University of Virginia International Relations Theory Paper

For this paper, you will pick a topic you care about in international relations. This can be any topic, including but certainly not limited to: the Israel-Palestine conflict, nuclear proliferation, NATO, weapons sales, cooperation (or lack thereof) with COVID, etc. You will then select two IR theories that we discussed in class where at least one of which is from the first unit. Use these two theories to analyze and explain your chosen issue. Compare where the theories are similar and contrast where they are different. Finally, conclude by explaining why you think one theory is better than the other or why some combination of the theories works best to explain the problem at hand.

The analysis paper must be submitted on Blackboard. I will check for plagiarizing. I have been a teaching assistant for four years, in graduate school for six years, and before that was an undergraduate. I know all of the ways students try to cheat turn-it-in. As a consequence, I download all of your papers, convert them into text on my own word documents, and re-run them through the plagiarism software. Do not try and plagiarize – I was not born yesterday and have a zero-tolerance policy.

Example: “I am going to analyze Lyndon Johnson’s decision to escalate the Vietnam War through human nature realism, defensive realism, and offensive realism.”  •”I am going to analyze the U.S. decision to not intervene in the First World War until late in the conflict using realism, liberalism, and constructivism?

I do not want the crux of the paper to be about the issue. This is a class on IR theory. The goal of the paper is for you to demonstrate to me your mastery of two+ IR theories. I am not interested in your knowledge of the intricacies of Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam

•Reminder: your paper is about comparing at least two theories we have discussed in class, *not* the topic you choose

The theories from the first part of the course are from theorists like (realism, classical realist, idealist/liberal, structural realism, defensive realism, offensive realism, liberalism, neorealism, neoclassical realists, constructivism, etc.)  E.H. Carr, Stephen Walt,  Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, John Mearsheimer, Andrew Moravcsik, Alexander Wendt, Gideon Rose, 

And theorists from second part of the course (International relations liberalism/neoliberalism, Neoliberal Institutionalism, cumulative prospect theory, critical theory, Critical Migration Theory, ): Stephen Brooks and MNC’s & IR theory, Robert Keohane and Robert Gilpin, Bob Keohane, Ronald Coase, Stephen Krasner, inverse Coase Theorem, Tversky and Kahneman & Heuristic biases, Robert Jervis, Tierney, Yuen foong kong, Thomas Schelling, Karl Marx, Robert Cox ,Hannah Arendt , 


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