24 February 2010

Up to Here (hand at neck)

I WON'T SPEND much time talking about it (mainly because nobody cares) but I'm getting ready to finish the first trimester of my graduate program and I am starting to feel the -- shall we say -- heat. 4 major papers are due in about three weeks. I've made progress on all of them and one is basically finished, but I have to admit that sitting down to write a research paper is something I haven't done in about 15 years.

Brief look at topics I'm researching and writing about.

International Law: examining the International Court of Justice case Iran v. United States -- a case that goes back to the Iran-Iraq war and a military conflict between Iran and the US in the Persian Gulf. The main issue has to do with a breach of a previous treaty between the two countries (going back to 1955) and the issue of 'appropriate defensive retaliation.'

Religion and International Relations: writing a paper on the current government in Turkey. As an officially secular country, but currently ruled by a pro-Islamic political party, Turkey has some interesting issues it is facing. My paper is focusing on the impact the current political party will have on Turkey's international relations with the other Middle Eastern countries.

The Rise of China: we have been asked to pick an issue and compare China's policy on that issue with another country of our choice. I've chosen to compare Chinese and American policy toward Iran's nuclear program. Very interesting. Just wish I had more time to really research the topic.

The Challenge of Democracy: back to Turkey. In an effort to sort of 'kill two birds with one stone' I'm going to look at Turkey domestic political situation and ask whether it is fair to refer to Turkey as a 'moderate Islamic democracy.' Can such a thing exist? If so, what impact will/should Turkey have on other Arab/Islamic countries in the region.

Those are my four classes. Those are my four papers. If anyone has written a paper on one of these topics -- SEND IT and if it's good I'll submit it as my own!!


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