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Potential Research Topics: CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

This guide will help with settling on a research topic for class.

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Pennsylvania District Map
TOPIC:
The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court has released the new congressional district map
as a follow up to their ruling that the state’s congressional districts violated the state constitution by
being gerrymandered for partisan purposes. How did the court come to the conclusion that the
districts were gerrymandered? What is gerrymandering? How will the new districts impact the two
major political parties in future elections?
SEARCH TERMS: Pennsylvania AND district* AND map

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: South Africa - Resignation of Zuma
TOPIC:
The South African political party the African National Congress (ANC) has forced Jacob
Zuma from his role as its leader and also has forced him to resign the presidency of the country.
Who has replaced him in both roles? What scandals led to these actions?
SEARCH TERMS: Jacob Zuma AND resignation

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: North and South Korea Meeting
TOPIC:
Chung Eui-yong and Suh Hoon, aides to South Korean President Moon Jai-in, have travelled to North Korea and met with its leader, Kim Jong-un. This follows the two countries merging their Olympic teams and the visit to South Korea of Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jung. They are the first South Koreans to meet with Kim Jong-un since he assumed power. What roles do the two envoys play in Moon’s government? What do the South Koreans hope to achieve through this visit?
SEARCH TERMS: Kim Jong-un AND Chung Eui-yong OR Suh Hoon

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: China - End to Term Limits
TOPIC:
The Chinese Communist Party has announced that it will be abolishing the terms limits on the offices of president and vice-president of China. Currently, an individual can only serve two five-year terms. Some analysts see this as a return to the authoritarian rule and cult of personality of Mao. What is the party’s explanation for this change? How has the change been received in China? Who is the current president, what other offices does he hold? What else has been changed that involves him?
SEARCH TERMS: China AND president AND term limits

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Government Shutdown
TOPIC:
A political dispute over immigration policy was filibustered, stalling a funding bill that
caused a brief shutdown of the U.S. government. What was the political solution to reopen the
government? What services cease during a government shutdown and what is the impact on the
public and federal employees? What have been the causes of previous governmental shutdowns
in U.S. history and how has the government arranged for partial shutdowns in the past?
SEARCH TERMS: government shutdown

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Liberia Transition
TOPIC:
George Weah has been sworn in as president of Liberia. The former professional soccer
player, and FIFA’s player of the year for 1995, follows Liberia’s first woman president. What
policies did he run on and what did he promise to do in his inaugural address? How long has it
been since Liberia last had a peaceful handover of power? How did Weah transform himself from
soccer player to politician?
SEARCH TERMS: Liberia AND George Weah

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. State of the Union
TOPIC:
President Trump’s first State of the Union speech warned of the dangers of illegal immigration yet was centered on a unifying message for politicians to seek common ground and serve the public that elected them. What were the key policy points delivered by President Trump and how is he working to achieve them? What were the key points made by Rep. Joe Kenney III and Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman as the Democratic response to the speech? What are some of the most memorable State of the Union speeches in U.S. history and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Trump AND State of the Union

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: 2017 Elections
TOPIC:
New Jersey and Virginia have elected Democrats Phil Murphy and Ralph Northam to be
their governors. Several racial and gender barriers were broken in local elections around the
country. What are some key issues that drove these races? Who were the four transgender
winners in Virginia, Minnesota, California and Pennsylvania and what issues did they run on?
What cities elected black mayors for the first time, who are the mayors? What political positions did
they take in these races?
SEARCH TERMS: elections AND (governor OR governors) AND (states OR Virginia)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Brexit Negotiations
TOPIC:
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been negotiating the terms for the British exit from the European Union with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. It looked promising that an agreement had been reached on the topic of the Northern Irish border with the Republic of Ireland, but that deal has fallen through. Who is thought to have rejected the proposed terms? What other political entities have declared that they want parity with Northern Ireland on aspects of the deal? Are the negotiations going to continue?
SEARCH TERMS: UK AND European Commission AND Brexit AND negotiations

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Zimbabwe Coup
TOPIC:
The Zimbabwean armed forces ousted President Robert Mugabe in a soft coup, making his dismissed vice-president the new leader of the nation. Mugabe tried to stay in office, but resigned when it was apparent that his political party Zanu-PF was eager to impeach him as party leader. Why was Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa dismissed and what role did Mugabe’s wife purportedly play in his dismissal? What other roles did Mnangagwa play during Mugabe’s years in power? What are some of the inferences that can be made from these recent events about the Zimbabwe political process?
SEARCH TERMS: Zimbabwe AND Mugabe OR Mnangagwa

