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University Degree: International Relations

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  1. What do you understand by the term globalization? Has the recent economic recession led to de-globalization?

    However, it has not been known under its definitions nowadays until the 1980s (Economist 2009). According to Kenneth Waltz (2000: 47), 'globalization is the fad of the 1990, and globalization is made in America.' The Americanization of human population is marked by enlarging the global scales in terms of goods distribution, capital flow and free movement of workers. In other words, 'economic interests dominate and markets begin to supplant politics at home and abroad' (Waltz 2000: 46). However, Waltz (2000: 49)

    • Word count: 2495
  2. Argue for and against the idea that sovereignty is of declining significance

    Lastly, this essay will reason that these challenges are threatening different elements of sovereignty, arguing their relative significance. Due to reason of space and the vastness and controversy of this essay topic, limitations are inevitable. The essay is majorly dealing with contemporary issues related to the debate and the reader should bear in mind that the essay is elusive in the sense that arguments are only dealt with cursorily. The concept of sovereignty Before examining how state sovereignty may be withering away, it is imperative to understand how sovereignty has been traditionally conceived. Since the late 16th century sovereignty has been strictly linked to the concept of states and Bodin undeniably referred to the supreme authority conferred on the state.

    • Word count: 2430
  3. How important are international institutions for the operation of todays globalized economy?

    Secondly, it will be considered how globalization has lead to the emergence of international institutions and the need for such institutions to operate in an increasingly integrating economy. Thirdly, in purpose of arguing the dominate role of western ideology and western interests in international institutions, this essay will discuss the role of foremost the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The distributional role of multilateral economic institutions will be highlighted as well as the immense critique brought against them. Lastly, this essay will conclude international institutions to play an important role in the globalizing economy, however, not equally serving the world's states and peoples.

    • Word count: 2574
  4. How do liberals try to explain why democracies rarely fight each other, and which do you find most or least plausible?

    2003, pp. 520-521). They do go to war against non-democracies and they are not less war-prone than them, but they almost never fight other democracies. The more democratic countries are, the more peaceful the international system will be. Therefore, the way to achieve global peace is democratisation (Kadera et al. 2003, p. 234). Democratic peace theorists list two reasons why the theory is right. Firstly, 'institutional constraints': the public opinion controlling actions of the government, checks and balances inside the government and 'shared commercial interests' (Doyle 1983b, p.

    • Word count: 2556
  5. Critical Review of Van Evera's Article 'Offense, Defense and the Causes of War'

    Van Evera begins with an outline of the 'effects' of offense dominance and lists ten 'war-causing effects' that occur during offensive dominance. This is summarised later in the article in the form of a table which displays how all explanations conclude in war. These are 'opportunistic expansion', 'defensive expansion', 'fierce resistance to expansion by other states', 'moving first is more rewarding', 'windows are larger, and more dangerous', 'faits accomplis are more common and more dangerous', 'states negotiate less and reach fewer agreements', 'secrecy is more common and more dangerous', 'more intense arms racing', and 'offense grows even stronger' (Van Evera 1998 p12).

    • Word count: 2374
  6. Using your understanding of classical realism, explain the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Subsequently, the key assumptions of realist theory will be related to the invasion. After garnering support from Great Britain and other allies such as Australia and Poland, the USA invaded Iraq. 21 days later, it was declared that they had successfully toppled the evil dictatorship of Hussein. However, the war was in the media spotlight and the whole world was watching the USA by means of the news crews that were present in Iraq; no WMDs had been found - later it would be discovered that no WMDs would ever be found. It then became pertinent by political theorists to reassess the situation that had caused the invasion.

    • Word count: 2146
  7. How has the nature of security changed since the end of the Cold War?

    As a foreword, due to length constraints this essay will attempt to avoid individual security and concentrate on national and international. The first major change that shall be discussed is the evolving agency of security in the contemporary world. Agency The traditional view in the study of security was that conflict took place between states exclusively, that the nation state and its military were the only actors on the world stage; this realist view has been under serious criticism since the end of the Cold War.

    • Word count: 2845
  8. If all states were democratic, would we ever go to war? A critical analysis of the democratic peace proposition.

    Democracy by definition can be perceived as 'a process in which citizens freely exercise their political rights and reconcile interests without resort to violence' (Cortright, 2008, p. 233) and in this respect its basic ideology is rooted in cooperation and non violence as governments are prone 'externalise their domestic norms of conflict resolution' (Rosato, 2005), that is that if a state uses peaceful means to resolve internal political conflict then they are highly likely to utilise the same means with regards to international relations.

