Undergraduate Essay Prize 2021
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Perry World House has selected four winners for its first ever Undergraduate Essay Prize.
The goal of the prize is to spotlight the most robust and insightful undergraduate writing and analysis about the ways policy can address contemporary world challenges. We encouraged students from each of Penn’s four undergraduate schools to apply.
Prizes were awarded based on the overall excellence of the essay submission and its alignment with either or both of PWH’s two research themes, which are:
Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Demography. The Global Shifts theme considers the causes and consequences of human movements, focusing on the drivers of displacement, from conflict to climate change.
The Future of the Global Order: Power, Technology, and Governance. The Future of the Global Order theme examines implications of changing global power dynamics, impacts of new technologies, and contributions of governance institutions for the future of international cooperation.
This paper aims to make clear the discrepancy between the international internet law preferred and endorsed by authoritarian regimes and liberal democracies. Ultimately, this paper argues that fundamentally, authoritarian and democratic governments have distinct preferences for the content and design of emerging internet law, resulting in competing visions for an international cyber legal regime.
China’s dam construction and hydropower activity in the Mekong River has exacerbated drought in downstream regions, threatening the livelihoods of 60 million people across five Southeast Asian countries. The conflict shows how Southeast Asian countries have been bound to China’s economic investments, resulting in greater leeway for China to develop the Mekong as it wishes— if the U.S. wishes to counteract Chinese influence, it must support its Southeast Asian allies in negotiating for more agency over water governance.
30.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers, in compliance with international refugee law, are exercising their right to seek asylum in a country other than their country of origin. This paper investigates the treatment of refugees in detention centers in countries hosting the most refugees in their respective regions: Turkey (Middle East), Colombia (Latin America), Uganda (Africa), Germany (Europe), Bangladesh (Asia), and the United States (North America). Through this analysis, it is evident that many detention centers worldwide deprive refugees of liberty and safety.
The Huichol are the oldest surviving culture in Mexico who continue to practice their traditions much as they have for centuries. Each year they conduct a pilgrimage of over 400km from their communities in the western sierras eastward to the semi-desertic high plateaus of the Sierra de Catorce which they call Wirikuta. This paper is about the current conflict between the Huichol and the Canadian mining company First Majestic Silver over the landscape of the Wirikuta/Catorce region.