First newspaper assignment PEIS 101 Due October 30, 5:00 p.m.
You may use the bSpace drop box, or email to your GSI. Late papers will be penalized.
Behind news reports, opinion pieces, and editorials are certain assumptions, often unarticulated, about three key principles upon which theories of political economy are based. (In this course we are discussing three broad clusters of purpose, or allocative principles:
1) Freedom (economic Liberalism), 2) Equality (Political Liberalism/Distributive Justice/Marxism/socialism), and 3) Community (religious, ethnic, National community).
There are three steps in this assignment:
First, in your daily reading of the newspaper, (WSJ) please choose articles that reveal economic liberal assumptions and concepts (examples include rationality, self interest, comparative advantage, role of the state in the market, role of the individual, transaction and opportunity costs, etc. etc.) , discussed in lecture, readings, and discussion. These articles can cover a range of issues and do not have to be related. Find as many different assumptions and concepts as you can, but you do not have to grasp ALL of them in this short paper. Feel free to point out the arguments based on equality (political liberalism/distributive justice, or socialism and marxism). and how they differ from economic liberalism.
Next, attach those articles that reveal a critique of the liberal assumptions and concepts or argue for alternative principles based on a preference for equality and/or community. Note that individual articles can contain a combination of assumptions from the two schools of thought or reveal a preference ordering, (i.e. freedom > equality).
Third, in a 3-5 page paper, discuss the assumptions that lie behind the articles you clipped and your reasons for categorizing the articles in the way that you did—the passages that demonstrate that the assumption exists and why they do so. Link those passages to specific readings on the syllabus and provide footnotes to relevant authors and page numbers. You can also reference specific lectures.
There is no limit to the number of articles that you gather. Note that individual articles can contain a combination of assumptions from the two schools of thought. Just discuss the passages that demonstrate the various assumptions, concepts, critiques. Remember that this is a short paper and you should not exceed the page limit.
Your grade on this assignment will become part of your "participation" grade and will be based on the breadth and depth of your analysis of the media: how well you can demonstrate your grasp of the assumptions and arguments made in the media and their relationship to the central concepts and criticisms presented in the readings.
Hint: many of you have started this process in your wall postings and comments in the Political Economy FB group. Those of you who have posted can use their articles if appropriate.
1. What kind of articles should we be looking for?
You can use news reports, opinion pieces, and editorials--dated from the beginning of the semester or whenever your subscription started arriving. You need not use one of each and may use all of one (like opinion pieces) if you like.
2. If I argue that an article has liberal assumptions and concepts, then do I also have to point out any counter-arguments to my analysis?
If that seems appropriate. Recent FB group posts and comments are suggestive of what we are looking for.
3. Since the paper is double-spaced, how many articles are you expecting us to analyze? I might not have enough space to fit in more than 3 articles, yet I did find about 20 articles to analyze, if I wanted to do so.
The number of articles depends on how dense each article is and how much there is to analyze.
4. Can our introduction and conclusion be relatively short?
This is not the kind of paper that calls for an intro and conclusion. It is an exercise in using the tools you have learned in the course to unearth the assumptions that the writer is making in his/her argument, link them to the theories and readings grouped around those theories that we have discussed in our class sessions, and point out contradictions if necessary, as well as provide an a brief analysis of the article in terms of the course materials
5. It seemed much easier to find articles about liberalism than any other topic. Should we have at least 1 article from each main camp?
You should find assumptions from each main camp, but some articles are not consistent in their assumptions. You don't necessarily need whole articles from each camp.
6. How will we be evaluated?
We will look for how you have linked specific terms or concepts from the articles to specific passages in the readings. We are looking for how well you clarify the interpretations and arguments of the theorists. Although you can analyze each article on its own, you can also compare and contrast articles on similar topics that demonstrate different theoretical perspectives. Please be sure that you check spelling and grammar and write in a coherent manner. If we cannot understand you, we cannot give you credit for your analysis. You will be evaluated on your ability to demonstrate knowledge of the various theorists and theories.
7. Are we required to clip the print edition of the Wall Street Journal, or would attaching articles from the online version be sufficient?
Attaching articles from digital edition is sufficient. We are saving trees and going paperless in PE 101.
Second Newspaper assignment PEIS 101 . in the Dropbox on bSpace
There is much controversy in the media about the causes of economic development. Your task is to choose 3 articles that discuss or even touch on this issue (the article can be about trade, international finance, etc. in general, but with a section on the developing/underdeveloped economies) written between now and the time the assignment is due. Find arguments that disagree with each other and that implicitly or explicitly make assumptions and arguments supporting the three perspectives on development that we have discussed here: liberal, dependency, and institutional theories. See if you recognize some of the arguments that development theorists were making in our readings.... for example, "Washington Consensus," "Golden Straightjacket," "Tradition and Modernity," "Stages of Growth," "Late Development," "leapfrogging technology," "core and periphery," "comparative advantage," etc. etc. Mark the sections that you will explicate .