Analyzing international “incidents” is an important part of geopolitics and business strategy.When “countries” clash, what is really going
GEOPOLITICS ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES
This assignment asks you to apply the model for dissecting the actors in international incidents
that will be covered in Session 6 (The Chinese Rare Earth Elements Case Study), to a different
clash between nations of your choice.
This assignment is designed to make sure I understand and master those analytical ideas. If I
do so, I will be able to offer a better explanation of geopolitics and international incidents than
99% of all business people.
1200 – 1500 words maximum, double-spaced, excluding (optional) appendices.
The main body of the text should be complete sentences: your report should not just be
a collection of bullet points.
If you use appendices (which is strongly encouraged), please refer to them in the text.
Please don’t just tack on a bunch of stuff and call it an appendix, and make me deduce
how it supports your argument.
Please employ proper citation of all outside sources used, if any, i.e. newspaper articles,
industry reports, statistics, URLs, etc. I don’t care about the style, but I would like to be
able to find the source if I choose to.
Please define any terminology crucial to your argument
Avoid submitting “word soup”. Clarity of argument and organization counts.
Analyzing international “incidents” is an important part of geopolitics and business strategy.
When “countries” clash, what is really going on? Who are the main actors? What is driving the
dynamics of the situation?
Please choose a foreign policy incident/clash between two nations and then use the three
Allison Frameworks (Models I, II and III) introduced in Session 6, to analyze it. Please briefly
describe the incident itself, and then explain whether you think Allison’s Models, I, II or III – or
some combination of them! – offers the best framework for understanding the situation, and the
evidence you find to support this belief.
In other words, you should use the analytical models that we applied to Chinese Rare Earth
Elements in session 6 to a different incident or situation.
The incident can be recent or several decades old, but a good choice will include elements that
allow you to use all three models to notice different actors and deduce different motives.
You may want to construct a timeline or a chronology or other tools to organize your thoughts,
but this is not required. (Recommended)
It will be very hard to find a “pure” Model I, II, or II case – reality is messy – so it is OK to say
that the case you have chosen has elements of each. What I am looking for is that you use the
Allison models to provide a nuanced analytic view of a particular incident, and you then
articulate a clear position about what is “really” going on.
This is NOT intended primarily as a research paper; it is designed to increase your familiarity
with ways of interpreting/dissecting international incidents and international actors using the
structured methodology we will use in session six. As that case will demonstrate, even four
articles can result in a quite nuanced and complex analysis. The challenge in analyzing
international incidents is rarely about finding more information; it is about seeing what is there
and thinking about what it means!
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