International Security

International Security

Order Description

Please carefully follow the instructions. The deliverables are a PowerPoint presentation of between 6 to 12 slides, an 800-word transcript and a research report which describes the main sources, databases and search terms used.

The assessment task requires you to

Conduct an on-line literature search to attempt to answer set questions about a specific conflict, collect and collate data and evaluate your sources.
Reflect critically on the process of collection, the quality of the data you have gathered and its suitability for purpose.
Prepare a back-brief that; reports your search, discusses the ‘tactical and strategic logic’ you applied to efficiently find optimum sources and gives the conclusions of your self-reflection.
The task envisages a forthcoming research project using on-line searching and open sources to investigate the literature and assess the impact of robust state action (defined below) in the early stages of an insurgency. The plan is to examine the early stages of each conflict for examples of robust action, (the independent variable) and identify certain associated political changes (the dependent variables). [Both the data and coding sheet are provided, and you should examine these to better understand the proposed project and context of the assessment task. However, although you should use these to guide your work, data coding is NOT part of the assessment – but data collection is!]

The project has been designed and is at the pre-pilot stage where you and your colleagues are to determine;

‘Can the available on-line literature provide a trustworthy answer about the effects of robust state actions during insurgency?’

To answer this question you are to conduct an online search as if you are a researcher and then back-brief your team and supervisor to report what and how you have discovered in the literature and whether you believe it would allow you to code the variables of interest.

You are to systematically search for documents on the conflict in question and in them look for instances of four types of robust state actions: shooting of demonstrators, forced relocations, executions and mass killings. Where you find instances you are to consider the first case of each and look for six possible types of associated political response by asking, was there;

Any immediate change in the level of popular protest?
Any immediate change in the level of violence?
Any immediate change in the level of support by external actors?
Any immediate change in the level of protest by neutral actors?
Any immediate change in the level of protest by the counterinsurgents constituency?
Any immediate political critique?

When you have conducted an extensive and thorough search over using at least 20 different search engines or databases and recorded your work and search logic you should use the record sheet and (at least) the best 10-15 documents or references to prepare your back-brief PPT and transcript.

The assessed deliverables are

A data collection log sheet in MS Word which records your searches, databases, search terms and indicative and relevant results. It is also supporting evidence for the search logic you will report in your presentation. There is no set format or word limit, and you may devise your own sheet or use the example is provided, but in total it must not be more than ten pages of 10 point text.
(the sheet is attached)
A presentation answering the question; ‘Can the available on-line literature provide a trustworthy answer about the effects of robust state actions during insurgency X?’ consisting of;
A PowerPoint presentation of between 6 and 12 slides
An 800-word transcript for oral delivery (There is no requirement to actually deliver the presentation).

The presentation/transcript should provide

An overview of the insurgency for context (this is the only introduction required)
A brief description of the first case of each category of state robust action that you identified and any of the political responses associated with this.
A discussion of the possible consequences of robust events in the early stages of the insurgency as indicated in the literature.
An account of your literature search, explaining the ‘tactical and strategic logic’ you used.
A discussion of trustworthiness in research and a critical reflection on the trustworthiness of the data you have gathered, the implications for the project and the suitability of the project design for purpose.
Concluding observations

‘The research must contain’

Comprehensively explain a range of contemporary and dynamic issues that can impact on security in Australia, the region and the globe
Critically evaluate the role of policing, intelligence and counter-terrorism studies in contributing to a secure environment
Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate its significance and relevance, synthesise material and present findings logically and rationally
Demonstrate higher order communication skills including the ability to present sustained, persuasive & original written arguments cogently & coherently

Hint: The task is asking you first to systematically conduct an intelligent online search for data and you are being assessed for the logic and thoroughness of your search rather than the quantity of what you find. You need to briefly note down the kind of results from each search ‘line of enquiry’ as well as the potentially useful documents you identify. You are then being asked to analyse your conflict to provide an overview and discuss whether robust events appear to have had an immediate impact on a particular insurgency on the basis of the available literature. If you have lots of good data then you should draw from the best of it, if you have little you should use it all. The crucial part of this task is your critical reflection on the research process. You are being asked to consider what is trustworthiness in this kind of research? Is your data trustworthy? What would be better data be like? What would a better project design be like? Finally you should conclude by observing whether robust action in your particular case has relevance today and, most importantly, why?

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