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Essays on International Relations Theories, War and Security, and International Political Economy an
Answered

The relationship between theory and actual policy

Task:

Essay 1: International Relations Theories—How and Why Do They Matter?

Discuss the bulleted items below:

What is the relationship of theory to actual policy? Are theories pre-packaged conceptual tools policy-makers then apply to the interpretation of actual events? Expressed differently, is there a 1/1 correspondence between a particular event and a theory that explains it? If so, how do we explain two ‘realist’ (or liberals or constructivists, etc.) policymakers who both call for completely opposite policies in the same case, one opting for military intervention for example, while the other prefers a policy of restraint? What does this say about the relationship between theory and actual policy? 

Can you identify a particular IR theory that appeals to you as the better explanation of human behavior than others? Or would you say that the existence of multiple theories is an indication that perhaps all of them are plausible as possible interpretations of the same or different human events? Be clear and use examples to make your case.

Consider the structure of the US government as reflected in the Constitution (i.e. institutional checks and balances, power-sharing among federal and state authority, etc.) Does this structure reflect a realist, liberal, or some other theory of human behavior? In effect, is the ‘more perfect union’ of 1787 infused with a more realist or more liberal spirit, or maybe a bit of both. Explain the possibilities concisely yet clearly with examples?

Essay 2: War & Security

Why does theory matter when discussing the causes of war? If theory is not necessarily a reflection of reality (or policy), how and why do theories help us manage security?
Does any particular theory do better than others at both explaining and helping to manage state security? Explain why or why not.
Briefly discuss the limits and possibilities of the “laws of war” as policy—can you identify the conditions of war under which they appear to succeed or fail at limiting abuses?

Essay 3: International Political Economy & Globalization

Discuss the bulleted items below:

Reasoning with clear ideas and examples from the sectors of International Trade and Finance, provide at least two main justifications for the usefulness of what is referred to as Globalization, and two of its main criticisms? Be sure to have a working definition of Globalization even if its meaning appears both highly elastic and normative.

Reasoning with clear ideas and examples, provide at least two main justifications for International Economic Development as a legitimate component of Globalization, and two of its main criticisms? Have a working definition of International Development even if highly elastic and normative. Caution: The development meant here is not private economic development, but humanitarian development represented by the UN Human Development project, USAID, or other INGO efforts.

Using biblical and extra-biblical sources to inform your own reasoning, does a consistent Christian worldview require definite support for or opposition to increasing global economic integration and humanitarian development, or is this support or opposition merely contingent upon specific ideas and behaviors? Be clear and coherent in your response.

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