Policy Paper Guidelines
What is a Policy Paper?
The issue addressed should be a legitimate contemporary policy issue within which the current policy is clearly discernible. There should be clear alternatives to the current policy. There must be sufficient data present to provide the target audience (i.e. the decision-maker) with information to make a decision on the policy proposal.
Examples of Policy Issues
The following are some examples of general policy issues that can be explored in a policy paper. Students are in no way limited to or restricted by the following examples.
Economics: Initiation of trade agreements; support for or opposition to protectionist legislation; restrictions on or relaxation of technical transfer restrictions; relaxation or tightening of immigration or customs laws in a particular country or region. Legal Issues: Adherence to or rejection of new facets of international law, space law, maritime law, intellectual property rights, etc.; jurisdictions of international courts; implications for acceptance of or rejection of a proposed treaty or agreement. Political Issues: Matters pertaining to recognition (e.g., after a coup or revolution); participation in international conferences; a newly elected leader’s policy issues; initiation of a new policy involving human rights, environmental standards, etc. Security Issues: New arms transfer control initiatives; security assistance changes or new recipient candidates; renegotiations or an initial negotiation of case rights agreements.
What is Not a Policy Paper?
An historical analysis is never an appropriate topic for a policy paper. A policy paper must focus on a current policy issue. For example, an analysis of what George W. Bush should or should not have done in 2001 would work well as a research paper, but it would not be acceptable as a policy paper. Comparative or case studies normally fit better as research papers than policy...
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