Prof. Joe Meyer's LACC Poli. Sci. 7
The questions not asked in the two Mid-term Exams may be asked for the Final Exam
POTENTIAL Essay Questions
All answers must be: typed, double space, name in upper right hand corner - staple if needed in upper left - NO COVER SHEET - use standard font size and style. Turn in - in class - no emails.
Use APA citation format (but no abstract, cover sheet, etc).
I will pick 2 questions for each midterm and 2, 3, or 4 for the final exam.
(How long should the answers be? As many paragraphs as it takes to answer the question, some where between three and twelve paragraphs each).
You should not have to do extra research as the questions are tied directly to the text, but feel free to augment your text with any relevant information, just cite it using APA citation format.
Any questions not asked on the two Mid-terms may be asked on the final.
1.) What are the new issues facing our planet? How are they transnational and interdependent? Give three examples. Is a supranational world government the answer to our global problems? How do you see the challenges of centralization and decentralization in the world today?
2.) Describe the realist, idealist, and ecological paradigms. Which one do you prefer? How does it help you answer your questions about international affairs today? What are the principal differences between the realist and idealist approaches? Describe at least three.
3.) The ecological paradigm asserts that preserving our environment is the key to human survival on this planet. Agree or disagree with this assertion. Would putting the environment ahead of human needs change the way the world engages in world politics? If so, how? If not, why not?
4.) Can states be powerful without having military capability? In developing your answer, name two states that have little military capability that you believe are among the most powerful states in the world. What attributes, other than military capability, combine to make these states powerful? Which attribute would you consider the most significant? Why?
5.) Some scholars and policy makers argue that military power can be overrated and that too much military spending actually can undermine a country's power. Do you subscribe to this argument, or do you think it is wrong? Explain your position, using the example(s) of a country or countries to make your case. Overall, how do you view military spending, in the context of other sources of a country's power base?
6.) One of the terms used in the study and understanding of foreign policy is globalization . What would you say is the precise meaning of this key term? How do you see it playing out in U.S. foreign policy—or in the foreign policy of other countries? How and in what ways does it specifically come into play in rising Islamic conflict with the West? Do you see globalization decreasing in the future?
7.) Describe the difference between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. Provide useful examples from the European Union and the United Nations. Why did NATO expand recently? Why did some people oppose NATO expansion? How would you describe the members of OPEC (for example)? What is the purpose for OPEC? Explain whether OPEC is essentially intergovernmental or supranational.
8.) Describe some important non-security aspects of the United Nations. What are the costs and benefits of U.S. membership in the United Nations? Is the United Nations a threat to U.S. national security? Explain why or why not. Does the United Nations help make the world a more peaceful place? Excluding the case of the U.S.–led war in Iraq , provide at least two different examples to support your case.
9. What influence do NGOs have in international relations? What obstacles do NGOs face in achieving their goals? Cite concrete examples using Greenpeace, Amnesty International, or Doctors Without Borders. Why is there political opposition to NGOs like Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and Amnesty International? What can NGOs do, if anything, to reduce such opposition?
10. Describe the scope of economic power that multinational corporations (MNCs) can have. Do you believe that MNCs are more powerful than states? Explain why MNCs are motivated to set up shop in one or more foreign countries. Explain how corporate actors encroach upon the sovereignty of countries. Consider the issue both from a host country's perspective and a home country's perspective.
11. In what ways would you say political geography helps us to understand world politics in our current post–9/11 setting? Identify at least two post–9/11 hot spots in the world today to illustrate the driving forces of political geography at work. Discuss how U.S. geostrategic thinking may be at work in formulating and executing policies to deal with such post–9/11 hot spots. In the future, do you think geography will become less important in world affairs, or do you believe it will remain a critical factor? Why do you take this position?
12. The words nation , nationalism , and the state have different meanings. Identify and note the significance of each of these terms, using specific examples and evidence to illustrate your points. Explain why, in your judgment, these concepts are important in the study and understanding of international relations.
13. Nationalism has both strong positive and negative effects around the world. Identify and discuss, at minimum, three positive and three negative effects, using specific evidence and examples to support your argument. Overall, would you say the positive outweighs the negative, or vice versa? Can you see any ways to reinforce nationalism's positive effects and weaken its negative manifestations?
14. Why are there wars? Using the concept of the levels of analysis, what are the causes for war? Why is there sometimes peace in international relations? Describe how misperception can lead to wars. Provide two examples. Describe how domestic politics can lead to wars. Provide two examples, one of which may be abstract. Describe the difference between immediate (proximate) and underlying causes of war. Provide at least two concrete examples.
15. Why are there so many weapons in the world? Provide an explanation from both the supply and the demand side. What are the different kinds of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)? Explain how they threaten individuals, a country, or the world as a whole. Why do some commonly believe that WMD may actually not lead to mass casualties?
16. How effective are international institutions and international law at limiting global violence? Provide examples. What are the reasons for controlling the spread of nuclear weapons? Consider the historical experiences of the world's nuclear countries, as well as possible future problems. Be creative but realistic.
17. Review the UN Declaration of Universal Rights. Why are they called universal? What reasons can you give that many of its provisions are not acceptable to all cultures and all states? Which provisions tend to be acceptable to the most number of states? Which are not? In your opinion, how could the principles be changed to make them acceptable by all states? With these changes, could the UN Declaration still retain its universal character? How does the UN serve as a "centralizing agent" for issues of social justice, human rights, and women's rights? How would you evaluate its role in the promotion of human rights?
18. Do you think that UN intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state is justified for human rights abuses? If your answer is yes, should the UN intervene when any human rights is abused or only certain cases? What are these cases? How should the UN intervene: Militarily, or through its social and humanitarian institutions. If you answered no: are there any circumstances where the UN should intervene (eg, mass murder, genocide, mass rape and torture..)?
20. What is the role of the World Trade organization (WTO) in the management of the international trading system? How powerful is the WTO? What issues are currently its most contentious?
21. What is the role of international institutions in the management of the international economy? Specifically, discuss the World Bank and the International Montery Fund. Do you think that these institutions should be given more or less influence?
22. Of the explanations for the existence of rich and poor countries, which do you find most reasonable and why? Specifically, how should development be measured. If you were to measure a country's development, what three to five indicators would you select as priority yardsticks? Why do you think these are extremely critical to a country being designated as moving towards developmental progress?
23. Globalization has both positive and negative effects on developing countries. In your judgment, what are the three most significant positive and three most significant negative impacts? How, and in what ways, do they affect the development process?
24. Would you agree or disagree with this proposition: "The causes of problems among developing countries may be traced to their neocolonial or dependant status within the global economy"? If you agree, explain why. If you disagree, then cite some other root causes of underdevelopment not clearly associated with neocolonialism or dependency.