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HW

HW

 

Crisis in Venezuela

In the past few years, Venezuela has sunk into a deep political and economic crisis. President Nicolás Maduro has effectively ended democratic government while hyperinflation and severe shortages in basic goods is causing tens of thousands of Venezuelans to seek refuge in neighboring Brazil and Colombia. At the same time, the mounting government debt is creating increased dependence on Russia and China, while leading members of the Maduro government are entangled in the international drugs trade. Write a memo to the US president proposing what, if any, action the United States should take with regard to the crisis in Venezuela.

Format

Memos should be 1000-1200 words, not including a bibliography. In Canvas, your text submission will show you how many words your memo has and if you type your memo beforehand in Word or Google Docs, a word count is also available. Memos over 1200 words will not be graded. This means you need to be extremely succinct and should not waste space on “throat clearing” or regurgitating background information that is irrelevant to your proposal. Regarding citations, you should use in-text citations -for example (Hayes 2018)- and a bibliography at the end.

The format for the memo is Summary, Background, Analysis, Recommendation.

Summary– This section should be a one-paragraph summary that includes the policy problem, a brief review of your analysis, and a clear recommendation.

Background– This section should consist of a concise review of the policy problem at hand. If you are directing your memo to a specific individual, address your country’s policy responses in recent years and why the issue affects the national interest of your country. If your memo is directed at the UN or another IGO, it should review the UN/IGO’s policy responses in recent years as well as describe why the issue is salient to the UN/IGO’s stated goals. “Concise” means not discussing decades of history- just include important events and get to the current state of play.

Analysis– this section should present a minimum of three different policy options for how the issue can be dealt with.

  • For each option, explain what would have to happen to execute the option.
  • Include your opinions on why a particular option is good or bad and the reasoning behind your opinion.
  • You might consider whether the option will receive allied and multilateral support, and/or domestic political support. Be clear on whether this would or would not matter.
  • When applying concepts from class and the readings, make sure to explicitly identify which concepts you are applying and, where relevant, cite them (from a particular reading, for instance.)

Recommendation– this section should sum up your analysis. Remember, you are being asked to choose the best option from a constrained menu.

  • You can recommend combinations of different policy tools, but remember you have limited space.
  • Clearly state why you have selected the policy option you have.
  • You should address and rebut potential counterarguments to the option you recommend (either here or in the analysis section.)

Grading Criteria

  • The memo is properly formatted with each section clearly identified
  • It is clear who the memo is being directed to
  • Class readings are incorporated and bolded so they are easily identified
  • Course content from the unit chapters is included, bolded, and applied so they are easily identified
  • A minimum of three policy options are included in the analysis section
  • Policy options are appropriate for the reader of the memo (US President etc.)
  • A minimum of five outside sources are used
  • Proper formatting of in-text citations and bibliography
  • The memo is proofread for grammatical and spelling errors