PSCI 3607 Take home Exam

Instructions:  Complete the following take home exam by June 25, 2020.  Upload the exam to the dropbox on culearn, when completed.  Each answer should be about 750 words and follow normal essay formatting guidelines, except for Question 1 (which follows different formatting guidelines).  A take home exam is a mix of an exam and an essay.  As an exam, questions require you to demonstrate knowledge of class material and utilize some of the readings and slides from the course.   As an essay, you may need to do some outside research and, as always, ensure that you are effectively communicating your analysis or argument.  The grading rubric will emphasize the (a) quality/use/understanding of sources, and (b) the effectiveness of the analysis/argument.  A more detailed rubric will also be made available on Culearn.

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Answer any two of the following questions.

  1. You are a defence policy expert who has been invited by the Minister of National Defence to participate in a consultation as part of Canada’s 2021 Defence Review. You have been asked to comment on Canada’s current security and defence policy in the context of upcoming future challenges and trends.


Task:  Focus on any the following issues:  Iranian geopolitics; Russian geopolitics; terrorism; NORAD; Afghanistan; NATO; Missile defence; space; or cyber security.   Prepare a written submission to the consultation that (a) outlines how you see the problem/issue; (b) evaluates Canada’s current defence and/or security policies; and (c) recommends a policy response (these can be broad changes). In describing the issue, as well as Canada’s defence policy, please cite scholarly and government sources as appropriate.   Style:  correspondence style (i.e. as if you are replying to a letter). See here for some real world examples.


  1. Regardless of your view on the matter, write a paper that makes the best case possible for Canada’s participation in the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. In doing so, make sure you consider and refute potential counterarguments.   Draw upon scholarly and government sources as needed and appropriate, including those from the syllabus.


  1. What factors have shaped why the United States spend so much on National Defence? Answer, and explain your answer, with reference to relevant course material, and/or outside material, as appropriate.


  1. Posen (2014) says, “Over the twenty-plus years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the foreign policy establishment has gradually converged on an activist grand strategy for the United States.” Read the 2002, 2012, and 2017 National Security Strategies.  Using direct references to these texts, write an essay that assess whether Posen’s analysis correct.  In your own view, as informed by scholarly materials from the syllabus, has the U.S. been well-served by adopting such a policy?  Answer this question in essay-style format.





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