Team Policy Debate Resolutions

Vote: Members will chose one of the Resolutions

Dear Team Policy Debaters,

THANK YOU! This year we had some incredibly well thought out topics and ideas to choose from, as well as many well-argued opinions on the style of resolutions. When you weigh in, we listen. Here are a couple of preliminary items the committee considered in resolution selection this year.

1. Foreign and Domestic Together. Many of you asked for international topics this year, so we included those in the mix.

2. Unidirectional and Bidirectional. Many expert voices in debate believe unidirectional resolutions (e.g. "the U.S. would increase engagement towards China") provide for better debate, while others believe the open bidirectional resolutions are preferable (e.g. "the U.S. would change it's engagement towards China"). For the first time, we've included both!


1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its engagement toward the People's Republic of China.

China was the most submitted topic by Stoa membership this year. The Resolution Committee agreed that U.S. policy with China is a timely topic that is ripe for exploration. As the rise of China’s influence challenges American hegemony, the world is watching to see how the two powers will co-exist in the amorphous geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. Researching the inherent controversy in the topic will allow debaters to go deep as well as broad into U.S. China relations. Debating U.S-China engagement will also press debaters to research and understand trade policy, military ties, diplomatic relations, the East Asia Pivot and China Containment policy among a myriad of other relevant issues facing the two countries today.

2. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially change its policy toward one or more private or federal retirement programs in the United States.

Managing the needs of an aging population is one of the most salient policy issues facing the U.S. federal government today. Retirement spending comprises a whopping 23% of federal spending in the status quo and is likely to increase as the Baby Boomers rotate out of the workforce. As debaters delve into the wealth of available literature, they will find that there are serious provable harms in the current system with a plethora of viable policy solutions to explore. Case ideas include abolish or reform Social Security, reform Federal Pension programs, Chilean model of Social Security, reform policies regarding IRA’s, 401k’s, or Money Purchase plans. A year spent exploring the economic ramifications of caring for an aging population will prove challenging and educational for Team Policy debaters.

3. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reform its trade policy with one or more of the following nations: China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan.

This resolution also gives a nod to membership support for a topic that included China. However, limiting the debate within the parameters of trade and including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan elevated this topic to a favorite of the combined Resolution and Team Policy Committees. The topic is broad enough to allow debaters to explore a multitude of cases regarding U.S trade policy, while researching and gaining a deeper understanding of the geopolitics of the Eastern Hemisphere. Under this resolution Stoa debaters will likely explore WTO commitments, biotechnology, sanctions, child labor tariffs, foreign direct investment, and public/private securities holdings among other fascinating and relevant policy options.

Stoa encourages your comments below.


Voting occurs by member families at the Spring Member Vote 2015 website. 

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