March 19, 2006

Our Project's Rationale

This project affords us the opportunity to explore, through our very own research, some of the themes and develop many of the skills that are being covered by our respective syllabi while at the same time retaining in the interdisciplinary element of our degree courses. In other words, it allows us to put into practice many of the ideas and techniques we have been learning about in lectures and seminars, particularly in the fields of economics, econometrics, and political economy. By actually travelling and being in the field doing research, this project will allow us to broaden our horizons and delve into several alternative sources of knowledge that conventional University teaching only marginally explores.

Similarly, we will be able to develop a range of research skills, the combination of which is uncommon in our disciplines: compiling statistical data, interpreting key policy documents, interviewing functionaries and politicians.

Our project is very much related to our own respective degree curricula. One of the assignments in our core Econometrics module, for instance, will be asking us to compile our own data and perform an econometric analysis of it, something our project will be incorporating. Furthermore, many of the economic issues pertaining to trade that we will be exploring are addressed by our compulsory Economics module, while issues of political economy and trade, key to this project, figure quite prominently in a core Politics and International Studies module.

Similarly, this project could quite easily be linked to a dissertation in our third year of undergraduate study at University.

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