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: GOP Tax Plan
TOPIC:
The Republican tax plan has been making progress in the U.S. Congress after some concessions to reluctant Republicans. What are the details of this plan now and what is the public response to it? What concessions were made and for which votes?
SEARCH TERMS: (Republican* OR GOP) AND tax*

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Debt Ceiling
TOPIC:
The federal government risks running out of money in early October unless it raises the
debt ceiling. How has the need to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey impacted the debt ceiling
considerations? What are the specific conditions will be placed on federal spending if the debt
ceiling is raised? What are the positive and negative impacts of raising the debt ceiling versus not
raising it?
SEARCH TERMS: debt ceiling


CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: An Election Overturned
TOPIC:
The Kenyan Supreme Court has nullified the election that re-elected Uhuru Kenyatta as
president. It found that there was a possibility of electronic voting results manipulation and called
for a new election in 60 days. This is the first time this has happened in Kenya. Who ran against
Kenyatta and what were his policy positions? How did the country react to the ruling?
SEARCH TERMS: Kenya AND election

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: North Korea Missile Testing
TOPIC:
North Korea has tested another intercontinental ballistic missile, this time sending it over Japan to land in the Northern Pacific. They followed this up by a nuclear weapons test, the largest one they’ve done so far. What has been the response to these events from their neighbors? What has the Trump administration said about this? What is it thought that the North Koreans are trying to achieve by these provocative actions?
SEARCH TERMS: North Korea AND missile AND Japan

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Russian Election Tampering
TOPIC: Former FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions are among those who have recently testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of the investigation of Russia tampering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  What information was gained from their testimony and what does it mean to the investigation?  What other aspects relating to the Russian election tampering are being investigated and what information has been revealed about that?
SEARCH TERMS: Russia AND election AND tamper* AND (investigation OR testimony*)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Anniversary of Handover
TOPIC: It is the 20th anniversary of Britain handing Hong Kong over to China. What British Prime Minister initiated the talks that led to this action? Why did Britain have Hong Kong as a Crown Colony in the first place? What did the Chinese government promise to do in order to get Hong Kong returned? Have they lived up to those promises?
SEARCH TERMS: China AND Hong Kong

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: GOP Wins U.S. House Races  
TOPIC: Republicans Karen Handel and Ralph Norman have both won closely-watched elections for the U.S. House of Representatives in their respective states of Georgia and South Carolina. Why were these elections of such national interest and what political gain did their wins give to the Republican Party? What were the key issues driving each race and what positions did these two candidates take on them?
SEARCH TERMS: (Karen Handel OR Ralph Norman) AND (Republican OR GOP) AND (South Carolina OR Georgia) AND (win OR won)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: North Korean Missiles
TOPIC: The U.S. has confirmed the North Korean claims of having test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is thought that this missile has a range that includes Alaska. How has the U.S. responded to this action? How have North Korea’s neighbors responded?
SEARCH TERMS: North Korea AND ICBM

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Michael Flynn and Russia
TOPIC:
President Trump has accepted the resignation of his National Security Advisor Michael
Flynn after it was disclosed that Flynn misled Vice President Pence and others on his
communications he had with Russia. What specifically is known about these communications?
What further investigations are being considered involving communications with Russia and why?
SEARCH TERMS: Michael Flynn AND Russia


CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: President Mugabe
TOPIC:
Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president of Zimbabwe, has announced his intention to
run again in 2018. He has been the ruler of Zimbabwe since 1980. What are some of his notable
domestic policies? What are the pros and cons of his 37 years as president? What has been the
general response in Zimbabwe to his 2018 run for office?
SEARCH TERMS: Zimbabwe AND Robert Mugabe

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: President Trump and the Media
TOPIC:
President Trump has been sharply critical of how the media is handling the news, suggesting that it hasn’t been honest in its reporting. How has he made his case against the media and what have been some of the responses within the media to his charges? What are the most compelling arguments for both his charges and arguments in the media’s defense?
SEARCH TERMS: Trump AND media

