Final Paper Topics
INTL 1101 – Globalization & International Affairs
A good paper will present a clear, strong central argument, supporting it with a complete set of
reasons and evidence drawn from the course and outside research. References to course
materials will accurately represent the contents of those sources. Good papers will have a
clear, coherent structure, will reflect a command of social science prose, and will not neglect
mechanics like spelling and grammar.
An excellent paper will go one step further, offering an argument that is original and nuanced as
well as clear. Excellent papers will provide especially compelling evidence and reasons to
support their arguments, drawing broadly from the course and from a variety of outside sources.
References to readings will be accurate and will also reflect astute analysis. Excellent papers
will be structured so that the argument flows fluidly throughout, with each paragraph effectively
working to advance the paper’s thesis. These papers will be polished and precise in terms of
prose and mechanics.
Choose one of the prompts below and write a 6-8 page paper. Papers should be written in
Times New Roman, 12pt, double spaced text.
● Write a paper about one or more collective action problems that the global Covid-19
pandemic has created or highlighted. How have the particular circumstances of the
pandemic made this (these) collective action problem(s) particularly difficult to solve?
What can policymakers learn from Mancur Olson’s theory of collective action problems,
and from other global collective action problems, that might help them navigate the
current crisis? What features of the collective action problem(s) you identify might make
it especially hard to solve, or somewhat more amenable to solutions? Is there hope that
international institutions might offer solutions?
● How has the Covid-19 pandemic been shaped by economic globalization? How is the
pandemic shaping economic globalization? Be sure to refer to evidence on economic
globalization from the course.
● Compare and contrast the global Black Lives Matter movement to other global social
movements. What are key similarities and differences? How do theories of
transnational advocacy networks and social movements relate to what we are seeing in
the global BLM movement?
● Pick one of the following – 1) the global Covid-19 pandemic or 2) the global Black Lives
Matter movement – and answer the following question: Should philanthropists use their
donations to help with this “cause”? Using concepts/ideas from Singer and/or Kothari,
construct an argument about whether, to what extent, and how philanthropists ought to
fund initiatives related to these issues.
● You may also propose another paper topic/question, with approval from the instructor.
Only topics that relate clearly to concepts/materials from the course and current events
will be considered. To be approved, paper topics must be clearly defined and set the
writer up to make an argument in answer to a question or set of questions. Topics must
be proposed (via email to Professor Clough by October 15) and approved by the
Sources and Citation
To research this paper, you will 1) identify relevant readings from the course and read them very
carefully, and 2) identify at least 7 sources from outside the syllabus that will help you construct
your argument. Of those 7+ outside sources, at least 2 must be peer-reviewed, but others may
be newspaper articles, statistics databases, or books. Make sure you are using high-quality
sources rather than “a website I found.”
In every draft of your paper, you must cite all the sources you use using Chicago author-date
citation style, including a bibliography and individual citations throughout your text (quick guide:
https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html). Be very careful
to avoid plagiarism.
You will turn in a rough draft of your paper on November 16. This paper should represent your
best effort to produce a strong draft that is ready for feedback and critique. Your discussion
partner will be reading this draft. Drafts that are submitted on time and read as “complete
drafts” will receive full credit; drafts that are submitted on time and are only partially complete or
incoherent will receive partial credit. Late drafts will receive zero credit. The rough draft is
worth 5% of your semester grade.
You will provide peer review feedback to your discussion partner by reading their first draft
carefully and providing thorough, thoughtful, constructive feedback using this form. You will
then hold a synchronous meeting (via Zoom or phone, or similar) sometime between November
16 and 30 (outside of class time) to go over your feedback and talk about what the writer’s next
steps should be to improve his/her/their paper. The quality of your feedback (and an attestation
that you actually held the feedback meeting) will be worth 5% of your semester grade.
Deadlines (all 11:59pm)
● November 16: Rough Draft due (submit to Canvas AND email a copy to your Peer
● November 30: Peer Review Meetings must be held (and peer review feedback
delivered) by this date. Submit peer review feedback on Canvas and submit this form
confirming you have met.
● December 11: Final Draft due (submit to Canvas)
Rubric for Final Papers
Quality of thesis (nuance, originality, clarity)
Persuasiveness of argument (clarity, provision of evidence and
Depth of engagement with and understanding of readings/course
Quality and use of outside sources
Connections with broader themes of globalization
Structure of paper/flow of argument
Command of prose/precision of language
Mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation)