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2007-08 Topic Choices

Which topic do you want?  

536 members have voted

  1. 1. Which topic do you want?

    • Pandemics
      102
    • Water
      55
    • Trade
      130
    • Africa
      123
    • Asia
      126


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Water or trade. I'm reticent on both the health related topics (Africa and pandemics) because it will be yet another year of biopower...And really, I need a break from that. Water and trade give good neg ground, good aff ground, and different kritikal ground from what we've been hashing out again and again recently.

 

Biopower is going to be run on every rez because the debate community at large is lazy and doesn't like doing actual topic research.

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Biopower is going to be run on every rez because the debate community at large is lazy and doesn't like doing actual topic research.

 

Fair enough, but at least there would be a push to research something else on one of the other topics. With either of the health topics the biopower links are so clear that people will just default to them. :(

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Fair enough, but at least there would be a push to research something else on one of the other topics. With either of the health topics the biopower links are so clear that people will just default to them. :(

 

True, but I think that water has the strongest biopower link.:Bow

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I think the Central Asia topic would be best because it is the freshest, and there would be new arguments used, not all the same old generic ones.

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I think the Central Asia topic would be best because it is the freshest, and there would be new arguments used, not all the same old generic ones.
I don't know that the generics/backfiles won't get busted out as usual no matter WHAT topic is selected (or, later on, imposed by fiat). However, I agree that the central Asia topic is itself an underexplored area, and the wording of this topic is superior to the others...

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If they don't vote for africa it will be the fourth year they defer the choice of africa.....so please, for the love of everything good, just choose africa for once....i'm not accusing anyone of racism, but i think 3 years speaks for itself....its a good topic, and honestly the topic of africa is one of the most educational out there, it is the literal intersection of most international issues of the twentieth to twenty-first centuries.....so choose africa

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Africa? Anyone out there relishing the prospect of spending the whole season arguing about what "public health assistance" means? I don't think proponents of this topic grasp how huge it really is...

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To start thinking about some of those topics and to get "introduced" to some of the issues, I really have to say that:

 

The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century by Robert D. Kaplan is a great read.

 

Although a little dated, written in the mid 90's, it really does give you a good overview of Africa and Central Asia, and lot of the environmental/social issues plaguing those regions. It's also well sourced and footnoted with lots of information. A good investment.

 

H.

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To start thinking about some of those topics and to get "introduced" to some of the issues, I really have to say that:

 

The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century by Robert D. Kaplan is a great read.

 

Although a little dated, written in the mid 90's, it really does give you a good overview of Africa and Central Asia, and lot of the environmental/social issues plaguing those regions. It's also well sourced and footnoted with lots of information. A good investment.

 

H.

 

Excellent recommendation, I just recently finished a re-read of it.

 

For a newer version by the same author "Eastward To Tartary" is a great read. The first part is much more focused on Eastern Europe, but the middle/end move into the Middle East and Caucaucus.

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Hmmm..Thanks for the suggestion. I also have to buy Balkan Ghosts by the same. IF you're looking for a good book on the Middle East, try "Baghdad Without a Map" by Tony Horowitz. It's a bit dated, 1993, but a good overview of that region as told by an AP stringer. Come to think of it, if you liked Adams, you might like Paul Thereoux. H.

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For anyone interested, I attended the topic meeting and was privy to most of the conversations on why particular wordings were chosen and the author's intent behind particular papers. I'm also the author of the water paper.

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Buy one boat for Cuba would be a huge politics link with very little advantage. I don't think increasing trade between any of those countries would be small enough to avoid disad links.

Or you could always run the Elian Gonzalez DA.

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I'm all for the Africa topic I really don't think that it will be any more repetitive than any of the other topics I mean...no matter what people are going to push the resolution to its limits. If anything maybe it will leave room for more creative thinking rather than just using backfiles. And at least then people might get off of their lazy asses and research case instead of being so generic.

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the problem with the globalization topic is that you can't counterplan and acutally solve the aff, or be competitive

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At first pandemics sounds cool, but then you realize it's just going to be the same aids leads to extinction advantages. The trade is the one that appeals to me the most because it sounds like there is alot of interesting aff and neg arguments to be made on the topic. Central Asia is a close runner up simply because we never really talk about that region outside of impact analysis in debate.

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These are all pretty good and i had trouble figuring out which one to vote for. the only problem is these resolutions are "thin"...they lack some wording.

 

International Water Shortages

Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support for water resources management in Africa and/or the Middle East.

defining water resources management will be a bitch

International Trade

Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a foreign policy increasing trade with one or more of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria.

should have a substantially in there

Poverty in Africa

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

should be the same as the finalist for this year's topic or good luck definining public health assistance

Central Asia

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its foreign assistance to one or more of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

once again foreign assistance

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I really like the Central Asia topic. This area is rarely spoken of, and there is little if any "general knowledge" of this part of the world. However, there are so many problems going on in Central Asia that dramatically impact the rest of the world. This is great for debate. Huge impacts that are REAL, not a bunch of links put together to create big impacts. Having the REAL impacts that don't really fit into any "ism" categories would make for specific case debate, something I have rarely seen in the past few years.

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Central Asia would be the best topic ever. I, for one, think domesticly minded topics (civil liberties, national service, mental health care, to some extent oceans) are boring as hell.

 

Central Asia opens debate up to something that it hasn't had in a long time: credible nuclear war scenarios. Not like, your plan costs political capital, jacks india deal, but good specific evidence. Why? Because central asia is on of the most important places in the world and yet recieves very little attention.

 

Now, some of you will freak out at me. "What about africa?" "What about the middle east?"

 

Africa is important only because it has so many problems (a lot of which are the US's fault, but that's kind of true everywhere). On face, you might think that'd set up a great debate but there aren't very many things that could actually solve any of Africa's problems. How do you undo that much imperial meddling or cure AIDS? Africa is a great topic for small, systematic impacts like poverty, but not much else. I see that degenerating into an indignant aff team asking "how can you let people die of AIDS?" while the neg tries to explain that the plan doesn't help enough to make it worth a risk of nuclear war.

 

The Middle East isn't something the US can really fix either. No matter what sort of trade policy we adopt towards Iran, for example, they're still going to hate jews. If the last couple of years have shown us anything, I think its that the impact of a mideast war is really overstated. I mean, shouldn't all of those escalation scenarios have happened by now?

 

Central asia, on the other hand, is hotly contested by major powers in the mideast and by Russia and China. If you get tired of that angle, you can always talk about pipeline developement, the movement of soviet era missile, small arm (or even nuclear arms) through the region. Those debates are the most fun i've ever had. They have giant impacts, decent probability and great timeframes. Even if you want to debate a different sort of impact, there are genocides in that region that our press won't even admit exist, democratic revolutions that are simmering and, given the US's cold war history, I'd bet there is a lot of critical ground concerning our treatment of that region.

 

The only thing that would make this resolution problematic is the inclusion of the term "foreign assistance." That's not as clear as I'd like (can that mean troops? If so, my old georgia aff is coming back...) and probably links you to kritiks. Not that you wouldn't link to them anyway if you had most of the advantages I see being good on that topic.

 

I am convinced that, in the future, the world will pay much more attention to central asia and I hope the topic selection reflects that.

 

Regardless of what is chosen, these are the best topics i've seen in a while. The whole resolution selecting process has redeemed itself in my eyes (albeit a bit late).

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