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Having just finished directing PHC’s debate camp, I had the privilege of seeing how people would treat cases and the negative side. Partially because of recommendation to do so, and partially from necessity, more than 50% of the debate rounds (including finals, semis, and most of quarters) had counterplans run by the negative team. I like this b/c people are thinking advocacy from the negative position, whether that be counterplan or advantages of the status quo.

Another thing we’re realizing, as we come to better understand the resolution and topic area, is what might be worth knowing in the coming year. Parents, as you plan your curriculum for the upcoming year I think there are a few key areas you can focus on to help your student understand the government and foreign policy. Because planning curriculum around debate can provide incentive for the learning of the material, we have a few suggested topic areas:

1. Globalization. Start with Freedman’s The World is Flat (which has whole sections on India, btw) and a subscription or travel to the library for the Economist. Tim Edelblut may have some more suggestions for you here. Our foreign policy has to take into account the international community, international trends, the multilateral state of affairs, and how policy towards India is tied up in policy towards all of Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and international norms and agreements.

2. Executive Authority. I’d suggest Farris’s Constitutional Law, some executive court cases like U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright and Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer, and some theory books on the powers of the Executive. My top pick is by Milkis and Nelson, The American Presidency: Origins and Development.

3. International Relations. You need to have a basic grasp of foreign policy terms and ideas to get yourself going. Legitimacy, realism, idealism, international institutions and norms, sanctions, G8 and multilateral forums, and international laws are all important issues this year. Hastedt is okay, but I don’t have any great suggestions here. We’ve got an article being written for Ethos on these subjects, though, to get you started.

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