Any topic (writer’s choice)
Research Paper: Update the AbuLughod book New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, by researching and writing on an urban policy issue from 2000 to now. Research, present evidence, and discuss an URBAN policy issue of your choice. Answer the following question in your paper: How does a set of urban political theory elements explain a particular policy in New York City since 2000?
The paper has two components. First, describe the policy and the relevant political landscape. Tell me what the policy does and discuss the costs and benefits. Present the political actors by telling me who important players in the policy are and what they want (or dont want). Show how your selected policy fits into the larger policy environment. Is this a central or peripheral issue and how does it fit with other policies of the same time and from the recent past? Explain
what happened, who did what, the numbers, etc. The second component is to do a political analysis and discussion. Explain how the policy came about because of the politics of the city. How does it relate to the built environment, the diversity, the politics and the interests of the city? The first component is presenting facts. The second component is making an argument about those facts. Consider discussing one or all of the following as a way of approaching the political analysis: why is the policy important? According to who? What will be the long-term consequences? Who wants or doesnt want that?
Writing: You may find it useful to split the paper in two: 4-6 pages for the facts component and 3-4 pages for the analysis component. Or you might blend the two and do analysis alongside presentation of facts. Work on making your paper flow and connect everything should be working to support or link to your thesis argument about what explains the policy. Strong topic sentences give structure to paragraphs. Transition sentences show how the next paragraph/topic fits into the prior and into the paper as a whole. Dividing your paper into sections, with section headings (I.E. Intro, Biking Policies, Political Proponents, Political Opponents, Future Impacts, Analysis and Discussion, Conclusion, etc) give the reader signposts for navigating your paper and argument. Do not leave major arguments hanging or your most insightful sentence to the last line; introduce them in the beginning and refer back to them.
Resources: Use news reports (print and video), web sites, and academic sources to retell the event and explain its causes and/or significance. Use at least 5 resources (in addition to class texts). News reports and official governmental web sites and documents are good sources of facts. Political position papers, speeches, campaign documents, editorials and even blogs are good sources for arguments. Academic papers and policy papers are good sources of facts and arguments but you will have to separate the two in your own mind before presenting them. Feel free to raise your topic
or reference some of your research/reading in class discussions.