Essays

One of the best ways of developing your essay writing ability is to see how other students respond to similar questions. Reading other students’ essays can provide interesting insights and broaden your understanding of what is possible when answering a question.

Discuss the Significance of Aid and Peace Dividends for the Prospects of Post Conflict Stability

This essay will discuss the significance of aid and peace dividends in the context of positive and negative outcomes and consequences of its existence. Mid-conflict aid will be discussed in addition to follow-up aid programs, as a pointer to its legacy in post conflict stability. It would not be possible to discuss such a large topic without focussing on particular examples and therefore this essay will draw on examples of aid in the conflicts between Israel and Palestine and in Northern Ireland.

To What Extent has the ‘War on Terror’ Affected the PRC Government’s Handling of the Northwest Uighur Muslim Population and its Campaign for an Independent State of East Turkestan?

To What Extent has the ‘War on Terror’ Affected the PRC Government’s Handling of the Northwest Uighur Muslim Population and its Campaign for an Independent State of East Turkestan?

The events of September 11th 2001 (hereafter 9/11) and the ensuing ‘War on Terror’ had profound ramifications for governments worldwide, influencing both international and domestic policy and engendering a reinvigorating and defining phase in global geopolitics. Within this framework, it is proposed that 9/11 impacted palpably upon the PRC (People’s Republic of China) government’s policy toward ‘its’ restive Uighur Turkic Muslim minority in the northwestern border province of Xinjiang.

‘NAFTA was signed because it made political sense’. Discuss.

This essay will begin with a detailed analysis of how NAFTA fits into the concept of regionalism and addressing the international political economy theories that inform it. It will then move on to a thorough critique of the economic and political motivations of the United States, Canada and Mexico and the theories that explain them, before bringing the NAFTA debate up to date with a brief summary of where we stand now. It will argue that NAFTA primarily serves an economic function, but was brought about by a ‘confluence of many factors’ which helped to shape NAFTA into the free-trade agreement that today appears irreversible.

What can the Vietnam War tell us about the Current War with Iraq?

The Vietnam War represents the nadir in American military history, its legacy forever ‘scar[ring] the American psyche.’[1] Thus, the Iraq War has been fought in the midst of apocalyptic references to ‘another Vietnam,’[2] as the rejectionists, the Saddamists, and the terrorists[3] continue to derail the American strategy for victory in Iraq. The Vietnam War has fundamentally changed the overall mindset of American leaders and the American public; the result is a different type of war, aimed at minimising casualties and reducing the length of war in a bid to capture ‘hearts and minds.’ In seeking to understand American behaviour in Iraq, there is an implicit assumption that lessons have been learned from Vietnam, but have they?

Terrorism Studies: Theoretically Under-developed?

This essay will critically examine research trends in terrorism studies from 2000-2007[4] by systematically evaluating the articles that appear in the two foremost journals in the field, Terrorism and Political Violence (TPV) and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (SICAT). In doing so, it will attempt to update Schmid and Jongman’s Political Terrorism, last revised in 1988, and Silke’s ‘The Road Less Travelled,’ which surveyed terrorism research from 1990-1999.

As China Continues to Grow Regionally, are Relations with Japan Likely to Become More Difficult?

Relations between China and Japan have historically been conducted amidst wide power disparities. Prior to Japan’s Meiji Restoration in 1868, China largely held the regional sway, but the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a reversal of roles. However, the recent resurgence of the Chinese economy and Japan’s stagnation has set the stage for a regional struggle as two powerful states fight for influence.

China’s Rise and American Hegemony: Towards a Peaceful Co-Existence?

This essay is primarily concerned with the effect of China’s inevitable rise on Sino-American relations. Most importantly, it discusses whether China will rise peacefully or if its growing power will result in aggression and confrontation towards the United States. The essay fundamentally argues that continued American anxiety over the ‘China threat’ is increasingly unnecessary as America’s overwhelming power dissuades challengers, including China, from attempting to modify the status quo.

Compare the Different Perspectives on the Causes of the Palestinian Refugee Issue and Discuss why it is so Difficult to Resolve

The Palestinian refugee crisis has been one of the biggest sources of conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and what are now known as the Israelis, since the partition confirmed by the UN General Assembly on 29th November 1947. In answering the proposition, it shall first be necessary to establish whether the Zionists sought to peacefully integrate Arabs into their proposed state, as they themselves claim. Then it shall be wise to question if the Palestinians fled their homeland because they were terrified of the Israeli forces, or for other reasons. As Israeli and Arab behaviour in the immediate period after the 1949 Armistice Agreement is assessed, it shall be contemplated why the issue is so difficult to resolve. It shall also be maintained that there are disputes over who are and are not refugees, and that there is much Palestinian anger at how Arabs are treated inside Israel today.

Comparatively Assess Neo-realism and Neo-liberalism. Whose Argument do you Find the More Convincing and Why?

Despite the fact that there are some similarities between neo-realism and neo-liberalism, it shall be the differences between these theories that will be the focus of my attention, as it will help me to determine more rigorously which of the arguments is the more convincing. The points of comparison shall be the effects of the anarchical international system, and thus, the extent to which cooperation can be achieved, the importance of relative and absolute gains, the conflict between state capabilities and interests, and finally the importance of institutions and regimes. It is important to note that neo-realism is often also called structural realism, and neo-liberalism neo-liberal institutionalism. As the question prefers to call the theories neo-realism and neo-liberalism, this is what I shall do throughout.

Is there a Primary Cause to War?

This response to the proposition shall focus upon four broad areas within the causes of war. Firstly, it will be necessary to speak of necessary causes of war, as these feature heavily in the literature on war causation. The discussion will then move on to questioning whether or not it is simply human nature that yearns to constantly fight aggressive wars. Then it shall be necessary to address those permissive cause of war which is a notable feature of the world in which we live, before finally outlining the different forms of misperception that are often a crucial instigator for war.

The Cause of Positivism’s Dominance

This essay will critically analyse the notion that there is a fundamental difference between the tasks of ‘explaining’ (comprehending ‘causes’) and ‘understanding’ (comprehending ‘reasons’). First, the essay will examine the emergence of the sharp division, which has come to be accepted as existent between ‘explaining’ (which is advocated by positivists) and ‘understanding’ (which is advocated by post-positivists). Second, one important consequence of the division will be demonstrated by showing how the intellectual battles between positivists and post-positivists, as well as the occasional attempts at reconciliation between them, have been instrumental in positivism’s dominance. Finally, the work of Milja Kurki will be drawn upon to argue that the concept of causation should be broadened, thereby exposing the interrelated nature of ‘explaining’ and ‘understanding’ without reducing one to the other. This will allow for positivism’s dominance to be effectively challenged.

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