A major goal of this course is to promote understanding of important international issues. Knowledge of current events is essential to facilitate this process. Over the summer, you are expected to familiarize yourself with important issues facing the world through reading newspaper and magazine articles and watching television news and specials. In addition, to understand each issue it is necessary to have some background information.
Complete the following assignment:
A major goal of this course is to promote understanding of important international issues. Knowledge of current events is essential to facilitate this process. Over the summer, you are expected to familiarize yourself with important issues facing the world through reading newspaper and magazine articles and watching television news and specials.
We recognize that it can be overwhelming to sort everything out and decide what is important. In addition, to understand each issue it is necessary to have some background information. Therefore, your assignment is to choose three issues that interest you the most and acquire the necessary background knowledge to develop some expertise in them.
Choose three of the following topics:
Do not do a natural disaster (flood, earthquake, etc.) unless it has major political or economic repercussions.
- the state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinians
- the status of democracy movements in Arab countries. Choose one Arab country among the following: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, or if developments warrant, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, etc.
- status of Iran’s nuclear program and/or Iran’s relationship with the US
- the current situation in Afghanistan
- the current situation between Russia and Ukraine
- the current situation in Iraq
- the current situation in Pakistan and/or changes in its relationship with India
- the status of North Korea’s nuclear program and its relations with S. Korea and US
- developments in China and/or Chinese-American relations
- developments in Russia and/or relations with the US
- the status of the civil conflicts in Sudan, Somalia, or other African countries
- the status of Mexico’s war against drug cartels
- the influence of Globalization (international trade) on the world’s economy
- developments that may influence the price or available of energy around the world
- the status of U.S. relations with specific countries that we may come into conflict with
- any significant regional or global emergency development, if there is one (such as an unexpected leadership change somewhere, a major economic crisis, a new war or major terrorist attack, an emergency global health or environmental crisis)
Special Note: Make sure that your three selections are different. For example, terrorism, Israel/Palestinians, Pakistan/India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, plus democracy movements in specific Arab countries all pertain to the Middle East so the most you can do is two of them. Don’t cover more than one Africa topic or two or more topics that are similar. Please pay careful attention to this guideline.
1. On the first day of class, you will submit an annotative bibliography that lists at least five articles from magazines, newspapers, or journals that you read for each of the three topics you chose from the lists on the other side of this page. (Do not submit the articles, just the bibliography.) The following information must be included in the bibliography in this order: Author (last name first), title, source, page #, date. List your sources in alphabetical order by author’s last name. If there is no author listed, then start with the title of the article and alphabetize it in with the author names. Submit 3 separate alphabetized lists, one for each of your topics. These articles must come from printed sources that appear over the summer; the Internet can only be used to read articles posted from newspaper and magazine sources. (For example, nytimes.com is acceptable but wikipedia is not).
Note: You must keep up with this assignment on a regular basis, taking time as often as possible to read newspapers and magazines and watch television news shows. Otherwise, you will find it impossible to develop a working knowledge of current events by the time you return to school in September. You may want to wait for one or two weeks, however, before picking the topics you will focus on so that you have time to become more informed before making a decision.
Recommendation: Get a good atlas or find one on-line and familiarize yourself with where countries are located. Knowing the geographic location of a country is essential to understanding its relationship with other countries and will help you get a better grasp of the issues that pertain to it. Furthermore, you will be doing a lot of map work in class first quarter, and this will give you a head start on this endeavor.
Final Note: This is a challenging assignment. For Honors level students, studying history is worthless without a working knowledge of what is going on the world today. If you do not make a reasonable effort to comply with this assignment, you will enter class in September struggling.