Three prompts, 1500 words, a couple of rules and a prize of 50 euros. With support from the Reims Economics Society, we welcome you to the Quarterly’s inaugural essay competition.
Prompt 1: Can technology save us from climate change?
Technocrats believe that technology can save us from the dangers of global warming. Dikes will provide low-lying lands an escape from rising oceans, solar roofs can make homes sustainable and electric cars will reduce Co2 emissions in cities. But can we can we create a carbon-capture system powerful enough to mitigate the damages from climate change? Will science save us? If yes, where should we look for these technologies? If no, what else must we do to overcome the enormous task that lies before us?
Prompt 2: Should we accept inequality?
Inequality takes many forms. Discrimination based on race, gender, or religion, and other forms of unequal opportunity mean that otherwise identical people will have different incomes and economic opportunities. Are these disparities necessary to drive our societies forward? Do we need to reward some more than others? Or are few of us producing a society that is unjust for the many?
Prompt 3: Should we put a break on globalisation?
Bill Clinton called globalization the “economic equivalent of a force of nature, like wind or water.” To hyperglobalists the integration of markets and destruction of barriers is like a force of nature. Since the 80ies, they have advocated that free markets, free trade and free capital flows benefit all of us. Things have changed. Today a critical view of globalism is gaining ground in the Western world. In the United States, Trump has launched an aggressive assault on free trade and seeks to raise a wall to keep out a neighbour. In Europe, immigrants are demonized, fences are raised in the East and Schengen slowly eroded. To them we need shut off the world to protect ourselves. What happened?
Is it inevitable? Does globalisation move like a force of nature as hyperglobalists argue? Perhaps we should we put a brake on the process, weigh the costs and benefits and count the winners and losers? Or will that simply limit economic gain for all of us?
No game without rules
The essay has to tackle only one of the three prompts provided. It must not exceed 1500 words and be no less than 1000 words. How to structure and approach the prompt is entirely up to you. The deadline is September 1st.
- The participants need to convey an argument through analysis. We are not looking for research papers, but essays with a clear opinion on the topic and preferably a few solutions. It is important that you build your analysis on reliable sources, case studies or other academic evidence. We will select the winner based on analytical rigour and his/her ability to convey an argument.
- Articles have to be written in English.
- Economic analysis is preferred but not essential.
- The document should be formatted with Times New Roman 12 and include a heading and a subtext – much like the articles we post on The Quarterly.
- The articles should be submitted to “firstname.lastname@example.org” as a Microsoft Word document.
- The essay should be submitted no later than September 1st. Any work submitted after that date will not be taken into consideration.
- The competition is open to 3As abroad as well, but restricted to current/former students at the Reims campus.
Only one winner will be granted a prize of 50 euros. The winning article will be published in the Quarterly. Other high quality essays will also be published in the paper and will receive an honorary mention but no cash prize.
The winner will be picked based on analytical rigour and his/her ability to convey an argument.