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2010-2011 Possible Topics

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tim - you said that the committee felt that economic engagement avoided effects arguments, but would affs that conditioned trade policies (favored nation status, prohibiting a specific import, etc) be topical? it seems like they would and that they would prove that the term economic engagement linked to the same effects argument because they would be an "economic carrot" that effectually impacted china's economy.

 

Aaron - I don't really have a good answer to that. I can't speak for the committee, but only what I heard at the meeting. I do think that the definitions of economic engagement were things that could be done unilaterally (positive linkeages, positive sanctions, etc) but there was a portion of the definition - "With the purpose of Interdependence" - that obviously implies something either intended or something reciprocated. The definitions of constructive engagement seemed more quid pro quo - that they would require fiated action by both the US and China, for instance. I'll be honest - this was a part of the distinction that I didn't find too concerning, because I didn't think that it will impact the cases run all that much, and because some members of the committee pointed out that there had been a whole year of college debate on constructive engagement without an Effects problem.

 

I think that the more important distinction was the desired type of change, based on the current relationship with the country. For instance, we are already heavily engaged with China, and the question facing Obama was to whether to use economic carrots or sticks in furthering economic interdependence. Whereas, with Iran and the DPRK, the relevant question was whether to Talk to them or contain and confront them, so Constructive Engagement seemed a much more appropriate tool. Maybe a distinction without a difference, but that is how it appeared.

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Aaron - I don't really have a good answer to that. I can't speak for the committee, but only what I heard at the meeting. I do think that the definitions of economic engagement were things that could be done unilaterally (positive linkeages, positive sanctions, etc) but there was a portion of the definition - "With the purpose of Interdependence" - that obviously implies something either intended or something reciprocated. The definitions of constructive engagement seemed more quid pro quo - that they would require fiated action by both the US and China, for instance. I'll be honest - this was a part of the distinction that I didn't find too concerning, because I didn't think that it will impact the cases run all that much, and because some members of the committee pointed out that there had been a whole year of college debate on constructive engagement without an Effects problem.

 

I think that the more important distinction was the desired type of change, based on the current relationship with the country. For instance, we are already heavily engaged with China, and the question facing Obama was to whether to use economic carrots or sticks in furthering economic interdependence. Whereas, with Iran and the DPRK, the relevant question was whether to Talk to them or contain and confront them, so Constructive Engagement seemed a much more appropriate tool. Maybe a distinction without a difference, but that is how it appeared.

 

thanks tim - i think your earlier post where you used trade status as an example also applies to anyone else who had similar thoughts (or i am alone). so it seems that economic engagement was a way for topical affs to have the usfg be able to do an unconditional action (economic incentives like paying for something regardless of a change in chinese policy) AND the usfg be able to do a conditional action (tim's example of trade status in exchange for currency appreciation). so your point on quid pro quo was just that topical affs didnt HAVE to be quid pro quo, but many will. right?

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so your point on quid pro quo was just that topical affs didnt HAVE to be quid pro quo, but many will. right?

 

well the point is that you can't fiat the "quo" in the quid pro quo equation... so any team who wants to say the USFG will only do X if China does Y will need to have pretty good solvency ev saying that China will in fact do Y. The advantage of using a word like engagement as opposed to cooperation is that you can fiat that the USFG is engaged simply by having the USFG do the X... but in order to have cooperation it seems that you need both parties working together... which again is not possible to fiat.

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well the point is that you can't fiat the "quo" in the quid pro quo equation... so any team who wants to say the USFG will only do X if China does Y will need to have pretty good solvency ev saying that China will in fact do Y. The advantage of using a word like engagement as opposed to cooperation is that you can fiat that the USFG is engaged simply by having the USFG do the X... but in order to have cooperation it seems that you need both parties working together... which again is not possible to fiat.

 

I think it obviously disallows such affs. No one will be able to win a T debate that makes their engagement conditional to another parties actions, it allows tons of 2AC tricks which are devastating to the neg.

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I think it obviously disallows such affs. No one will be able to win a T debate that makes their engagement conditional to another parties actions, it allows tons of 2AC tricks which are devastating to the neg.

 

I think the college Middle East topic proved this untrue. The aff fiating through China's ability to say no would get rid of a substantial amount the negative's ground and result in debates that are entirely inconsistent with the literature.

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I think the college Middle East topic proved this untrue. The aff fiating through China's ability to say no would get rid of a substantial amount the negative's ground and result in debates that are entirely inconsistent with the literature.

 

I'm not sure why this is true if engagement is one-sided. That's the T violation that should be run well on this topic.

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There are very few instances where engagement is solely one-sided, considering that it presumes the object of the engagement's A. Willingness to receive the incentives and B. Undertaking the necessary actions to comply with the terms of the engagement.

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Thank you to lenin's ghost and zeus for pointing out exactly why topics get bad when they get too wordy. This is why we should not shun topics like "USFG should change its foreign policy toward <country x>". It makes it way easier to figure out what is and is not topical, and then we can talk about how China (or country x) will respond, which is obviously (based on the last few posts) the debate that people want to have.

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I think it obviously disallows such affs. No one will be able to win a T debate that makes their engagement conditional to another parties actions, it allows tons of 2AC tricks which are devastating to the neg.

 

so what affs do you think would be topical? it seems that based on what tim and glass have said, conditioned affs would be possible but not required. what definition of economic engagement would exclude the possibility of a condition? the one we've been talking about was about economic statecraft and the example was favored nation status in exchange for something. what would be a good aff under your topic?

 

i still think fiating a us condition does not mean you are fiating a chinese response. that's part of the debate. sure there are 2ac tricks...but that's the whole idea, to give the aff strategic options.

