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afroakuma
2009-10-07, 10:59 AM
Hello the Playground! Bit of a conundrum here...

I'm working on an essay for my Comparative Politics class, one which requires a minimum of eight referenced sources and specifically demands that I acquire sources with certain exact viewpoints.

Anyways, I'm completely lost in it, and as it's a course on Politics I can't actually get help in-thread. If anyone's really strong with political science/political economy, especially as relates to China and/or Britain, could you please drop me a PM if you feel like hearing out the actual topic?

Mods: hope this stays within bounds this way. :smallredface:

Ditto
2009-10-07, 11:30 AM
I don't think asking for references violates policy, just starting an actual debate. Knowing a little more specifically what the topic is might help folks know where to look to help you. And you've already offered PMing as a route to go, so *should* the thread get locked if people can't keep themselves under control and start debating things they know where to find you. :smallcool:

toasty
2009-10-07, 11:48 AM
I don't think asking for references violates policy, just starting an actual debate. Knowing a little more specifically what the topic is might help folks know where to look to help you. And you've already offered PMing as a route to go, so *should* the thread get locked if people can't keep themselves under control and start debating things they know where to find you. :smallcool:

You'd probably get in trouble for linking to a website or stating an opinion, because people could flame you for it.

Sorry I'm no help... Never done a single thing with politics in school.

afroakuma
2009-10-07, 08:43 PM
Well, I'm supposed to compare authoritarian nations and democratic nations to shape an argument on which is able to achieve greater economic success, using China and Britain as the comparative groups in the case study. I have to find scholarly articles on both sides of the argument and somehow squeeze in a thesis statement.

toasty
2009-10-07, 11:07 PM
Well, I'm supposed to compare authoritarian nations and democratic nations to shape an argument on which is able to achieve greater economic success, using China and Britain as the comparative groups in the case study. I have to find scholarly articles on both sides of the argument and somehow squeeze in a thesis statement.

Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun; in a scary sort of way.

Rettu Skcollob
2009-10-08, 07:56 AM
Sounds interesting. Unfortunately I have only knowledge of Australian-centric politics as well as a pretty good handle on economics. If you have any economic questions, feel free to ask or shoot me a PM, and I'll do my best to answer. Like my knowledge of politics, my economic knowledge does have an Australian slant, but yeah.

afroakuma
2009-10-09, 04:24 PM
Well, I've submitted my essay proposal, with which I am very dissatisfied.

Anyone who'd care to drop an opinion can take a look.

For the record, what is contained within does not necessarily reflect my opinions and is not up for debate or topical discussion on this thread. If this is still considered hazardous, I know a gunslinger with a red scrubbing brush and the fastest trigger finger in the Playground. :smallbiggrin:

For my essay, tentatively titled “Cutting the Red Tape,” I intend to examine the question of whether authoritarian governments or democratic governments demonstrate a greater capacity for economic growth. Using China and Britain as respective examples of these two government structures, I shall promote this central thesis: that authoritarian governments have a greater capacity to promote raw economic expansion, as they are responsible only to themselves and to the power of their state.

I shall cite Heilbroner, whose position was that an authoritarian government is more capable of stimulating early economic growth via industrial development, infrastructure investments and the ability to disregard its own laws should they interfere with the greater design. I will also refer to Haber, who compares the varying properties of multiple authoritarian regimes and develops the thesis that the elements crucial to the economic success of such a government require it to take shape as China’s has. As well, I will examine the position of Bhagwati, who states that an authoritarian nation has advantages in an economic frame, due to the government’s willingness to turn a deaf ear to criticism and judgment, and the desire of the government to progress economically without regard for possible cost in other areas.

In support of this position, I shall examine several key points. The first of these is the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997 and the effects that it has had on socioeconomic indicators in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since that time. I expect to find that despite continuing economic development, clashes between the democratic political structure Hong Kong has inherited from Britain and the dictates of the People’s Republic of China are resulting in Hong Kong profiting fully from neither government’s advantages. I will use the case of Hong Kong, integral to this study as it concerns both nations, to indicate the strengths of democracy in latter-stage development and prosperity and the flaws of authoritarianism in this respect.

