For college students who are a world governments or international relations major, there are many interesting research paper topics to choose from. Consider writing about international policies, elections, laws and economics.
For a start, here are term paper ideas covering the Australian government, German government and Hong Kong government.
International government: Australia’s rule on asylum seekers
One topic for a term paper is to discuss the Australian government’s controversial treatment of asylum seekers. In 2013, under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Australia passed a resolution diverting asylum seekers, mostly from Indonesia, arriving on Australian shores by boat to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The reason was to prevent death and injury at sea as a result of the people-smuggling trade. The diversion may cause some unintended problems: the influx of thousands of people onto the small island which already has 7 million people, the change in culture due to the new immigrants, and the building of a new processing center that can handle 3,000 people.
Another problem is the reported torture and abuse of new arrivals to Manus Island. A 2015 United Nations Human Rights Council report found that authorities failed to provide adequate detention conditions at centers on Manus. Children were being detained and violence has escalated. According to the report, these conditions mean that Australia has violated the right of asylum seekers to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Current Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recently criticized the report, saying “I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea,” reported in “Abbott: Australia ‘sick of being lectured’ on migration,” posted March 9, 2015, on BBC.com.
German government creates Facebook page
In a lighthearted term paper project, consider writing about how various international governments engage in social media and the Internet. For example, the German government seems to have just discovered the Internet. After Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked in the summer of 2014 that “The Internet is a new territory for all of us,” the German government has received teasing that it is woefully behind the times and is slow to adapt. Many say it’s time for the State Minister for Cultural and Media Affairs to create an Internet Unit.
Meanwhile, the government has officially (finally!) created its own Facebook page. Public relations spin doctors keep the site updated with statements, punchy graphics, photos and short video clips, according to David Crossland in “On Facebook, German government employs a dose of humor,” posted March 10, 2014, online at Deutsche Welle. “The government’s new Facebook presence delivers a perfect presentation of the work of the coalition,” Spiegel Online commented last week. “The chancellor is rendered Internet-compatible and trolls are disarmed with humor.” For example, when a troll on the site commented: “You get on my nerves,” the Bundesregierung (German government press office) responded: “Thank you for the delicate remark. Have a charming afternoon.”
Hong Kong struggles for democracy
International governments and their elections is a good research paper topic. After its turnover to communist China in 1997, Hong Kong is still struggling to retain the democracy promised to it by China’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy that China will not violate Hong Kong’s autonomy and would allow Hong Kong universal suffrage in elections. However Beijing has announced that it will vet and pre-approve candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the highest elected position. In response, in September 2014, protesters demanded the right to democratically elect their own chief executive.
In “Hong Kong Demands Democracy: An Interview with Michael Davis,” posted in Journal of International Affairs, fall-winter 2014, law professor Michael Davis at the University of Hong Kong explained that the protesters are demanding that Beijing should withdraw its August 31, 2014, National People’s Congress Standing Committee decision. “The decision effectively provides that the required nominating committee be made up most of pro-Beijing members. It is widely feared that this committee will vet the candidates and essentially eliminate the pan-democrats from the election,” said Davis.
For more information on international governments, visit Questia’s Governments Outside the US library.
What are some other international government policies that would make good term paper topics?