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MAJOR IR

Major Essay Questions
Students are to choose one of the following questions for their major essay of 3000-3500 words (including footnotes and references).

1. Linklater & Burchill claim that the great proliferation of theoretical approaches [to IR theory] should be applauded rather than lamented (Burchill & Linklater, Theories of IR, 5th Ed, London: Palgrave-Macmillan, page 27. Do you agree? Why or why not?

2. If the Neo-Neo synthesis is the result of the epistemological and ontological convergence of neorealism and neoliberalism, what are the benefits and costs of this convergence?

3. Martin Wight asserts that there are three traditions (realism, rationalism and revolutionism) in IR theory. Which tradition do you think presents the most useful approach to the study of international relations and why? (see Wight, M. 1991. The Three Traditions of International Theory. InInternational Theory: The Three Traditions, eds. G. White and B. Porter. Leicester: Leicester University Press)

4. Compare and contrast how the English School and postcolonial theory view the Third World Revolt.

5.Marx made a number of startlingly predictions about the global expansion of capitalism and globalization. Has the interconnectedness of the world economy increased the bonds of international community or reduced them?

6. In what ways does Critical Theory provide the descriptive and normative bases for emancipation in world politics?

7. Postmodern scholars have tended to view the universalist aspirations of cosmopolitanism as dangerous, relative, and exclusionary. Can cosmopolitanism overcome these criticisms?

8. How does gender inequality and patriarchy impinge on international order and justice?

9. Postcolonial theory suggests that the narrative of International Relations is problematically trapped in the discourses of modernity, development, and progress. Critically analyse and evaluate how postcolonial theory conceive of alternative ways of approaching world politics.

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