Critically evaluate the claim that ‘recent governments have been too focused on regulating unions when other IR policy matters are more important’.

‘Critically evaluate’ means that you must EXPLAIN both the statement and your response to it. The better answers will apply a theoretical framework to the evaluation.

There are two main ways to approach this question:

Whether you agree or disagree that with the statement, the essay could explain if/why governments are focused on unions and then evaluate why they are (or are not) too focused on this issue. Then the essay could deal briefly with what the ‘other matters’ might be – matters signalled in the Week 2 lecture and to be covered later this semester. These are matters such as work and family (paid parental leave), efficiency/productivity, skills and immigration, or equity.

Alternatively, you could take one (and I suggest one only) of those topics as the main focus of the essays. Such an essay would deal more briefly with the statement about unions and then move onto the chosen topic and demonstrate its importance in some depth.

In either case, because the question is an open-ended one, it will be very important to introduce the essay clearly. We will need to know exactly the approach you are taking – and why you are taking it. Be clear in your own mind about what you are trying to achieve.

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