February 2014: Resolutional Analysis

On balance, economic globalization benefits worldwide poverty reduction.

Three very important words might slip your mind as you debate and research your topic.

On balance

This phrase asks for a cost/benefit analysis; this means you MUST compare impacts. The impacts are the possible costs, or negative effects, and the possible benefits, or positive effects. Don’t be fooled – this isn’t solely quantitative analysis. A cost could come to safety just as easily as there could be an economic cost. Just because you can quantify an impact does not give it inherent priority. In your Framework, prioritize the types of costs and benefits that will be discussed during the round and explain to the judge how to measure these impacts. Define what types of impacts should be prioritized throughout the debate.


While this underscores that “on balance” requires cost/benefit analysis, I want to point out that this verb is in the present tense. Not the past tense, or the future tense.

I believe this means that any analysis and/or evidence presented about past economic globalization and past worldwide poverty reduction must be put in context with the present motive. Here are some papers to start building your understanding of the long term trends that define the present state of economic globalization.

When did globalisation start? The Economist (2013)

Two Trends in Global Poverty from Brookings (2011)

Globalization and Inequality: Historical Trends from the National Bureau of Economic Research (2001 – surveys 150 years of globalization)

Make sure your arguments are located in the present – and make your opponent do the same. Scrutinize all evidence for the time of publication AND of the date itself.


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