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: First Days of the Trump Presidency
TOPIC:
Donald Trump has taken the oath of office and became the 45th president of the United States. What is his vision for the United States and what are the key actions he has taken thus far as president? What have been some of the reactions to his election and inauguration? What policies and actions of his have been the most popular and which have caused concern? Which nominees for his cabinet positions have been confirmed and what are their backgrounds?
SEARCH TERMS: Donald Trump AND president AND (policy OR executive action)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Relations with Mexico
TOPIC:
Mexican President Pena Nieto has cancelled a trip to Washington DC due to President Trump’s determination to build a wall along the Mexican border. What are the specifics of the current plans by Trump to build a border wall? How does he propose to have it funded and what have been Nieto’s public statements concerning the construction of a wall and its funding? What is Trump’s position on trade with Mexico and what are the most compelling arguments for and against this policy?
SEARCH TERMS: Donald Trump AND Pena Nieto AND (wall OR trade)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Gambia’s Troubled Transfer of Power
TOPIC:
When Gambia went to the polls and elected a new president, its longtime leader, Yahya Jammeh, refused to accept the election results. Other regional countries however supported the winner, Adama Barrow, and began moving troops near to the Gambian border. Eventually Jammeh fled the country, looting it in the process. Was this outcome good for Gambia? How did Barrow become the opposition candidate and what was the coalition that supported him? Who did Barrow choose as his vice president?
SEARCH TERMS: Gambia AND (Barrow OR Jammeh)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Refugee and Immigration Policies
TOPIC:
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order temporarily barring citizens from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. What has been the public reaction to this order and why? What countries are the ones barring citizens in the executive order, what Muslim-majority countries are not and why? Which politicians have opposed this ban and which have supported it? What are the most compelling reasons on either side?
SEARCH TERMS: Trump AND executive order AND (bar*OR ban*) AND (seven OR 7) AND countries AND (Islam* OR Muslim*)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Slow Motion Coup
TOPIC:
Congo’s President Joseph Kabila refused to hold elections in November and his
spokesman is maintaining that he should remain in office as no successor has been chosen. The
government is saying that April 2018 is a good time for new elections. The opposition calls this a
coup d’état and insists the election be held in 2017. How can the opposition resist Kabila? What
can the international community do about this, if anything?
SEARCH TERMS: Democratic Republic of the Congo AND Joseph Kabila

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Nuclear Arms
TOPIC:
President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to modernize and possibly expand the nuclear arms capacity of the United States. What is the current U.S. policy on nuclear arms? How has it changed since the end of the Cold War? What has been the global reaction to this plan?
SEARCH TERMS: Donald Trump AND nuclear AND (arms OR weapons OR arsenal)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Russian Political Hacking
TOPIC:
A group of U.S. Senators have stated they plan to hold hearings to investigate Russia’s influence on the recent U.S. presidential election after the U.S. Intelligence Community concluded that Russian hackers willfully interfered with this election. What evidence is there showing that Russian hackers were involved in leaking confidential information, and what information was released. What was withheld and why? What has been the reaction from President Obama and President-elect Trump?
SEARCH TERMS: Russia AND election AND hack* AND investigat*

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: King Adulyadej
TOPIC:
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand had been on the throne for 70 years and was seen
as a unifying figure. How did his role differ from that of other royal families around the world? What
types of power did he have? What were some of his projects around the country?
SEARCH TERMS: King Bhumibol Adulyadej

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Nobel Peace Prize Winner
TOPIC:
The president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos was given this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in
honor of his efforts to end the long-running guerilla war in his country. The peace deal he
negotiated with FARC was submitted as a referendum to the voters of Colombia. How did they
vote? What was the government’s response to the outcome of the voting? What was FARC’s
response? How did the award of this peace prize differ from others given for comparable
achievements?
SEARCH TERMS: Juan Manuel Santos AND Nobel Peace Prize

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Presidential Campaign
TOPIC:
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have finished their debates and are winding up their campaigns before Election Day. What were the most significant factors of the three debates for each candidate and how did it change their campaigns? What are the strongest arguments to be made in favor of each candidate?
SEARCH TERMS: Hillary Clinton AND Donald Trump AND debate

