Assignment 25369

This issue of id21 insights explores different dimensions of state fragility, sources of political legitimacy and strategic considerations for the donor community. In doing so, it seeks to determine how interventions in fragile states can contribute effectively to securing peace and development.

The purpose of this assignment is to make a plan for your research. The final proposal should be about 10-12 pages. TOPIC: Start with a general topic that interests you. Make sure that it is related to the topic of our course — imagine future students reading your paper in week four or six because it illuminates one of the main themes of the course. Try to relate the topic to one of the course objectives. REFINING YOUR TOPIC: Read about your topic for no more than an hour from a national newspaper — the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal — or a reputable website —,, RESEARCH QUESTION: During that hour, something probably sparked your interest; turn it into a question. State this in the form of a single, clearly worded open-ended question that is not able to be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. For example, “What is the future of terrorism?” HYPOTHESIS: This should be your initial best guess at what you think the answer to your question will be. After some preliminary reading, you should have some idea of what you think is the answer. In this example, the answer might be: “Because of the success of current counterterror methods, terrorist groups will need to choose more clandestine organizational models, such as leaderless resistance.” Form it into an equation, so that you have multiple parts which you can measure (albeit qualitatively). counter terror methods’ success = more clandestine organizational models. And you’ll need to define all of these variables/terms. For example, how do you define success? Is it the elimination of the terror group? What is a more clandestine organizational model? These will be found in literature reviews on terror organizations. METHODOLOGY: Again, building on your preliminary research, you will have some idea as to how you will be able to answer the question. Some possibilities include: comparison, counting, natural experiments, case study, model building, or theory testing. Check out this summary of interesting methodology ideas: LITERATURE REVIEW: Using the library’s EBSCO search, JSTOR, Proquest, CIAO database, find articles that help you define your terms and set up an understanding of what your variables are and how they will help you answer your question. Organize the information that you derive around the parts of the hypothesis — the variables. In our example, you’ll need to describe various counter terror methods, then explain your definition of success, then describe a variety of clandestine organizational models. Each of these elements should have a paragraph or two in the literature review. For the proposal, you don’t have to have this completely finished, but you will need to have a very good start on it with at least 6-8 sources. For the final research paper, it will need to be complete. I’ve added an example of a short lit review below. btw, I’ve attached here a link to a great video on how to write a literature review from David Taylor (U of Md). Scroll down for the first and second parts.