International Relations Paper

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1). To what extent, if at all, was the alliance pathology of ‘chain-ganging’ responsible for the outbreak of the First World War?

2). Critically evaluate the following statement: ‘The Versailles peace settlement was not fundamentally flawed. Rather, it was the Western powers’ failure to enforce its provisions against Germany in the 1920s that paved the way for renewed German aggression in the 1930s.’

3). On what grounds have scholars defended Britain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany as a complement to balancing rather than an alternative to it in the 1930s, and to what extent – if at all – is this argument persuasive?

4). Critically evaluate the following statement: “The Axis Powers’ aggression in World War II was motivated mainly by a pursuit of economic self-sufficiency, compelled by the post-1929 collapse of an open global economic order.” Discuss in relation to one of the following: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.

5). To what extent, if at all, can the outbreak of the Cold War be seen as the inevitable byproduct of a ‘security dilemma’ between the Soviet Union and the Western allies?

6). Critically evaluate the claim that the 1955 ‘Bandung’ conference constituted a genuinely revolutionary challenge to the Western-dominated post-war international order.

7). To what extent, if at all, did the peaceful resolution of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 demonstrate the value of nuclear weapons as an instrument for deterring Great Power war?

8). Given its overwhelming military superiority over North Vietnam, why did the United States lose the Vietnam war, and what lessons does its defeat offer for our understanding of contemporary asymmetric conflicts?

9). What political goals were the Arab states seeking to advance when they applied a selective oil embargo against major oil importing states in 1973-74, and to what extent – if at all – did the ‘oil weapon’ prove effective in advancing those goals?

10). To what extent, if at all, were revolutionary ideas rather than shifts in the distribution of military and economic power between the superpowers responsible for the Cold War’s peaceful end?  Critically discuss with explicit reference to Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’.

11). To what extent, if at all, should democracy promotion be embraced as a means of promoting international peace and security? Critically discuss with reference to American democracy promotion initiatives in the post-Cold War period.

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