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Russian Jet Shot Down
TOPIC:  Turkey has shot down a Russian jet flying a mission in Syria, claiming it had crossed its southern border and ignored orders to leave Turkish airspace. Turkey further claimed this was not the first time Russian jets had crossed the border into their territory. What was Russia’s immediate response to this event? What happened to the pilots of the Russian jet? How did Turkey explain its actions? How dangerous is the multi-nation air campaign in Syria, given that the nations involved don’t all have the same goals?
SEARCH TERMS: Russia AND Turkey

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Presidential Campaign 2016
TOPIC: With the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary coming up, candidates for the 2016 presidential election are starting to focus on these two areas. Who are leading the polls for the Democrats and the Republicans, and why? What have been some of the more notable statements made during the recent debates? What candidates have recently dropped their campaigns, and why?
SEARCH TERMS: 2016 AND presidential AND Iowa AND (candidate OR candidates)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Saudi Executions and Responses
TOPIC: Saudi Arabia has executed 47 people, including Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an act which prompted demonstrations across the Middle East and condemnations from other countries. In Tehran, a crowd stormed the Saudi embassy and set it on fire. Saudi Arabia has broken relations with Iran. What was al-Nimr’s crime? Where did demonstrations occur? What is the message that Saudi Arabia seems to be sending with their executions? How did Western countries react?
SEARCH TERMS: Saudi Arabia AND Iran AND Nimr al-Nimr

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Presidential Primaries and Caucuses     
TOPIC:  Each party requires a specific delegate count for a candidate to become the party’s nominee for president.  What is the required delegate count for each party? How are the candidate’s delegates from each state decided?  What is the difference between a primary and a caucus?  What are some examples of how states differ on these?  What are superdelegates? How do they differ from regular delegates?  Who has won the primaries and caucuses already held? SEARCH TERMS: (Republican OR Republicans OR Democrat OR Democratic OR GOP) AND
(primary OR caucus OR primaries OR caucuses) AND (candidate OR candidates)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Trial Ceasefire in Syria
TOPIC:  With a promise from President Assad to Vladimir Putin to respect the terms established, Syria's opposition has agreed to enter into a temporary ceasefire from a war that has killed over 260,000 people.  While Saudi Arabia has supported the opposition, Russia has supported Assad. How are ceasefires established in war torn countries? What are the goals of a temporary ceasefire in Syria? How are the surrounding countries responding to the terms of the ceasefire?
SEARCH TERMS: Syria AND ceasefire

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Speaker Boehner Resigns     
TOPIC:  U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced that he will be resigning his office at the end of October of this year.  What has he said concerning the reasons for this? What has been his relationship with the Tea Party and what have been the issues of most contention between them?  What have been some of his successes as Speaker of the House?
SEARCH TERMS: Boehner AND resig*

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Presidential Campaign Debates       
TOPIC:  The presidential candidates for the Democrats and the Republicans have had debates. Who are the leading candidates for each party and why?  Which candidates had the strongest and weakest performances in each debate and why?  What has been the criticism of the questions asked by CNBC moderators and why?  How are the Republicans handling their concerns about the kinds of questions asked in these debates?
SEARCH TERMS: (Republican OR GOP OR Democrats OR Democratic) AND (debate OR debates)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Turkey Elections
TOPIC: Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a majority in the Turkish Parliament.  What are the political beliefs and doctrines of the AKP and how does this win help Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?  How strong was the win and what are the political implications for the country and the world by this win?
SEARCH TERMS: Turkey AND AKP AND Erdogan

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Iowa Caucus
TOPIC: Who were the winners of the Iowa Caucus for the Republican and Democratic parties?
What issues resonated most with Iowans and how did that impact their voting? How does the Iowa
Caucus work and in what ways is it different from the primaries held in other states?
SEARCH TERMS: Iowa Caucus AND (Republican OR Republicans OR Democrat OR Democrats
OR GOP)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Canadian Election
TOPIC: Justin Trudeau has led the Liberal Party of Canada into a majority government following an election that, at 11 weeks length, was one of Canada’s longest campaigns. What other two parties did he beat? Why was Stephen Harper not re-elected as prime minister of Canada?
SEARCH TERMS: Canada AND Justin Trudeau

