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Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest 2015

Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest 2015

Showcase your ideas on public policy and the role of markets by entering our essay competition.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, government surveillance and access to citizens’ private information has climbed to unprecedented levels, from intrusive screenings at the airport to CCTV cameras to domestic drones and data collection. Politicians, law enforcement, and military personnel have defended these security initiatives, saying they are essential in preserving and enhancing national security in a post-9/11 world.

Yet, opponents argue that their right to individual privacy is being violated. Can privacy and security co-exist, and which should take precedence? To what extent should governments be allowed to monitor their citizens in the name of protecting the general public, and through what measures? Do these domestic surveillance programs actually keep us safer?


National Security and the Role of Government: Safety vs. Privacy in a Technological Age


Fraser Institute

Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest 2014


High School: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500

Undergraduate: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500

Graduate: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500


June 1, 2015


  • The contest is open to Canadian and foreign students. A student is defined as someone who attends school in the 2014/2015 school year or is enrolled to attend in 2015/2016.
  • Submissions will be considered from secondary and post-secondary (undergraduate and graduate) students in all disciplines.
  • Entry must include a typed essay of 1,000-1,500 words, and a cover sheet including the student’s name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address. High school students should include school and grade. Post-secondary students should include school, major, and year of graduation.
  • Entries must include references cited from academic sources. Any academically acceptable referencing style may be used.
  • Please note that if you are planning to include a graph in your essay, you must send it to us in an Excel file with the underlying data in order that we can recreate it in house. If you want to include a previously published graph for which you do not have the underlying data, you must cite its source appropriately to prove that you have permission to reuse it.
  • Entries may only be submitted once. Further submissions with revisions will not be accepted.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, clear expression of ideas, and understanding of competitive markets.
  • All entries become of the property of the Fraser Institute. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners may be published in Canadian Student Review once they have gone through the peer-review process.
  • Your essay should draw from modern day events and use historical evidence (as opposed to hypothetical theories). You may examine different methods of surveillance, the extent to which they are used, and how they affect national security and privacy. You may wish to argue whether or not concerns about national security ought to trump individual privacy, what the implications are of future security initiatives, or perhaps examine other questions related to privacy and surveillance. Your examples do not have to be Canadian, but you must support your position with empirical analysis.
  • Enter the essay contest here.


For more information call: 1-800-665-3558, ext. 538 or


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