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GPAC Research 2021-22

Grade 11 GPAC Student Research
Lost in the Drug Trade: How the Sinaloa Cartel Capitalizes on Community
Question: In what ways has the Sinaloa cartel exploited community vulnerability on the west coast of Mexico since 2008 in order to grow its authority in the region?
Thesis: By creating an increasingly violent environment tailored to cartel activity on the west coast of Mexico since 2008, the Sinaloa cartel has exploited the local
communities and their members in order to ensure their dominance at the cost of regional stability. Annabel C.

The Rise of Punitive Penal Policy Under the U.K. Government in the 1990sQuestion: In what ways did the rise of punitive penal policy in the 1990s align the two dominant political parties in the U.K.?
Thesis: Hence, the 1990s represented a unique moment of political alignment in the U.K. as the Conservative and Labour parties both sought to increase the use of
incarceration in penal policy, especially in regards to drug and young offenders, culminating in a significant rise in the prison population. Michael F.
Ethiopia and It’s Failed Path to UnityQuestion: To what extent has Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed succeeded in his efforts to create an image of unity for Ethiopia?
Thesis: So although Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed to have established democratic unity, ultimately, his government embodied a facade of democratic
growth that served as a distraction during a time of civil war, as it returned to authoritarian practices and resulted in civil war. Bethel G. 

Democracy or Autocracy?: Singapore’s Increasing Rejection of Democratic ValuesQuestion: To what extent has the People’s Action Party upheld Singapore’s democracy from 1988 – 2021?
Thesis: Though the Singapore’s People Action Party has brought a number of economic benefits to Singapore, economic growth has come at the expense of the
liberal democracy, trending Singapore in the direction of autocracy. Arya K.
One State, Two Entities, Three Constituent Peoples: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Failed attempt at Interethnic PeaceQuestion: To what extent has Bosnia and Herzegovina maintained national unity since the end of the genocide in 1995?
Thesis: Although Bosnia and Herzegovina has maintained an operational level of unity since the end of the genocide in 1995, a closer look at the state and entity-
level governmental structures and institutions reveals concerning fractures that threaten the stability of the state. Grace McMiller
Ethiopia: A Link in China’s Chain to HegemonyQuestion: To what extent is China’s emerging relationship with Ethiopia a tool for strengthening Chinese hegemony in the 21st century?
Thesis: China’s opportunistic capitalization of political and financial demand in Ethiopia has fortified China’s ideological legitimacy and advanced its global
market power. Alex M.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue: The West’s Response to China in the Indo-PacificQuestion: How do the Quad’s actions in the Indo-Pacific counter China’s challenges to the international order?
Thesis: In the face of growing Chinese neo imperialism in the Indo-Pacific, the Quad’s efforts to preserve the Western liberal order reveals its urgent desire to
contain Chinese influence. Ali O'Brien
Call to Duty: Australia’s Online Right-Wing WarzoneQuestion: How are Australia’s laws from the past 30 years limited in stopping the current spread of right-wing digital extremism?
Thesis: Australian legislation, developed over the past three decades, has a limited ability to regulate the spread of right-wing digital extremism, resulting in
increased vulnerability of citizens to discriminatory hate. Natalie R.W.
Ramifications of Korean Education FeverQuestion: To what extent has South Korea’s emphasis on educational achievement negatively impacted the job market versus the student experience?
Thesis: Although the emphasis on academic achievement in South Korea has caused long-term employment challenges for university graduates, ultimately, its
most significant effects contribute to the degradation of the health and equality of the student experience, fostering prevalent mental unwellness and inequality in
Korea since the turn of the twenty-first century. Jack W.
The Sino-Russian Arctic Block: Altering Geopolitics in the NorthQuestion: How has the Sino-Russian partnership in the Arctic allowed Russia and China to advance their individual interests as powers looking to challenge western
influence since 2013?
Thesis: The growing Sino-Russian partnership within the Arctic has enabled China to gain significant economic leverage over the Arctic region, while simultaneously emboldening Russia to take a more aggressive approach to the Western dominated Arctic Five, signaling a shift in the geopolitical structure of a. once peaceful region. Shelby W.