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Looking for a Solution
TOPIC: An international conference has been convened to discuss the ongoing civil war in Syria. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.S. and Turkey are among the larger powers invited. Given that two of these five nations support the Assad government and the remaining three support his opponents, what are the chances of reaching an agreement? What is the goal of the conference? Who are some of the smaller players also invited? Why is the Syrian government not at the table?
SEARCH TERMS: Syria AND civil war AND (conferences or meetings)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Speaker Ryan
TOPIC:  The U.S. House of Representatives has voted for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to replace retiring John Boehner as U.S. Speaker of the House.  What are the conditions that Ryan required to accept the job?  What are some of the major achievements by him in the U.S. House of Representatives?
SEARCH TERMS: Paul Ryan AND Speaker of the House

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Benghazi Hearings     
TOPIC:  Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been questioned for an extended length of time by the House Select Committee going over the details of the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. What information did these hearings reveal about the attack and the U.S. government’s response to it?  What were the comments by California Rep. Kevin McCarthy about the hearings in regard to Clinton and what did they imply?
SEARCH TERMS: Benghazi AND Hillary Clinton

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Taiwan Elections
TOPIC:  The Democratic Progress Party has won the presidency of Taiwan and has gained control of the legislature as well. Tsai Ing-wen will be the first female president of the island nation. Among the elected legislators is the New Power Party’s Freddy Lim, the leader of the black metal band Chthonic. What are Tsai’s domestic policies? What are her policies concerning China? What was Lim’s connection with Amnesty International? How popular is his band across Asia?
SEARCH TERMS: Taiwan AND (Tsai Ing-wen OR Freddy Lim)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. and Iran Relations   
TOPIC:  A small group of American sailors that had been picked up when their ships sailed into Iranian waters were released within days after heavy negotiations between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.  What were the reasons the sailors were being held and what terms were negotiated for their release?  What are other political factors between Iran and the U.S. that could have been impacted of these negotiations became hostile?
SEARCH TERMS: (America OR U.S. OR United States) AND Iran AND sailors

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:  Election Repeat
TOPIC:  The left-wing party Syriza revealed in the recent Greek election that he and its leader Alex Tsipras will form a coalition government. He resigned seven months after gaining the office of prime minister to force an early election that, in effect, was a referendum on his accepting terms from the country’s creditors. What party is he going to try to form a coalition government with? Will he be tempted to revisit the terms of the credit agreement he accepted only a few months ago?
SEARCH TERMS: Greece AND (Syriza OR Tsipras) AND election

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Republican Primary Debate      
TOPIC:  Carly Fiorina made a lot of headway in making herself known to the public in the second debate for the Republican Party primary race, held at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA.  In what ways did she succeed in presenting herself as a candidate, what positions did she take on the issues and how did they differ from other candidates?  What other candidates raised their poll ratings with a strong showing and how were they impressive?  What candidates dropped due to their debate performance and why? Who has dropped out of the Republican presidential primaries and why?
SEARCH TERMS: (Republican OR GOP) AND debate AND (Fiorina OR Reagan Library)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Presidential Campaigns and National Security  
TOPIC:  The terrorist attacks in Paris have brought the issues of national security, foreign military engagement and the Syrian refugees to prominence in the 2016 US presidential campaigns. How have some of the most prominent candidates addressed these issues, and how successful have they been in convincing the public they have a good strategy? What have been some of the other prominent issues in the most recent debates, and what have been some of the most compelling ideas from the candidates on those issues?
SEARCH TERMS: 2016 AND candidate? AND (Paris OR security OR refugees)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Off-Year Election Results   
TOPIC:  This November had many local off-year elections. Overall, the Republican Party did better than Democratic Party around the country.  What were the gubernatorial elections, who won and why?  What were some of the mostly closely watched initiative and referenda votes in states and cities, how did they turn out and why?
SEARCH TERMS: election? AND November 2015

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Myanmar Election
TOPIC:  Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has won the elections in Myanmar (also known as Burma) and will become the ruling party, even though Suu Kyi is prevented by the military-imposed constitution from becoming the leader of the nation. The National League will control Parliament and be able to name the next president. Has San Kyi addressed how she will deal with the constitutional prohibition of her taking power? Why did the military agree to free and fair elections?
SEARCH TERMS: Myanmar AND elections

