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bighead384
02-03-2009, 12:37 AM
I wasn't going to post this. But fuck that, I'm posting it. Help me out. I have a few ideas, but I wanna know some particularly interesting international relations topics. It's a 10 page paper. Yikes. This will be the longest one I've ever done.

wheelchairman
02-03-2009, 05:40 AM
Do you have access to jstor?

Kenneth Waltz was the man who invented the first real theory on international relations (Neo-Realism). I think it's a fantastic theory, I love reading it when applied to international relations and I love how it makes sense. Even though it has some serious deficiences.

There is also neo-liberalism and I believe it's a man name Nye (not Bill Nye the science guy though), but I can't remember his first name, something like Robert I believe. The interesting part with this theory is that it looks into the interconnectedness of nations economies (that was what it was called in the 1970's, today we usually can refer to this as globalisation.)

There is another major theory out there as well but I can't remember it's name, something like constructionism or something. (Has no relation to the popstar theory of social-constructivism that is mainstream in university circles these days. Never trust a person who says 'everything is a social construct'.)

Anyways if you have access to Jstor or some other university library you can get plenty of material to write a 10 page essay on this stuff. I've done it at least 3 times on neo-realism alone.

EDIT: Structuralism might actually be the term I was looking for.

Structuralism, social-constructivism, constructionist, deconstruction, man the social sciences are just NOT creative.

jacknife737
02-03-2009, 10:09 AM
So what's the deal, can you write it on anything that covers IR?

At the moment, i'm currently fascinated with the notions of Empire in IR, particularly the existence of an American Empire. You could write a paper on whether or not you think the concept of Empire still exists in 2009; or if you want to take a pro or negative take on the idea of empire (ie Perhaps focus specifically on the concept of nation building). Some literature to check out, the pro side, Niall Ferguson - Colossus or Michal Ignatieff's Empire Lite. For the negative side, Are We Rome? by Cullen Murphy is good. There is loads more stuff on either perspective.

Another idea, semi-related to the Empire topic, could be global Hegemony. You could do an analysis on if it's good for the international system. Perhaps examine the position that the US held in the 1990s, and how the emergence of China as a global power is going to affect the system. Will China's rise be peaceful, or will it lead to global conflict? Will the European Union pose a threat to American dominance?

Another interesting topic is the future of NATO. Does it still have a future, given the fact that the reason for its existence (the Soviet Union) no longer exists; or also that most European members are reluctant to contribute significant amounts of blood and treasure to current missions.

Robert Kagan wrote a book entitled Of Paradise and Power where he challenges the idea that Europe and the US share the same world view and strategic interests. And why the US is more inclined to engage in military action, and Europeans diplomacy. You could evaluate this.

Speaking of Kenneth Waltz (thank's for reminding me wheelchairman), he wrote a book entitled The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed, where he makes a case for widespread possession of nuclear weapons amongst states. So you could examine the topic of nuclear proliferation.

I'll probably bring up some more ideas later on. I'd also be happy to recommend sources on whatever topic you select.

Edit: You could tear apart the democratic peace theory. I can explain further, if you're interested.

Superdope
02-03-2009, 10:16 AM
So what's the deal, can you write it on anything that covers IR?

At the moment, i'm currently fascinated with the notions of Empire in IR, particularly the existence of an American Empire. You could write a paper on whether or not you think the concept of Empire still exists in 2009; or if you want to take a pro or negative take on the idea of empire (ie Perhaps focus specifically on the concept of nation building). Some literature to check out, the pro side, Niall Ferguson - Colossus or Michal Ignatieff's Empire Lite. For the negative side, Are We Rome? by Cullen Murphy is good. There is loads more stuff on either perspective.

Another idea, semi-related to the Empire topic, could be global Hegemony. You could do an analysis on if it's good for the international system. Perhaps examine the position that the US held in the 1990s, and how the emergence of China as a global power is going to affect the system. Will China's rise be peaceful, or will it lead to global conflict? Will the European Union pose a threat to American dominance?

Another interesting topic is the future of NATO. Does it still have a future, given the fact that the reason for its existence (the Soviet Union) no longer exists; or also that most European members are reluctant to contribute significant amounts of blood and treasure to current missions.

Robert Kagan wrote a book entitled Of Paradise and Power where he challenges the idea that Europe and the US share the same world view and strategic interests. And why the US is more inclined to engage in military action, and Europeans diplomacy. You could evaluate this.




I wrote a paper about these topics just the other week. It involved some pretty interesting reads, so I would recommend this.


EDIT: actually it was almost precisely this. Are you my social studies teacher?

bighead384
02-03-2009, 10:46 AM
So what's the deal, can you write it on anything that covers IR?


Yeah, anything. Thanks for the ideas guys. I'm thinking about it...

Paint_It_Black
02-03-2009, 11:58 AM
I find this to be a rather interesting problem http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=99463&catid=81


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Less than two weeks into office, President Barack Obama faces a dilemma contained in a massive economic stimulus bill: Backing protectionist measures that could set off a trade war, or opposing them, which could trigger a backlash from his supporters.

The choice involves "buy American" provisions attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress. They would require major public works projects to favor U.S. steel, iron and manufacturing over imports.

Some Democratic lawmakers and interest groups allied to the president support the measures. But international allies and trading partners are warning that favoring U.S. companies would breach U.S. trade commitments and could set off countermeasures around the world.

刘力锋
02-03-2009, 09:40 PM
http://www.chinasmack.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/chinese-premier-wen-jiabao-cambridge-university-2009-getty.jpg

Al Coholic
02-03-2009, 10:31 PM
Yeah, he missed by about ten-twelve feet, the guy continues his speech while an aide quietly picked up the shoe, and the man was escorted out. Lame.

By the way, if you want to make it easy on yourself, do something well documented that already happened. Like, WW2. It'll be a boring recap of what everyone already knows, but easier to write than something current.

刘力锋
02-04-2009, 05:36 AM
... It'll be a boring recap of what everyone already knows, but easier to write than something current.
Wen can not live with democracy.
Bush's response was a lot better.

NGNM85
02-09-2009, 11:15 PM
International Relations is a pretty broad subject. It sounds like you have a lot of leeway. I took IR last semester. For my final I did a powerpoint presentation on genocide in East Timor. Just to roughly summarize, east timor is a very small country at the tip of Indonesia (Which is a huge country.) about six kilometers from Australia. In the early 70's East Timor fianally got it's independence from Portugal. The Fretilin party which was a nationalist vaguley leftist party, won. Now, Indonesia was ruled by a dictator named Suharto who came to power in a US-backed coup in the 50's that killed hundreds of thousands, he was a staunch anti-communist, which was all that washington cared about, but he was a butcher. Anyhow, he obviously didn't like the idea of this neighboring country bringing about democratic reforms and talking about liberation and such, that was a threat, so he invaded. The official invasion didn't begin until about a year later but Indonesian troops began moving in just after the election. Anyway, in '75, Ford and Kissinger have a meeting with Suharto, say they had no idea about the impending invasion. According to the Freedom of Information Act that conversation is published and in fact Ford/Kissinger gave the green light for the invasion which is not only a violation of international law, but it's actually illegal in US law because we were supplying the indonesian military which legally can only be used for defense. Total bloodbath, the indonesia slaughtered at LEAST a third of the population, they're still killing people. Fascinating story almost nobody knows about, great topic. If you wanna know more check out Geoff Simons' "Indonesia", Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent", and the Center for Constitutional Rights' website. I'd be happy to provide plenty of info, as well. Also, if everybody could go to the East Timor Action Network and help stop the killings and get justice for the victims, it's a good cause.
http://www.etan.org/