In the latter portion of the course we are going to consider a number of contemporary issues in international relations. Some of them are extremely broad (international political economics, war), others are just somewhat extremely broad (nuclear proliferation, terrorism). Either way, we are only going to scratch the surface of these issues. I would like to give you an opportunity to dig a little deeper into some issue in contemporary international relations. In this assignment I ask you to pick a topic of interest – it could be something like a specific event (a war between two countries, a nonmilitary conflict like Iran’s potential nuclear weapons, etc.) or something broader but thematic (global warming, the COVID pandemic). The key is going to be picking a topic that is narrow enough to deal with in an 2000-2500 word paper (that’s roughly 8 to 10 pages). The topic mus be contemporary. That means it must involve events that have happened after 1989.

1) Give a BRIEF summary of your topic. What are the major relevant details about the subject? This should be NO MORE THAN 750 WORDS. That’s why you need to narrow your topic before you sit down to write your paper.

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2) Are there any relevant international agreements about your topic? Has the United Nations or other IGO’s dealt with your topic? What NGO’s are active in this area and what are their goals?

3) Who are the (most) relevant countries? What are their interests or goals as regards your topic? Go beyond just restating what you said in Question 1.

4) Analyze your topic from a realist and liberal perspective. How would each approach explain the way countries and individuals have behaved in your topic?

5) What is the future of your topic?

You should be using academic sources for this paper. That means that while you can consult Wikipedia as a start, you should be using additional sources, possibly including global newspapers, scholarly books and journal articles and government websites. If you are going to use web-based sources, make sure (as always) to consider who the source of the website is. Are they credible? Do they have expertise? What’s their angle or bias? MAKE SURE TO USE IN-TEXT CITATIONS in your paper. I don’t particularly care what format they are (MLA vs APA vs Chicago) just so long as (a) you stay consistent in the paper and (b) I can figure out how to find each source myself if I so choose.

Remember that whenever you use someone’s idea, either in a direct quote or reworded yourself, you should use a citation. Using someone’s words or ideas without citation is PLAGIARISM and doing so will lead to a minimum of a zero on the paper and quite possibly failure of the class. Please include a Works Cited page IN ADDITION TO the in-text citations. Failure to do so will result in a 10% penalty.

 

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