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Term Limits Defeated
TOPIC: Voters in Rwanda have decided to end the term limits on their president, Paul Kagame, leading outside observers to wonder if Rwanda will become a democracy in name only. Kagame, who has ruled since 2000, could be in office for years to come. What could lead voters to support the end of term limits in Rwanda? What has Kagame said when pressed about the possibility of his ruling for life?
SEARCH TERMS: Rwanda AND term limits AND Paul Kagame

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia
TOPIC: Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote in municipal elections and to run for office for the first time ever. What caused this change to occur? What other restrictions still remain in place for women? What percentage of the electorate were women? Did any women win office in these elections?
SEARCH TERMS: Saudi Arabia AND voting AND women

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Surprise Attack
TOPIC: Armed gunmen infiltrated and attacked the Indian air force base at Pathankot. This base is located near Kashmir and Pakistan. Who were the gunmen believed to be and what was their presumed motive in making this attack at this time? Why did it take so long for Indian forces to put an end to this attack?
SEARCH TERMS: India AND Pathankot air force base

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Funding Bill
TOPIC: President Obama and the U.S. Congress have passed the 2016 federal funding bill that will fund the government until September 2016. What are some of the key issues addressed in this bill and what will be the impact on the federal deficit? What were the most controversial parts of it? What were some of the predicted consequences if it was not passed?
SEARCH TERMS: federal funding bill

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Chaos in Uganda after Presidential Election
TOPIC:
In Uganda Dr.Kizza Besigye, former bush war hero and main opposition contender for the past four presidential elections, has been arrested and detained several times since the election has taken place.  President Yoweri Museveni has held office since 1986, and is said to have won this election with 60.8% of the vote. Why is Besigye under arrest? Why are protests erupting in response to the election? What has been the international response to the way the election and aftermath has been handled by the authorities in Kampala? How has President Museveni responded to international input about the fairness of the election?  
SEARCH TERMS: Uganda AND election AND Besigye

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Primaries and Caucuses
TOPIC: The Republican presidential primaries have attracted attention as the field narrows and Donald Trump finds delegates for the opposition candidates coalescing behind Ted Cruz and John Kasich. On the Democratic site Bernie Sanders is slowly narrowing the gap with Hillary Clinton. What are some of the key issues now coming to prominence for each party and why? What are zombie delegates and how may they play a role in the Republican convention this year?
SEARCH TERMS: (Republican OR Republicans OR Democrat OR Democrats OR Democratic OR GOP) AND delegates

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Viva Cuba!
TOPIC: President Obama made a state visit to Cuba and Argentina. He was the first president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge. What was truly historic about his visit to Cuba? How was he received by Cuban President Castro? What was controversial about the timing of his visit to Argentina? What documents did the U.S. government promise to release about Argentine’s recent history?
SEARCH TERMS: Obama AND (Cuba OR Argentina)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Zuma in Trouble
TOPIC: President Zuma of South Africa has been implicated in a scandal over the sacking of his finance minister in December. It is claimed that this was done to further the Gupta brothers’ interests in the media, mining and air travel. What other members of the ANC have alleged that the brothers offered them the job of finance minister? What has Mr. Zuma’s defense of his actions been? What other problems beset South Africa at this time? What recent ruling by South Africa’s top court may affect Zuma’s presidency?
SEARCH TERMS: South Africa AND Zuma AND Gupta brothers

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Voting to Stay theSame
TOPIC: New Zealanders voted to retain their current flag, which has the British Union Jack as part of its design and has been in use since 1902, rather than switch to a design of a silver fern on a black background. This design was selected from 10,000 entries. What were the criticisms of the old design? What were some of the criticisms of the new one?
SEARCH TERMS: New Zealand AND flag

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Supreme Court Nomination
TOPIC: With the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to replace Scalia. There has been debate as to whether the incoming judge should be named by the sitting president or his successor, who will be determined with the next presidential election. What does the constitution say about the replacement of any Supreme Court justice? What grounds do those who want the next president to make the nomination have? What basis do politicians have who insist that Obama should choose the next Supreme Court Justice?
SEARCH TERMS: Supreme Court nomination AND constitution

