Critically analyze the readings and ask six reading response/discussion questions (Master’s level). Please read these instructions carefully and follow what it says you should avoid and an example of a good question you can emulate. Your questions should engage directly with the concepts and arguments in the readings. The main things the questions need to do are to engage analytically with the readings and to bring ideas that aren’t in the readings already. One way to do this is to pay close attention to the arguments made, try to identify problems or tensions in them, and see how they compare with the arguments made in the other readings. Another is to compare the empirical material discussed by the authors and ask a question about similarities and differences (and their possible explanations). A third tactic is to think about what’s left out of the reading (topics the author doesn’t discuss) and how the reading might change if they were to be included. The key thing, though, is to show that you are really grappling with the reading – evaluating arguments, making comparisons, thinking about what’s missing, making connections to theory, etc. Your six questions should be about 3-4 sentences long. Please note that all of your questions must refer specifically to not less than one reading (make linkages between them where possible) and no formal referencing is needed. You ONLY need to include page references when you are addressing a specific argument/fact/etc.
For the Corruption and Illicit Trade Assignment, you should take care NOT to ask the following types of questions:
1. Questions that ask for a summary of the text. Thus, “What, according to Kristen Hopewell, are the emerging power alliances in global trade governance?’” is not a good question.
2. Questions that cannot be answered without detailed knowledge of events not covered in discussions. Thus, “How does the governance of trade under the WTO compare with the way trade was governed in 11th century East Asia?” is not a good question.
3. Questions that ask your reader to do all the work. It’s not enough to bring up an interesting topic from a reading, X, and say “explain X” or “discuss X” or “what do you think about X” or “how would the world be different if X had never happened” or “is X still happening/possible/important today” or “what could be done to solve the problem X” or “is it right/fair/ethical/just that X” or “was X a good idea” or “do you agree with X” or “compare and contrast X and Y”. The problem with questions like these is that writing them is too easy – you just need to find six policies or events and stick them into the formulae where it says “X”. These sorts of questions are not completely off limits, but they need to be pushed further – so if (for instance) you are asking how the world would be different if X had not happened, you need to suggest other things that might have happened, the likelihood that they could have happened, who might have wanted to see something else happen, and maybe some speculation about why X did in fact happen (luck? elite interests? US pressure?). That is, you need to show that you have put some thought into the question.
Don’t do enough to go beyond ideas that are already raised in the readings and/or pose the kinds of “X” questions that the assignment asks you to avoid.
You should try not to ask questions that identify a theme in the readings and then just ask
your reader for an opinion/response.
An example of a good question is as follows;
Kaczmarski (2017) makes the interesting argument that regionalism, particularly for world powers like China and Russia, leads to consolidating ethnic and racial nations, yet it also leads to their increased influence over other globalized regions. Rioux (2020) talks about immigration and expanded multiculturalism as being an issue for Britain, and a key reason for wanting to exit the EU. What does it mean for global cultural and economic integration if, perhaps, in the long run, national citizens fail to view themselves as ‘global’ citizens after all?
This question is from: Kaczmarski, Marcin (2017).“Non-Western Visions of Regionalism: China’s New Silk Road and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union.” International Affairs 93 (6):1357-1376 and Rioux, X. Hubert (2019). “Rival Economic Nationalisms: Brexit and the Scottish Independence.