Tutor profile: Grant T.
Subject: Political Science
What is the "trolley problem", and how does it apply to political science?
The" trolley problem" may take various forms, but in essence, it asks whether or not you should pull a lever which would cause an unstoppable train to run over and kill one person instead of running over and killing several people. It forces you to grapple with the morality and ethics of your form of involvement (intervention or non-intervention), their respective consequences, and your culpability. It is a simple introduction to such issues, which may lead to more nuanced discussions once its principle points are grasped. In political science, this problem can be used to teach the dilemmas policy makers and people on the ground face when it comes to issues as seemingly benign as budgets or more obviously violent and controversial topics like wars, torture, and assassinations.
Subject: International Studies
What is the "New Silk Road"?
The "New Silk Road" or the "One Belt One Road" initiative is an international program being undertaken by China. Based on the silk road of the ancient world, which facilitated trade spanning Asia, Europe, and Africa, China is investing vast amounts of money and political capital on infrastructure, international partnerships, and more to expand their capacity for land and sea based trade across those three continents once again.
Subject: International Relations
Are protectionist policies, like tariffs, generally beneficial?
Protectionist policies, like tariffs, are generally not beneficial. They are effectively a tax, raising costs for consumers. Additionally, they hamper innovation, reduce efficiency, and tend to favor certain industries or companies at the expense of everyone else. There are at least two, similar, arguments for when tariffs can be potentially beneficial, though still costly. The first is that when a company or industry is needed for national security purposes, but is not economically competitive on its own, it merits such protection. The second argument is the so called "infant industry" argument. This argument holds that when a nation believes a technology or industry is in its best interest to develop internally, but it might not develop without help or will take too long for it to become economically competitive on its own, the government will assist it via protectionist policies.
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