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Donald Trump   
TOPIC:  Real estate mogul Donald Trump has won enough delegates to secure the nomination to be the Republican candidate for president of the United States.  What have been the points of contention between some in the Republican Party establishment toward his candidacy and what steps have been taken toward uniting the party behind him?  What has been the most appealing parts of his candidacy to his supporters in the primaries?
SEARCH TERMS: Donald Trump AND nomination AND (Republican OR GOP)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Hillary Clinton
TOPIC:  The Inspector General has scolded Hillary Clinton in a State Department review for her use of private email while serving as Secretary of State.  What were the reasons given to condemn her use of private email? Why did she choose to use private email instead of official government email?
SEARCH TERMS: Hillary Clinton AND email

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Bernie Sanders
TOPIC:  Bernie Sanders is still steadily winning a good share of primaries and caucuses as the July Democratic Party convention approaches, but he would need a little less than 300 pledged delegates and almost 500 super delegates to catch up to Hillary Clinton’s delegate total. What are some of his more prominent political issues that have resonated so strongly with voters?  What impact is his campaign having on Clinton’s and Trump’s?  What is the importance of the California primary to the democratic candidates?
SEARCH TERMS: Bernie Sanders AND campaign

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. and Vietnam  
TOPIC:  President Obama has announced that the United States is lifting its arms embargo on Vietnam.  Why was there an embargo on selling arms to Vietnam and why is it being lifted now? What other issues were addressed on his trip to Vietnam?
SEARCH TERMS: Obama AND (United States OR U.S.) AND Vietnam AND embargo

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Impeachment in Brazil
TOPIC:  The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, who has had to leave office as a result of this vote. A member of the interim government, which is being led by Rousseff’s vice-president who is a member of a different political party, has resigned office after a transcript of a phone call he made during which he discussed using this opportunity to stifle a corruption investigation in which he is involved as a reason for Rousseff’s impeachment became public. What are the official reasons for Rousseff’s impeachment?  Who is leading Brazil and how do his policies differ from Rousseff’s?
SEARCH TERMS: Brazil AND Dilma Rousseff AND impeachment

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Election in the Philippines
TOPIC: The Philippines presidential election is over and Rodrigo Duterte has won. The long time mayor of Davao City on the island of Mindanao is known as a plain speaker who has verbally supported the extrajudicial slaying of criminals. What has his political career been before this election? What are his policy successes in Davao City? What are some criticisms of his policies? What other members of his family are in office and are their policy beliefs aligned with his?
SEARCH TERMS: Philippines AND Rodrigo Duterte

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Primaries and Caucuses
TOPIC: Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich have decided to work together in an effort to stop Donald Trump from getting enough delegates to be his party’s candidate. What is their plan for stopping Donald Trump and how is it working? What is Bernie Sanders political strategy now that Hillary Clinton has gained a significant lead in the Democratic Party presidential primaries? Why did Ted Cruz select a running mate and who is it?
SEARCH TERMS: Trump AND Cruz AND Kasich AND delegates

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Panama Papers
TOPIC: A huge number of files from a law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama that helped facilitate the opening of accounts in banking havens and the creation of dummy companies as fronts for those accounts has revealed the vast worldwide use of these accounts. The files were leaked to a German newspaper and involved wealthy individuals and politicians from around the world. What was Mossack Fonseca’s response to the leaks? Who were some of the individuals named and what was their response to their finances becoming public? What are abuses that can be associated with these accounts?
SEARCH TERMS: Mossack Fonseca AND banks

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: One Person, One Vote
TOPIC: The U.S. Supreme Court has held up the One Person One Vote principal in the case of Evenwel vs. Abbott. What were the specifics of this case and how did a clause in the Fourteenth Amendment influence the court’s decision? What impact does this decision have on redistricting efforts in Texas and other states?
SEARCH TERMS: Supreme Court AND (Evenwel OR redistrict*) AND Texas

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Brexit
TOPIC: During the last election, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum on the United Kingdom’s remaining in the European Union in order to appease Euroskeptic members of his party. That vote was in late June and the Leave campaign won. Cameron, who had campaigned to remain in the EU, announced he would leave his office after the Conservative Party had elected a new leader to replace him as PM. What happened to financial markets immediately after the results came in? What part of the UK voted strongly to remain and from where did the leave votes come? What were the argument the Leave campaign advanced for their cause and what were made to support the Remain campaign? Which seem most plausible?
SEARCH TERMS: (United Kingdom OR Great Britain) AND European Union AND (Brexit OR referendum)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Presidential Race
TOPIC: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised the British people for their vote (Brexit) to leave the European Union (EU) as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who hoped Britain would stay in the EU, advised a cautious path and measures to protect the U.S. economy in the wake of the vote. What is the root difference in how these two candidates view the recent British vote and how does it reflect their world views? What are the competing ideologies within each of these parties that they are trying to resolve before their conventions and what measures are being taken?
SEARCH TERMS: Donald Trump AND Hillary Clinton and Brexit

