identify the main bodies of the UN and their legal powers (here you must choose
which ones to discuss). Analyze the way in which the political context of the UN's
operation effect the use of its powers. What can reasonably be expected?
- What are the different functions of political parties in different political systems?
This answer should cover the roles of parties in a variety of political systems and
discuss the positive and (if any) negative sides of the functions. Examine what factors
relate to the effectiveness of parties.
- Examine the nature of totalitarianism, and the conditions that can give rise to it. This
paper should examine what distinguishes totalitarianism from other forms of government.
Look at examples of totalitarian governments to see why they came to power and held onto
it. The end of totalitarian regimes should also provide insight to the conditions
necessary to their success.
- Examine the impact of nationalism on the political system in a country of your choice.
How does the group involved define itself and what are the end goals that nationalism is
used to justify? Are there competing groups, each using nationalism to justify certain
political goals? In these discussions, you should be aware that nationalism can have
different manifestations and objectives. Also, there can be positive and negative aspects
of nationalism and some comment on them (and on the problems of assessing them) may be in
- Examine the uses to which referendums may be put in a political system. What are the
justifications for holding a referendum, and on what sorts of issues? This analysis should
discuss the merits of direct and indirect forms of democracy. Also, consideration should
be given to the practical requirements and consequences of holding a referendum on a
complicated or divisive topic.
- Analyze the different types of `representation' involved in a democracy. What are the
problems in providing for representation? Can different forms of representation be
realized at the same time, or is a choice required? What are the problems of
accountability that are posed by relying on representatives?
- DNA fingerprinting
- Global warming
- Statistical arguments used in sports
- Learning to play (your favorite sport)
TOPICS: A Checklist
RACE AND REPRESENTATION
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