    • Word count: 2763
  9. Who or what started and perpetuated the Cold War?

    disappeared leaving only two radically different political, social, economic and ideological systems"2. The quote from Donette Murray really summarises the situation that the superpowers faced, also we must consider that the Soviet Union was a Communist state and the U.S a democratic state to some extent a capitalist state. The tensions during the war and after it were quite great between Stalin and the other leaders of the allied forces. Stalin was angry that Britain and America kept delaying D-Day, he believed it was a plot to aloe Germany to weaken the Soviet Union.3 When WW2 was over the control of Berlin and other European countries (which were in the past under Nazi control)

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  10. International order

    However, the failure of the League led to the establishment of the United Nations on the 24 October, 1945 after the Second World War to maintaining International peace and security. In the formation of the League of Nations at the Paris Peace Conference held in 1919, the covenant of the League was drawn up in the atmosphere that was not advantageous to some other smaller countries. The League's covenant was sealed between the first five major powers of the era which included France and Britain, eventually nine other allied joined the League and a peace treaty with Germany was also included in the League's covenant (Trueman, 2000).

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    Upon signing and ratifying the WTO Agreement, each member state of the WTO committed itself through a series of agreements to ultimately liberalize its trade in goods, services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Each member state signed the WTO Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes as well as the Agreement relating to the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). This action required member states to periodically subject their national trade and economic policies for examination to ensure that their respective mandates are in keeping with the WTO?s commitments.

    • Word count: 2551
  12. Was nuclear strategy (and the theory of deterrence generally) an attempt to rationalise the irrational?

    The two nations had accumulated enough missiles to completely annihilate the other, Oppenheimer; 'the father of the atomic bomb' likened it to "two scorpions in a bottle each capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life"2. The US department of defence had a much less metaphoric definition; "The prevention from action by fear of the consequences. Deterrence is a state of mind brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction".3 Nuclear strategy can best be defined within major three time frames.

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  13. Kosovo, rwanda, and Iraq

    humanitarian intervention force into Somalia. In 1993, U.S. dead were brutally dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, sparking the U.S. public to advocate the end of the mission. The media has the ability to inspire the population into humanitarian intervention, but "pictures of casualties ... can lead to public disillusionment".2 The double edged public opinion was created by the mass media, and it could be compared to the news coverage in Rwanda. The U.N. commission of inquiry concluded, after Somalia, that "the UN should refrain from undertaking further peace enforcement actions within the internal conflicts of the State".3 The U.S.

    • Word count: 2614
  14. In your opinion, how many capitalisms are there in the global system?

    Clausewitz's theories on the object of war are, like most theories on most things, products of his experience and environment. Clausewitz acknowledges this in Chapter Six of Book Two of On War, in which he says "Undoubtedly, the knowledge basic to the art of war is empirical...the very nature is usually revealed to us only by experience2". It is then only right that we should take into account the historical events contemporary to Clausewitz when discussing On War. For it is only by understanding the context in which On War was written that we can understand the work itself.

    • Word count: 2435
  15. The aftermath of 9/11

    President Bush and his supporters stressed the need to go on the offensive against terrorists, to deploy the U.S. military, and to promote democracy in the Middle East. (Gordon 07). The U.S is fighting a war on terror and must remain on the offensive. The Bush administration feel, that U.S. power is the foundation of global order, and the spread of democracy and freedom is the key to a safer and more peaceful world. (Gordon 06). Therefore I feel that neo-conservatism and Realism are the theories of International Relations that are most useful in understanding world politics today. World Order in the 21st Century Terrorism is a multi-faced problem and requires an aggressive and long-term solution.

    • Word count: 2102
  16. Weapons of Mass Destruction

    'War-fighting deterrence' represents an attempt to maximise self-reliance while minimising the necessity to entrust one's security to the restraint of one's opponent. Accordingly, advocates of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) claim that their policy harnesses the war-preventing potential of nuclear weapons at the lowest possible level of cost and risk.4 Before the nuclear age, deterrence was relatively difficult in part because it was harder then with the prevailing military technology to determine whether the cost of losing would be either disproportionate to the stakes involved in the war, or wholly catastrophic to the historic destiny of their nations.

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  17. In your opinion, how many capitalisms are there in the global system?

    And accepting that the term 'Capitalism' encompasses too many varieties to say that there is only one system in the world means we have to abandon Fukuyama's concept of 'The End of History5', however headline-grabbing it might be. While, like any academic concept, the idea of 'many capitalisms' is not without detractions, in what follows, I shall try and identify how many capitalisms there are in the world. I shall identify the number of capitalisms and analyse what differentiates them from each other.

    • Word count: 2543
  18. How Compelling is the Social Constructivist Account of Global Politics?

    He argued 'rationalist claims presuppose a history of interaction in which actors have acquired "selfish" identities and interests. They have no experience upon which to base such a definition of self and other' (Wendt 1992:401-402). In relation to the Constructivist account, Wendt it postulating that whilst rationalism makes the mistake of creating innate state interests that presuppose history, Constructivism argues that no such interests can exist prior to history. It is the interactions between states that create state interests; they are not 'pre-programmed' as such.

    • Word count: 2262
  19. What are the core assumptions of realism and why has it been so influential in the study of international relations

    According to realists competition does not occur on a domestic level, it is present only in the international sphere where states will compete with each other for "security, markets and influence" in a state of anarchy (Baylis and Smith 2006: 172) Morgenthau wrote "All politics is a struggle for power that is inseparable from social life itself" (Morgenthau 1948a 17-18). Here he illustrates the realist view that states operate in an international system of anarchy, that is to say there is no overarching sovereign in the international sphere and as such states are the supreme sovereign units.