The second point on which I intend to focus is the Three Gorges Dam, and the manner in which the Chinese government has been able to steadily and rapidly advance this project despite clear impacts to the local populace and environment. The implementation of the Three Gorges Dam has resulted in a forced displacement of population, the destruction of important cultural and archaeological locations and is having a negative effect on the local ecology in Hubei, China. However, it is seen by the Chinese government as a major step forward in terms of being able to provide for their energy needs. This case is a focal example of raw economic expansion, and I intend to build on several sources to form the conclusion that only an authoritarian government, lacking responsibilities to public opinion in the Hubei region and to ecological concerns, could have accomplished a project of this scope in the time allotted and still make it financially viable. I am attempting to find a comparable project from Britain, and if so reference where costs and delays arose due to the more bureaucratic, multi-level structure of the democratic system. To this end, I am currently examining the backgrounds of the North Shore Oil and Canary Wharf developments, as well as the Millennium Wheel project and the Thames Barrier, to find specific instances of hindrance due to public consultation, compliance with laws and budgetary constraints.

My third key point shall center on the development of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, comparing and contrasting it with the current development of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. I will explore the process implemented in each nation, and in particular each government’s support of and involvement in the preparation for the Olympic Games. I expect to find that the Chinese government used its clout to advance the Olympic agenda, not only financially but also socially, in an effort to promote the nation and its powerful growth internationally at a crucial time. This will be contrasted with the approach of the British government. The point I wish to make with this comparison involves the raw economic growth potential that China can wield, as opposed to the finer, more restrained development that Britain as a democratic state must employ.

Ultimately, I intend to show that China’s authoritarian government has a greater capacity for growth, but only in an outward sense, as opposed to upward. That is, I wish to demonstrate that China’s ability to promote economic prosperity relies on creation; new construction and new industrialization as opposed to development, improvement and exploitation of its economic foundation. Though the British government, in comparison, cannot hope to engineer a project of such scale as the Three Gorges Dam without considerable delay, debate and expenditure, I will show that within the democratic system there is a more tangible base from which to encourage stable and reliable growth; a foundation which has met its infrastructure and investment needs and can now build upwards.

Within the terms of my argument, I will show that through a lack of responsibility to its constituent members, to its populace and to its environment, China has more brute economic force with which to grow and push outwards. I intend to establish, however, that this relentless, powerful growth is unsustainable and will be short-lived in comparison to the capabilities of a democratic government. I also hope to establish the concept of “responsible government” in the democratic sense, as a government answerable to its people on multiple levels and constrained by its own laws, contrasted with the nature of an authoritarian regime’s obligations only to itself and to its state as a manifestation of the regime’s own power.

Quincunx
2009-10-09, 04:50 PM
Great choices of examples, lots of raw material. I would drop the showpiece of the Millennium Wheel and stick with the projects of industrial/commercial value, as you left no gaps in the parallels that need new suggestions. Hong Kong will be contrasted with itself pre- and post-handover, if I am understanding this properly?

This very week Time magazine has a book excerpt (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1927137,00.html) which might help focus your argument--you're correct in that it needs something more. If you keep the premise of the "Ultimately. . ." paragraph, then it needs to be touched upon in the previous paragraphs, but I understand not putting it in yet if the argument isn't set.

Illiterate Scribe
2009-10-09, 04:56 PM
If there's an opening, you might be able to squeeze in some Hunt on nonconformist (read: generally opposed to the government and establishment, and independent from it) and middle class prosperity.

Though that's more my history and politics voice talking.

Belkarsbadside1
2009-10-09, 05:28 PM
Heres a cool site, not sure if it will help you, but it might be worth a look at.
http://wiki.idebate.org/index.php/Welcome_to_Debatepedia!

afroakuma
2009-10-09, 05:51 PM
Great choices of examples, lots of raw material. I would drop the showpiece of the Millennium Wheel and stick with the projects of industrial/commercial value, as you left no gaps in the parallels that need new suggestions. Hong Kong will be contrasted with itself pre- and post-handover, if I am understanding this properly?

That's the intention, yes. I feel like the proposal spends too much time repeating itself, though, and is really poorly written in comparison to the level I should be writing at. :smallfrown:

I'll drop the Millennium Wheel, though, and go for the Thames Barrier instead. Dam vs. dam is more interesting anyway.