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THE ABSTRACT

The Abstract, 250-400 words, single spaced, which outlines in summary form your overall plan for establishing and addressing a Research Question, should follow the template below:

  • A Set-up for your Research Question, a brief lay-of the land narrative that provides a broad description of the problem at hand. This general comment shows what brings you to the issue, often by way of setting down the current scholarly debate, or by describing a scene from a film, book, or news event.
  • The Problem as you see it, which hints at the Research Question itself. This brief narrative frames the issue at hand so that you can then ask a specific question for your research.
  • The Research Question which can take the form of a stated problem (“In this essay I want to interrogate the ways ideology informs our identity-constructs”), or an actual question (“In what ways does ideology determine our identity?) This is the single most important component of your writing.
  • The Research Method and a glimpse of your Researched Argument. This optional narrative shows how you plan to address the question through research, and how your argument will emerge from your findings.

“The themes of citizenship and community are being discussed in many quarters of the left today. This is no doubt a consequence of the crisis of class politics and indicates the growing awareness of the need for a new form of identification around which to organize the forces struggling for a radicalization of democracy.”

“I believe that the question of political identity is crucial and that the attempt to construct citizens’ identities is one of the more important tasks of democratic politics. But there are many different versions of citizenship and vital issues are at stake in their contest. The way we define citizenship is intimately linked to the kind of society and political community we want.”

“How should we understand citizenship when our goal is both a radical and plural democracy? Such a project requires the creation of a chain of equivalence among democratic struggles, and therefore the creation of a common political identity among democratic subjects. For the term citizens to actually mean this and function in this way, what conditions must it meet?”

“These are the problems that I will address, and I will argue that the key task is how to conceive of the nature of the political community under modern democratic conditions. I consider that we need to go beyond the conceptions of citizenship of both the liberal and civic republican tradition while building on their respective strengths.”

Sample Abstracts

1)Hegemony, Radical Democracy, and the Political Community

The themes of citizenship and community are being discussed in many quarters of the left today. This is no doubt a consequence of the crisis of class politics and indicates the growing awareness of the need for a new form of identification around which to organize the forces struggling for a radicalization of democracy.

I believe that the question of political identity is crucial and that the attempt to construct citizens’ identities is one of the more important tasks of democratic politics. But there are many different versions of citizenship and vital issues are at stake in their contest. The way we define citizenship is intimately linked to the kind of society and political community we want.

How should we understand citizenship when our goal is both a radical and plural democracy? Such a project requires the creation of a chain of equivalence among democratic struggles, and therefore the creation of a common political identity among democratic subjects. For the term citizens to actually mean this and function in this way, what conditions must it meet?

These are the problems that I will address, and I will argue that the key task is how to conceive of the nature of the political community under modern democratic conditions. I consider that we need to go beyond the conceptions of citizenship of both the liberal and civic republican tradition while building on their respective strengths.”

2) Education and Technology: Innovative Levers between Business and Environment

Many scholars, policy makers, entrepreneurs and the civil society are asking fundamental questions about the future of capitalism in our global economy. In the past hundred years the world population and economy have grown exponentially, together with the pressure on the physical environment. The Millennium eco-system assessment denounces that 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems are being used unsustainably. This trend is growing, being fed by higher energy use, materials exploitation and more impacting environmental pollution.

What role can business play in finding environmental crisis solutions? In the last decade, the interactions between business and environment have been revisited with new perspectives. In particular, positive change can arise from new collaborative opportunities between business and the environment, in order to embrace environmental challenges and pursue reciprocal benefits.

I evaluate this synergetic activity using a systemic approach: a powerful tool to analyze and quantify the feedback loops that are created when changes occur to the elements of the analyzed system. It is paramount to individuate pivotal centers which have the power to originate connections and regulate system behavior. In this regard, I believe education and technology are among the most important. These elements play a major role in determining and weighting the interactions between environment and business.

Two scenarios are presented here, namely, the status quo system and a system in which technology and education are empowered and serve as leverage points to empower the interaction between business and environment. I preferred to center my model on the environment rather than on business, since I argue that when discussing ethical priorities in the interplay between business and environment, the latter must be prioritized.

 

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