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  20. Are poor countries poor because rich countries are rich?

    'European 17th century colonial expansion, international trade, and creation of financial markets produced a new legal and financial environment, one which supported and enabled 18th century industrial growth.' (Deane, 2003: 244) Whereas, for the colonies, they received an insignificant proportion of the profits and were subjected to social problems and low standards of living due to the large slave trade. It is therefore not only possible, but a definitive function of global growth that countries grow at differing cycles, these being defined by socio-economic change.

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  21. To what extent have the various rounds of European Union enlargement created both opportunities and problems?

    The EU views enlargement as a historic opportunity to promote stability and prosperity throughout Europe. The criteria for EU association necessitate candidates to have ".....the capacity to undertake the commitments of membership, including loyalty to the aims of political, monetary and economic union" (Copenhagen Criteria, 1989). The accession process does not involve negotiation but rather, at its most basic, expects new members to accept the rules of the club they wish to join. The conditions set for accession requires new member states to have a stable democracy, a functioning market economy with the capacity to withstand competitive pressure in the EU, and the ability to take on the obligations of membership ie.

    • Word count: 2282
  22. Democracy , one of the most contested and controversial concepts in political theory, discuss.

    there is periodic and competitive elections to choose the leaders of the people by registered voters and where the civil rights of the people are upheld (Huntington, 1991:6-8). One of the major characteristics of Huntington's definition of democracy that makes it ideal as the definition for democracy is that it is easily applicable consistently across the globe as compared to Abrahamsen's. Globally, most states can easily conduct free and fair elections that provide a fair competitive election without considering the liberties of the people, equality and fraternity (Huntington, 1991:9).

    • Word count: 2199
  23. What contribution has the UN made towards the maintenance of peace since 1945?

    Mainly, the United Nations manages to preserve world peace because of the notion of collective security which is maintained within the United Nations and its various bodies. Collective Security is a system aspiring to the maintenance of peace, in which participants agree that any breach of the peace is to be declared to be of concern to all the participating states, and will result in a collective response. The United Nations Charter says, "The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether

    • Word count: 2013
  24. Should Iran have nuclear weapons? The global and regional implications

    In 2002, Bush declared Iran a member of the 'Axis of Evil', alongside Iraq and North Korea, declaring that "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom"3. Bush is not alone in his view that the links between Iran and terrorist organisations cannot be ignored, particularly in the context of nuclear weaponry. Iran was added to the U.S. list of state sponsors of international terrorism in 1984 and, according to the State Department, "continued to provide Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian rejectionist groups-notably Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP-GC-with varying amounts of funding, safe haven, training, and weapons.

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  25. The United Nations

    are permanent members; the other ten are elected for two-year terms. Under the UN charter, UN members are obligated to follow the Security Council's directives. Decisions require nine "yes" votes and any permanent member can veto a decision. The Security Council tries to exhaust all possibilities for resolution prior to authorizing the use of force. The possibilities short of force include negotiation, mediation, reference to the International Court of Justice, and economic pressure. * The Economic and Social Council - the 54member council coordinates the economic and social work of the UN system.

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Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

    "In conclusion, we now live in a multi level society that has a global level of organisation but also regional and national levels. Global international agencies reinforce the nation state; global movements only challenge the authority of the nation state and although nation states are loosing some of their autonomy and sovereignty, but that this has been lost because country's are becoming more regionalised. Castells (1997) argues that subnationalisms and communal resistance by ethnic and religious groups have forced the nation state to decentralise authority and decision making to meet their demands."

  • To what extent is it correct to argue that globalisation is a threat to the state and to the unique entity that is the European Union?

    "In conclusion it can be seen that although the whole world will evolve and change due to globalisation, it may not necessarily threaten the unique state and entity which is the EU. Economically all states are somewhat at the mercy of MNCs and the fluctuations which occur in the world's financial markets and the globalising influences they bring to bear. Militarily the world has been globalised for many years with the existence of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (IBMs) but in terms of conventional warfare and peacekeeping the EU will strengthen its position when it eventually establishes its own defence force. This will hopefully compliment the global role of NATO and the UN and not threaten the EU as an entity. Indeed, the expansion of the EU from its current fifteen members to the projected twenty-five over the next ten years could well protect the EU from the threat globalisation. The problem may arise however that the EU's expansion may well pose a threat the uniqueness of other states."

  • To what extent is globalisation a relatively new process in world politics

    "To conclude, globalisation for many has just emerged recently, however to those with a profession in this area or those with a good knowledge will know that it has been for a relatively long period of time, it just was not recognised as globalisation. Therefore it would be fair to say that globalisation is not a relatively new process in world politics, it has only been recently recognised as such. Taken from the book Social Theory and Global Culture, 'Globalisation has thus not been a sudden novelty, It goes back to the three last centuries, and went through different stages'.7 1"

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