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I was just reading the ballot I got from the federation and I had a thought. Did we forget the word "countries" in the Overseas Deployment wording? As posted on the NFHS website it reads:

 

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey

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The Overseas Deployment topic is great. I would have liked it better with just "Central Asia" instead of the list of countries. Now that would have been a beautifully nebulous rez.

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My vote goes to the latin american topic. Plenty of interesting affs available, not to mention exclusionary PICs etc.

 

If not that the military topic. Terror Talk for the win. Kato for the win.

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I'll echo that; there are a few reasons the Latin America topic is awesome:

 

Trade is a very deep topic - there is a lot of literature that goes both ways. While it is focus, there is also a lot of breadth in the issues it affects - economics, conflict, human rights, environment, and more.

 

Not only that, but its not just a two-sided debate either. There'd be a lot of different ways to go about trade promotion - free vs. fair, bilateral vs. multilateral - there would probably be a lot of soild topic counterplans. The unique position of the United States with regard to Latin America probably will mean that international counterplans, while still present, will be less useful overall (IE, it won't be impossible to find a US key warrant)

 

Also, this is the last time similar resolutions were debated:

Military - 3 years ago

UN - 5 years ago

Russia - 10 years ago

China - 13 years ago

Latin America - 20 years ago

 

Military, China, and Russia are researched tons, even on domestic topics. Latin America is usually a very small focus, and there is a wealth of new literature which could be researched on it.

 

Latin America is also very timely - recent very large increases in debt, changes in drug policy, and the coup in Honduras all make it an especially pertinent issue.

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I'll echo that; there are a few reasons the Latin America topic is awesome:

 

Trade is a very deep topic - there is a lot of literature that goes both ways. While it is focus, there is also a lot of breadth in the issues it affects - economics, conflict, human rights, environment, and more.

 

Not only that, but its not just a two-sided debate either. There'd be a lot of different ways to go about trade promotion - free vs. fair, bilateral vs. multilateral - there would probably be a lot of soild topic counterplans. The unique position of the United States with regard to Latin America probably will mean that international counterplans, while still present, will be less useful overall (IE, it won't be impossible to find a US key warrant)

 

Also, this is the last time similar resolutions were debated:

Military - 3 years ago

UN - 5 years ago

Russia - 10 years ago

China - 13 years ago

Latin America - 20 years ago

 

Military, China, and Russia are researched tons, even on domestic topics. Latin America is usually a very small focus, and there is a wealth of new literature which could be researched on it.

 

Latin America is also very timely - recent very large increases in debt, changes in drug policy, and the coup in Honduras all make it an especially pertinent issue.

 

I guess my question would be, do you think Latin America will be debated or trade will? Sure, there will be some of both but I would bet it would be more trade than anything else. And trade is always debated too - probably more than Russia or China.

 

I haven't read the topic paper (because the links discussed in an earlier thread take you to planet debate where the individual topic paper links are broken) but it seems like the phrase "Latin America" is left over from the 20 years since it has been debated. If you thought the Sub Saharan Africa K was annoying...

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I guess my question would be, do you think Latin America will be debated or trade will? Sure, there will be some of both but I would bet it would be more trade than anything else. And trade is always debated too - probably more than Russia or China.

 

I actually feel like the balance will be pretty even - some teams will probably go heavy in on the trade stuff, trying to outcard/outresearch the other side, some teams will prolly have trade as an option but not focus on it, and probably the largest group will prefer to focus on Latin America specifics. I see it kind of like the warming debate last year, except to a greater degree. A very viable core of the topic people can engage in, which most Affs probably affect - but the choice about whether to make it an advantage or nullify the link in some way would be open.

 

As to trade being debated on previous topics - maybe, to a certain degree. But besides the wto da/wto cp, it wasn't very prevalent last year, and that's in contrast to a lot of china and russia DAs. Regardless, Latin America has seen very little light recently, except for a few things here and there.

 

I haven't read the topic paper (because the links discussed in an earlier thread take you to planet debate where the individual topic paper links are broken) but it seems like the phrase "Latin America" is left over from the 20 years since it has been debated. If you thought the Sub Saharan Africa K was annoying...

 

I feel like deciding an entire topic based on word pics is a little silly - they are inevitable; arguably, having one that is more central to the topic not only increases their predictability but also the probability that it is actually a relevant question in the literature. At any rate, it can't be worse than with poverty this year - the ability to target a specific country as well as many other ways to get around using the phrase in the plan means its probably not a big worry.

 

Additionally - after about 5 minutes of google searching, it feels like this question specifically is less one-sided in the literature than topic word-pics have been in the past. The origin of the term "Latin America" (and this was just a brief search, I could have skimmed too quickly/read the article incorrectly) was actually a step away from problematic terminology for the region in the past (the question of how much of a step, I'm not sure) - in a sense, the word pic of centuries ago. :P

Edited by THodgman
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My vote is Latin America:

wide affirmative ground, but not too broad.

allows good agent counterplans. China and Russia CPs/DAs should be big. Both do have strong influence in the region.

 

also, i would enjoy running the Brazil ethanol aff again.

Edited by chris the hobo

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FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

 

i hate that aff

 

Oh, I see what you did thar. you wrote "I hate that aff" in white so i couldnt see it.

 

i enjoyed running that aff. It would also probably be considered more topical for the latin america topic, to those who never ran it last year. i personally think it was completely topical.

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The topic should be number 4. The others are too vague or broad. Policy towards China is virtually limitless and defining substantial "change" is absurd for Russia. The UN may be a bit of an odd topic but tolerable. Latin America would be choice number 2, However, number 4 (reduce military in x places) is an excellent choice. Even though I'm not debating next year...I would love to see that topic.

Edited by TheTruffulaTree
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