Guidelines for "Asian News Analysis" Paper (GBS 3331)

August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

REL 2037 & REL/PHL/GBS 3331 Asian Thought & Global Concerns

On the due date in question bring to class a typed, four to six page (double spaced, standard margin) report on a current Asian news story in which religion plays a factor.

• Your intended audience is the U.S. Secretary of State and all other key high-ranking government officials who may play a role in setting policy for U.S. – Asian relations.
• Your goal is to provide guidance to U.S. policy makers on the matter in question.
• Draw upon class readings; class discussions regarding the intersection of religion, culture and politics; class lectures regarding the details of specific religious traditions and philosophies found in Asian contexts; and any other necessary outside research.

The paper should include all of the following components:
1) Historical background of the story
In other words, explanation of significant past events and the role of important figures, as well as brief explanation of the religious dynamics involved. The later part should include short definitions of key religious terms and concepts.

2) Contemporary significance of the story
In other words, explanation as to why this current geo-political dynamic warrants attention by the United States government.

3) Specific policy proposals for the United States to adopt with respect to the situation in question.
In other words, given the present situation:
➢ What goals should the United States pursue? Why?
➢ What position should the Untied States take relative to the key players? Why?
➢ What actions, if any, should the United States government take relative to this situation? Why?
➢ What information should be provided to the American public on this matter? Why?

Examples of past topics include:
- Protests in India surrounding a perceived lack of justice when it comes to women's rights, especially in light of recent highly publicized sexual assaults
- Continued reports of India’s violations of human rights (ex: forced child labor, attacks on minority Muslim populations, etc.)
- Continued reports of unfettered Chinese urban growth (including forced dislocation of rural farmers and below-market value purchases of poor property owners homes, etc.) in the face of growing Daoist concern for environmental degradation
- The ongoing Tibetan sovereignty debate coupled with Indian concerns regarding China’s position on the matter
- The developing environmental crises that are the unprecedented pollution in Beijing, China and the uncontrolled polluting of the Ganges River in India

This paper is not meant to evaluate your sense of the workings of the U.S. government when it comes to setting policy, but rather is an opportunity for you to further examine the close relations between religion, philosophy and global concerns.

This paper is worth a possible 20 points, or 20% of your final grade for the course.

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