ESSAY TOPICS POLI212

These are suggested topics. You are entirely free to choose one of your own, on the condition that your choice is approved either by your TA or by me

Please also keep in mind that these are suggested questions – they may need fine-tuning by you before they constitute a concrete research question around which you can develop an argument. Talk to me oryour TA about how to fine-tune a topic from this suggested list.

The paper should be tight, analytical, to the point, precisely argued and well-written, with attention to sentence and paragraph structure and spelling.

This is an exercise in analytical thinking. Begin your paper by setting out a puzzle or problem that youwill solve, or a claim or proposition that you will defend. Of course, you will need to do libraryresearch but the important thing is your analysis.

Remember 10 pages: Make the words count. Cite when you need to; citations can follow one of several styles (parenthetical references in text, or footnotes, or endnotes) as long as you are consistent through the paper.Use the internet very carefully when, or if, you use it. Never use Wikipedia. For internet sources,include the date that you accessed the website.

There is no magic number of “required” sources. I would think between 5 and 10 (absolute tops)sources would in most cases be about right. Please refrain from referring to lecture notes or reading notes. But use reading material from the course where relevant and useful. Any reading material from the course that you use should be fully cited; never, for example, cite “the course pack” or “Kesselman and Krieger”.

1. Electoral Systems, Political Processes and Political Outcomes. What are the differences between majoritarian and proportional representation electoral systems and what are the political consequences of these different electoral rules?

2. Religion, Race and the French Republic. Discuss the affaire du foulard, what it revealed about French politics and society, and how the issue of religious dress in public spaces continues to bea political issue in France.

3. Post-Communism and New State Formation. Why ethnic war as a feature of the breakup ofYugoslavia and peaceful separation in Czechoslovakia?

4. Extraparliamentary Opposition and Labour Unrest. Discuss the origins and consequences ofeither the Italian ‘Hot Autumn’ or ‘May-June 68’.

5. Classifying and Explaining Political Regimes: The Case of Russia. How would you describeand analyze the central features of the political regime in contemporary Russia?

6. The Politics of Immigration After 9/11. Did the events of 9/11 change politics and policies withregard to the integration of immigrants in one of: Italy, France, Germany or Great Britain?

7. Is corruption an endemic feature of Italian politics?

8. Ecology and Politics in Germany. What impact did Petra Kelly and the Greens have on politicsin Germany?

9. How would you explain variations in support for the New Right in different Europeancountries?

10. For or Against the European Constitution. Why did France reject the proposed Europeanconstitution in 2005?

11. The European Union is an ‘economic giant but a political dwarf”. Discuss.

12. Is the EU still a ‘French-German condominium”? How has enlargment changed the structureand dynamics of the EU?

13. Convergence or Diversity. Are European states and societies becoming more alike, that isconverging, or are there enduring differences? Why or why not?

14. Economic Class and Inequality. Is economic class a dead political issue in European politics?What sorts of inequalities seem to be the most immune to welfare state interventions?

15. Federalism in Germany. Discuss the central features of the federal political system in Germanyand the role that federal institutions play in policy-making in Germany.16. The Eurozone. What does the ongoing economic crisis in the Eurozone reveal about Europeanintegration and the European Union?

16. Coalition Government. Is the current coalition government in Britain an anomaly in Britishpolitical history? What are the strengths and weaknesses of coalition government in aWestminster political system?

17. Political Management of the Economy. What accounts for the enduring economic success ofGermany? Is the ‘social market model’ still a characteristic of the German political economy?

18. Political Regionalism and Protest Politics. What were the origins and grievances of the LlegaNord in Italy and what impact did it have on Italian politics?

19. Decolonization and Domestic Politics. What were the consequences of the decolonization ofAlgeria for domestic politics in France?

20. Euroscepticism. Define Euroscepticism and discuss its significance in British politics and the British party system.

21. Social Democracy and the Welfare State. Is there a distinctive social democratic model of thewelfare state? Describe its key features and its strengths and weaknesses.

22. Christian Democracy and Postwar Settlements. What is Christian Democracy and what was itscontribution to political stabilization after World War II in one of: West Germany, France orItaly?

23. The Endurance of Communism in Western Europe. How would you explain the longevity ofCommunist political parties in either France or Italy?

24. Political Devolution in Great Britain. Will Scotland separate from the United Kingdom? Whatare the forces driving the decision to hols a referendum on Scottish indepdence in 2014?y werelegislatures established in Wales and Scotland in the late 1990s?

25. De Gaulle and French Politics. What role did Charles de Gaulle play in the politics of theFourth and early Fifth Republics?

26. New Labour in Great Britain. How would you summarize the key differences between ‘(old)Labour’ and ‘new Labour’ in Great Britain and why do these differences matter?