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International Relations Exam Questions and Answers

State Sovereignty and its Importance in the International System

This is an open-book exam, meaning that you may use various resources to help you, including lecture notes/slides, textbook, UCW library materials, or the interne. You must write your answers in your own words as much as possible. You do not need to cite any sources UNLESS you are including a "direct quote". You should aim to write 2 paragraphs per answer. Any late submissions will not be accepted.

This is an individual assessment. Although it is open book, you must NOT receive help from anyone else. ANY sign of cheating or plagiarism or any sign that this is not your own work will lead to an automatic zero on the exam.

Answer all of the following five questions: 

1. Define the concept of state sovereignty. Why is sovereignty an important feature of the international system? Provide a specific example of when a state's sovereignty was violated. This example can be real or hypothetical. (5 Marks)

2. When does the legitimacy of a state come into question? And, are democracies always considered to be legitimate by their citizens? Why or why not? (5 Marks)

3. How do unitary, federal and confederal systems differ from each other? Explain why some countries choose unitary systems and others choose federal. Which system do you think is best and why? (5 Marks)

4. Compare and contrast presidential and parliamentary systems. In your answer, make sure to discuss the following points: how is the head of government selected in these two systems? How does this affect the relationship between the executive and legislative branches? (5 Marks)


5. Explain what a vote of no-confidence is in as much detail as possible. In your explanation you should mention how a vote of non-confidence can be put forward and what happens if it passes. (5 Marks)

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