Midterm Take-Home Examination PSCI 24733: Global Disaster Politics
Answer ONE essay from EACH GROUP (for a total of two). Each essay should be 3-4 pages, typed, double-spaced, and rigorously apply a standard academic source citation style. Be sure to address all aspects of the questions, to relate your answers carefully to course material and any other supporting evidence. You should submit this as a single Word document, and you can used a combined Bibliography or Works Cited at the end of the two essays. Please note: Your answers should not overlap significantly with previous written work for the class (e.g., past Response Papers). These midterm essays are due in the Moodle submission portal by Wednesday, March 17, by 12:00 noon (Wooster time).
Group I: Answer ONE of the following questions (worth 50 points): 1. What is a disaster, and how should governments respond to them? Develop a detailed essay that first
defines disasters and draws strong connections to course readings and theories. Next, critically analyze the political and moral implications to respond to disasters that flow from such a definition. For the last third of your essay, apply these arguments to analyze developments in the Iceland-Z crisis simulation.
2. What does the theory of bureaucratic politics tell us about disaster response? What are the implications of
Schneider’s arguments about bureaucratic and emergent norms in this context? For the last third of your essay, apply Schneider’s framework to analyze developments in the Iceland-Z crisis simulation.
3. Critically analyze all dimensions of the following claim: “Democracies provide the most effective
responses to disasters.” Develop a detailed essay incorporates arguments from Tilly, Hannigan, Fenner, Kleinfeld, and others to speak to this question. Finally, relate these arguments to our experiences in the Iceland-Z crisis simulation.
4. Which is more essential to effective disaster response—leadership or public trust—and why? Develop an
essay in which you champion one of these dimensions over the other based on your studies of comparative public policy, and draw in detailed examples and arguments from course material. How did these perspectives inform your experiences in the Iceland-Z crisis simulation?
Group II: Answer ONE of the following questions (50 points): 5. Develop an essay that compares and contrasts the following two comparative public policy theories:
Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and the Advocacy Coalition Framework theory. What are the primary arguments or assumptions of these theories? Who are the most important actors that they study? How are they similar or different? Finally, describe how one of these theories works to provide sound analysis in a mini-case study.
6. Which is a more serious disaster: COVID-19 or climate change—and why? Develop a carefully constructed comparative public policy analysis of this question by drawing on arguments from Dodds, Hannigan, Harrison, and other readings.