policy analysis (already assigned)

Assignment 1:Argument Mapping

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you: (Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 1 for criteria 1-3.)

1.    Create an argument map based on the influence diagram presented in Case 1.3 and complete all the criteria provided in the exercise, beginning with this claim: “The U.S. should return to the 55- mph speed limit in order to conserve fuel and save lives.”  

2.    Include in the map as many warrants, backings, objections, and rebuttals as possible.

3.    Assume that the original qualifier was certainly; indicate whether the qualifier changes as we move from a simple, static, uncontested argument to a complex, dynamic and contested argument.

(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criterion 4.)

4.    Apply the argument mapping procedures presented in Chapter 8 to analyze the pros and cons (or strengths and weaknesses) of the recommendations that the United States should not intervene in the Balkans.

(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 4 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criteria 5-7.)

Demonstration exercise 3 chapter 1

Create an argument map based on the influence diagram presented in Case 1.3. Begin with the following claim: “The United States should return to the 55 mph speed limit in order to conserve fuel and save lives.” Include in your map as many warrants, backings, objections, and rebuttals as you can. Assuming that the original qualifier was certainly, indicate whether the qualifier changes as we move from a simple, static, uncontested argument to a complex, dynamic, and contested argument

Influence diagram presented in case 1.3


 Along with other policy-analytic methods discussed earlier in this chapter (Figure 1.1), the influence diagram and decision tree are useful tools for structuring policy problems.52 The influence diagram (Figure C1.3) displays the policy, the National Maximum Speed Limit, as a rectangle. A rectangle always refers to a policy choice or decision node, which in this case is the choice between adopting and not adopting the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph. To the right and above the decision node are uncertain events, represented as ovals, which are connected to the decision node with arrows showing how the speed limit affects or is affected by them. The rectangles with shaved corners represent valued policy outcomes or objectives. The objectives are to lower fuel consumption, reduce travel time, reduce injuries, and avert traffic fatalities. To the right of the objectives is another shaved rectangle, which designates the net benefits (benefits less costs) of the four objectives. The surprising result of using the influence diagram for problem structuring is the discovery of causally relevant economic events, such as the recession and unemployment, which affect miles driven, which in turn affect all four objectives. The “root cause” appears to be the OPEC oil embargo.

Demonstration exercise 3 chapter 8

Read Case 8.1 (Pros and Cons of Balkan Intervention), which is drawn from an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Use the argument-mapping procedures presented in this chapter to analyze the pros and cons (or strengths and weaknesses) of the recommendation that the United States should not intervene in the Balkans. In doing this exercise, either display the elements of argument with Microsoft Draw or use Rationale, the special computer program for mapping the structure of policy arguments

Case 8.1


“Must the agony of Bosnia-Herzegovina be regarded, with whatever regrets, as somebody else’s trouble? We don’t think so, but the arguments on behalf of that view deserve an answer. Among them are the following:

■ The Balkan conflict is a civil war and unlikely to spread beyond the borders of the former Yugoslavia. Wrong. Belgrade has missiles trained on Vienna. Tito’s Yugoslavia claimed, by way of Macedonia, that northern Greece as far south as Thessaloniki belonged under its sovereignty. Those claims may return. “Civil” war pitting non-Slavic Albanians against Serbs could spread to Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece.

■ The United States has no strategic interest in the Balkans. Wrong. No peace, no peace dividend. Unless the West can impose the view that ethnic puriy can no longer be the basis for national sovereignty, then endless national wars will replace the Cold War. This threat has appeared in genocidal form in Bosnia. If it cannot be contained here, it will erupt elsewhere, and the Clinton administration’s domestic agenda will be an early casualty.

■ If the West intervenes on behalf of the Bosnians, the Russians will do so on behalf of the Serbs, and the Cold War will be reborn. Wrong. The Russians have more to fear from “ethnic cleansing” than any people on Earth. Nothing would reassure them better than a new, post-Cold War Western policy of massive, early response against the persecution of national minorities, including the Russian minorities found in every post-Soviet republic. The Russian right may favor the Serbs, but Russian self-interest lies elsewhere.

■ The Serbs also have their grievances. Wrong. They do, but their way of responding to these grievances, according to the State Department’s annual human rights report, issued this past week, “dwarfs anything seen in Europe since Nazi times.” Via the Genocide Convention, armed intervention is legal as well as justified.

■ The UN peace plan is the only alternative. Wrong. Incredibly, the plan proposes the reorganization of Bosnia-Herzegovina followed by a cease-fire. A better first step would be a UN declaration that any nation or ethnic group proceeding to statehood on the principle of ethnic puriy is an outlaw state and will be treated as such. As now drafted, the UN peace plan, with a map of provinces that not one party to the conflict accepts, is really a plan for continued ‘ethnic cleansing.’” ■

Argument mapping procedures

Mapping a Policy Argument

Policy arguments have seven elements: information, claim, qualifier, warrant, backing, objection, and rebuttal. The following guidelines are useful in identifying and arranging these elements:

1. If possible, identify arguments by performing a stakeholder analysis (see Chapter 3). Stakeholders are the main source of policy arguments.

2. Start by locating the claim, which is the endpoint or output of the argument. A claim is always more general than the information on which it is based. Claims involve an “inferential leap” beyond information.

3. Look for language that indicates the degree of credibility the arguer attaches to the claim—this is the qualifier.

4. Look for the information that supports the claim. The information answers two questions: What does the arguer have to go on? Is it relevant to the case at hand?

5. Look for the warrant, which in conjunction with the information supports the claim. The warrant answers the question: Why is the arguer justified in making the claim on the basis of the information?

6. Repeat the same procedure with the backing. If there is a question whether a statement is a backing or a warrant, look for the one that is more general. This is the backing.

7. Remember that a warrant or backing may be implicit and unstated—do not expect arguments to be entirely transparent.

8. Look to the arguments of other stakeholders to find objections and rebuttals. If possible, obtain objections and rebuttals from someone who actually believes them.

9. Remember that elements may contain rules, principles, or entire arguments.

10. An uncontested argument is static; argumentation, which involves at least two parties, is dynamic and usually contested.

11. The initial qualifier usually changes when objections and rebuttals are advanced to challenge the claim.

12. Most qualifiers become weaker, although some stay the same. Some can grow stronger (a fortiori) by withstanding challenges.

13. Argumentation produces “trees” and “chains” involving dynamic processes of argumentation that change over time

Exercise 4

Write a one-page analysis in which you assess the overall plausibility of the claim “The conflict in Bosnia is somebody else’s trouble. The United States should not intervene militarily.” Prepare an argument map and hand it in with your one-page analysis.

FIGURE C1.3Influence diagram and decision tree The decision tree is another representation of the influence diagram. Whereas the influence diagram shows how policy choices and uncertain events affect the achievement of objectives, the decision tree displays the monetary value of these objectives. In this abridged and simplified decision tree, there are two branches that represent the alternatives but also the OPEC oil embargo, the recession, the costs of miles traveled, and the dollar benefits of reducing fatalities. The bolded branches show the events with the greatest likelihood of occurring or that already have occurred. ■


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