Aff FW pt 1

This is something I have written about repeatedly  and yet people still make bad framework arguments, its almost as if not everyone on the planet does everything I tell them to do- crazy right?


Anywhoo- I’m not going to rehash all the reasons “status quo or a competitive policy option” or “we get to weigh our aff” are stupid- if I haven’t convinced you at this point I recognize the game is lost. So what I would like to do in this post is give some examples of what I think are more effective affirmative framework arguments and explain when you should deploy them. That last part is key- framework is not something you need in every round, it is more of a last ditch effort to save yourself when the neg has done something so egregious that you will be unable to win without a framework argument. If the neg reads a reps K and you have a solid defense of security or whatever than it is generally much easier to win on substance than on theory- judges are more likely to vote on it, the neg is probably less prepared for it etc.


Generally, you want your framework to be the following: something that allows for the maximum amount of kritik ground while still excluding whatever the negative did that you think is not acceptable. This kind of framework allows you to best “no link” many of the common negative responses to framework about K education being important because you allow for  a large variety of K arguments.


So lets say the neg reads a reps K- you read a warming aff and one of your cards in a laundry list of impacts said “proliferation” and the neg has run the prolif K. Now, I think the substance of the prolif K in this instance is sort of silly, but the evidence disparity in terms of neg vs aff is very strong on this argument, and most of the good aff answers assume you defended a universal regime like the NPT, not just that you said the word “prolif”. There is very little evidence if any that would defend just saying the word. So you are in a bit of trouble in this debate.

Before we get to why you are in trouble though I want to highlight one thing- most negatives when reading arguments like this are combining their prolif K with some sort of FW /ROB about how to weigh arguments in the debate. If you stuck to a strict policy /util FW the neg would basically have to win that the unique risk of the prolif K impact outweighed the case. This is something that they (should) not be able to do- if you attack the link uniqueness to saying the word prolif the impact should be mitigated substantially to the point where your aff impacts outweigh- people say prolif all the time. So to win this argument the neg needs to win some kind of argument that elevates the impacts of prolif rhetoric above the gameboard in someway. This is the part of the argument you are countering with your framework.


In this instance I would make an argument that the neg can critique reps as long as they are a major portion of the affirmative advocacy but cannot win for critiquing minor points. Something like this


Our Framework is reps K’s that engage the central questions of the affirmative are legitimate- they can critique our reps of warming for example- but critiques that focus on minute representations or individual words are not acceptable


A. Limits- its impossible to have a prepared defense of every word in a 1AC, minute critiques create a disparate research burden as the affirmative has to prepare to defend any word and the neg only has to prepare to critique a few. This is not only unfair but trades off with topic research- instead of researching ocean policy we have to spend our time on the etymology of ocean terminology

B. The neg FW rigs impact comparison artificially inflating the worth of bad disads- the prolif K is only a winner if they are able to moot the rest of the 1AC to make it outweigh- disparate research burden combined with this makes an aff win impossible


Thats probably all i would say- I don’t think this argument requires a huge 2AC because I don’t think there are that many arguments the neg can present to the contrary. This debate will be won or lost based on how well the 1AR can distinguish this framework from a general “no reps” framework and use those differences to get out of negative offense. Lets look at an example. The most common argument a neg team will make to answer “reps k bad” is the sort of Doty 96 arg that reps influence our understanding of the world.


Doty 96. assistant professor of political science at arizona state university, [roxanne lynn, imperial encounters, p. 5-6]


This study begins with the premise that representation is an inherent and important aspect of global political life and therefore a critical and legitimate area of inquiry. International relations are inextricably bound up with discursive practices that put into circulation representations that are taken as “truth.” The goal of analyzing these practices is not to reveal essential truths that have been obscured, but rather to examine how certain representations underlie the production of knowledge and, identities and how these representations make various courses of action possible. As Said (1979: 21) notes, there is no such thing as a delivered presence, but there is a re-presence, or representation. Such an assertion does not deny the existence of the material world, but rather suggests that material objects and subjects are constituted as such within discourse. So, for example, when U.S. troops march into Grenada, this is certainly “real” though the march of troops across a piece of geographic space is in itself singularly uninteresting and socially irrelevant outside of the representations that produce meaning. It is only when “American” is attached to the troops and “Grenada” to the geographic space that meaning is created. What the physical behavior itself is, though. is still far from certain until discursive practices constitute it as an “invasion,” a “show of force,” a “training exercise,” a “rescue,” and so on. What is “really” going on in such a situation is inextricably linked to the discourse within which it is located. To attempt a neat separation between discursive and nondiscursive practices, understanding the former as purely linguistic assumes a series of dichotomies- thought/ reality, appearance/essence, mind/matter, word/world, subjective/objective-that a critical genealogy calls into question. Against this, the perspective taken here affirms the material and performative character of discourse. ‘In suggesting that global politics, and specifically the aspect that has to do with relations between the North and the South, is linked to representational practices I am suggesting that the issues and concerns that constitute these relations occur within a “reality” whose content has for the most part been defined by the representational practices of the “first world”. Focusing on discursive practices enables one to examine how the processes that produce “truth” and “knowledge” work and how they are articulated with the exercise of political military, and economic power.


Now this is a great card for arguing that representations are important, but does it really argue that one word k’s like the prolif K in this example are good? I think not. Its talking about the way representations can function to define and limit our ideas about what policy options are, or more specifically what policy options are acceptable. If the affirmative said we should ratify the CTBT to solve prolif, than the representations of proliferation are probably very relevant to the question what policy options are considered legitimate. When just the word prolif is uttered in the context of global warming that constraining function is less prevalent if present at all. So while representations are important, not all representations should be treated equally and its arguable whether or not a single word constitutes a representation as such. These are all distinctions a smart 1AR could make to explain why this piece of Doty evidence is not applicable to the context of this debate- your FW allows investigating issues of representations while not necessarily saying all reps should be evaluated in a vacuum.


“Isn’t this totally arbitrary?”


No, its not. People in debate throw around the word arbitrary all the time, and often times its true. Arbitrary means based on personal choice or whim not on something reasoned or systematic. So saying “counter interp you get 6 conditional options not 7” in and of itself is not arbitrary, it is only arbitrary when there is no reasoned explanation of why 6 is different from 7. Given the way most teams debate conditionality their offense about why conditionality is bad always links to their stupid counter interpretations thus making them arbitrary- there is no reason for the difference. In this case we have the opposite- there are very good reasons for drawing this distinction between what is and is not an acceptable sort of reps K. The call of what exactly is “central” to the affirmative may not be crystal clear, that doesn’t mean its “arbitrary”- the debaters have to argue it out. Whichever side wins that argument will do so because of a set of reasons, making the distinction definitionally not arbitrary.








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