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Puerto Rico Debt
TOPIC: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to help Puerto Rico with their
debt problems. How does this legislation plan to resolve their problems and what are the key
benefits and concerns about their plan? How did they incur such debts and what attempts have
been made in the past to resolve these issues?
SEARCH TERMS: Puerto Rico and debt

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Colombia Peace
TOPIC: The government of Colombia and the armed rebel group FARC have, after three years of
often tense negotiations, come to an agreement for a ceasefire and disarmament of the group. The
final peace accord ending the 52-year-old conflict will be signed in a month. What led FARC to
negotiate? What demand of the government prior to negotiations has kept the smaller rebel group
the National Liberation Army from similar negotiations? What are the plans to disarm and
reintegrate FARC rebels into society?
SEARCH TERMS: FARC AND ceasefire

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: 2016 Presidential Elections
TOPIC: The Democratic and Republican Parties have both nominated their candidates at conventions that showed the divided factions in each of the parties. What were the most dramatic aspects of each convention and what are the histories and political policies that led up to them? What policies define each party platform? Which is most controversial? Who are the vice presidential candidates for each party, what are their backgrounds and what strengths does each bring to the ticket?
SEARCH TERMS: convention AND (Democrats OR Democratic OR Republican?)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: A Failed Coup
TOPIC: Turkish President Erdogan has survived a coup attack and responded by discharging 149 generals from the forces. The coast guard and the gendarmerie have been put under the Interior Ministry and several newspapers and other media outlets have been closed. What was the timeline of the coup? Why did it fail? How did social media play a role in it? Who has Erdogan blamed as the ultimate instigator of the coup and what is he asking the U.S. government to do?
SEARCH TERMS: Turkey and coup AND state of emergency AND human rights

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Chilcot Report
TOPIC: It took seven years and over 2 million words, but the Chilcot report on the actions of the government of Tony Blair in the run up to the war with Iraq was finally published. The report faulted him for several actions and basically concluded that the war had been unnecessary and that all attempts to find Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had not been taken. What were some of its other findings about Blair? What was his response to its publication? What were some of the perceptions about his response?
SEARCH TERMS: Chilcot Report AND (Iraq OR Blair)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: 9/11 Report Declassification
TOPIC: Congress is facing mounting pressure from families of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks since the release of the missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report. The report links the Saudi government to the now known terror group, and concludes that the Saudis provided both financial and logistical support to the terrorists. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in these attacks. Why were these pages withheld? How have the officials in Congress, the senate, and the executive office responded to the push of the families to sue the Saudi government?
SEARCH TERMS: 9/11 AND 28 pages AND (victim* OR families)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Rousseff Impeached
TOPIC: The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, handing the presidency over to Michel Temer. Rousseff was accused of fiscal impropriety, though she claimed in her defense that other presidents had used the same techniques as she did. What political motives did she claim her opponents had? How different are Temer’s policies likely to be from hers? What corruption investigation is underway that may impact many of her opponents?
SEARCH TERMS: Brazil AND Rousseff AND impeachment

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Primary Races
TOPIC: Congressional and Senate primaries took place in August with a few high profile races. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, Marco Rubio and John McCain all beat their primary challengers. What types of generalizations about voter preferences can be made about the outcomes of each of these races? What messages of each of the winners did voters seem to connect with most? What were some of the most pressing topics of each campaign that seemed to impact voters? How do the winners’ politics align with the perspectives of each of the presidential candidates?
SEARCH TERMS: primar* AND win* AND (Schultz OR Rubio OR McCain)

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: Peace Treaty
TOPIC: After 50 years of fighting one another, the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have committed to a ceasefire. The terms of their agreement need to be ratified by a plebiscite by Colombian voters. What are the terms of the agreement? What had FARC been fighting for and did they come anywhere near achieving their goals?
SEARCH TERMS: Colombia AND FARC