POL 389-800, Security Studies
SUNY Oswego | Fall 2020
Dr. Craig Warkentin

Participation (75 points)

This assignment subjectively combines your class meeting attendance rate; your (apparent) level of engagement in the course; and the quality of your contributions to classroom discussions.

Exams (300 Points)

For this course assignment you'll write three essays, each of which critically engages and personally responds to a section in our main textbook. In the most basic terms, your assignment is to think about what you read, sort it out in a (new) way that makes sense or is useful to you, and offer your own take on it. Each exam is worth 100 points.

For each exam, you can respond to an essay prompt I provide or address the chapters as you see fit. Regardless of your choice, each essay should present your distinctively personal response to the subject material and do the following three things:

Additionally, in each essay you should:

Use only assigned readings (listed on the syllabus), classroom material (including your notes), and your own ideas or personal experiences for this assignment. Using other sources (not listed on the syllabus) constitutes cheating and could subject you to disciplinary action. The word count for each exam (excluding your reference list) should be at least 1000 words and no more than 1200 words.

Essays must be typewritten and double-spaced (throughout), use a single standard font with 1-1.25" margins, and include a typed word count. Also required are parenthetical citations and a reference list that conform fully to the author-date style detailed in Chapters 18-19 of Turabian's Manual for Writers.

Submit each exam as a PDF file attachment, via email or Slack. (Email your file to my "oswego" address, from your own "oswego" account, or attach it to a Direct Message in Slack.)

I won't accept file formats other than PDF, nor will I "fetch" your exam from Google Drive. I also won't accept exams without parenthetical (in-text) citations and a reference list. (Expect to receive a zero on any exam that's missing either parenthetical citations or a reference list.)

Exam numbers, covered chapters, due dates, and essay prompts are listed in the table below. Again, for each exam, select either the essay prompt I've provided ("Option 1") or address the covered chapters as you see fit ("Option 2").

Exam 1
Mon, Oct 12 (11:59 PM)
Option 1: Select six of the eleven approaches to security addressed in Chapters 2-12 of our textbook. Use four of these to construct your own definition of security, highlighting in the process the key strength(s) of each approach and including original insights as needed. Then explain why you chose not to use the remaining 2 approaches for your definition of security, highlighting the key weakness(es) of each.
- - - - - - - - or - - - - - - - -
Option 2: Create your own question, theme, or topic.
Exam 2
Mon, Nov 2 (11:59 PM)
Option 1: Chapters 13-18 of our textbook cover five sectors of security that have expanded Security Studies beyond its traditional focus on military security: regime security (Ch. 14); societal security (Ch. 15); environmental security (Ch. 16); economic security (Ch. 17); and globalization, development, and security (Ch. 18). Of these five sectors, explain which two most productively "deepen and broaden" our understanding of global security and which two least productively "deepen and broaden" our understanding of global security. Justify each selection and illustrate your positions with (real or hypothetical) examples.
- - - - - - - - or - - - - - - - -
Option 2: Create your own question, theme, or topic.
Exam 3
12:30pm on Dec 10
Option 1: Select four of the nine security topics discussed in Chapters 19-27 of our text: a difficult one to understand, an easy one to understand, a difficult one to address, and an easy one to address. Present your rationale and offer a workable policy suggestion for each selection, then explain which topic is most important and why.
- - - - - - - - or - - - - - - - -
Option 2: Create your own question, theme, or topic.

News (25 Points)

This is a brief oral presentation that connects a relevant news story to an assigned textbook chapter.

To complete this assignment:

  1. Select a news article from one of the approved sources listed below (and on the Tools page).
    • Your article must relate to the textbook chapter listed on the syllabus for your assigned date.
    • Your article must focus solely or primarily on international politics (not U.S. domestic politics).
    • Your article must be a written, "hard news" story. (No editorials, commentaries, videos, etc.)
    • Your article must have been published in 2020. (No articles dated before January 1, 2020.)
  2. Create an oral presentation, less than 5 minutes long, that includes these three components:
    • Summary - Briefly summarize your news article, highlighting the key points.
    • Connection - Connect the article to the book chapter for your assigned date.
    • Policy - Offer a specific, original policy suggestion that's relevant and workable.
      • Your "policy" and "connection" can be related, but they don't need to be.
  3. Send me the full URL for your article before 9:00 a.m. on your scheduled presentation date.
    • Email me your URL (from your "oswego" account) or send it via Direct Message on Slack.
    • I'll post a link to your article on the day's class page (so anyone who wants can read it).

Approved Sources

Your subject article must be from one of the following four sources, all of which offer unlimited access without a subscription. (Links are to the "world" or "international" sections of the respective sites.)

Summation (100 Points)

Select one of the following three options for this end-of-semester paper:

Clearly identify which option you've chosen, by adding an appropriate title to your essay or noting your selection in the initial paragraph.

Your Summation should be at least 1000 words and no more than 1200 words. It should comprise fully original material, use no outside sources, and contain no citations, quotations, or direct references to our textbook or other assigned readings. (You can mention selected course material, in general terms or in passing, but don't substantively discuss or analytically engage that material.)

Your Summation is due at 12:30 PM on Thursday, December 10.