Essays

The causal relationship between culture and foreign policy making in Muslim countries

Alex Griffiths • Sep 6 2011 • Essays
Pragmatism rules the roost in Muslim states, yet the role of Islam must not be underestimated. The faith inspires, promotes and legitimises the actions of Muslim states and whilst it has little causal role in foreign policy, it nonetheless has an integral part in advancing it.

The Relevance of Structures in International Society: A Critique of Krasner

Jack Greig • Sep 6 2011 • Essays
The international system is a complex make up of actors and structures that exist at the bequest of scholars to demonstrate how international society can be governed. Within this systemic analysis exists a topic of much debate: what governs the actions of a state?

Burma, Bangladesh and the Rohingya: a Failure to Protect?

Rebecca Devitt • Sep 6 2011 • Essays
Forced migration and refugee flows from Burma to Bangladesh are becoming increasingly difficult for the international community and the region to deal with. Failure at state, regional and international level to deal with the problems facing the Rohingya refugees reflects a wider need to re-evaluate international protection regimes when it comes to dealing with forced migration and minority groups in Southeast Asia.

Who in Latin America benefits and loses from the rise of China?

Benedict Hayes • Sep 5 2011 • Essays
The People's Republic of China has emerged as an important global actor in the twenty-first century but who has benefitted, politically and economically, from Beijing's growing presence in Latin America and how have Sino-Latin American relations developed since Chinese President Hu Jintao's first diplomatic visit to the region in 2004?

Hidden Victims: The story of sexual violence against men in armed conflict

Maite Vermeulen • Sep 4 2011 • Essays
Sexual violence is arguably one of the worst types of violence, targeting a person’s identity, as well as the identity of his or her group. The psychological consequences often far outlive those of other forms of violence. Progress has been made to address wartime sexual violence against women, yet men remain an under-recognised and under-reported category of victims.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: An Assessment

Steven Hawkes • Sep 4 2011 • Essays
Despite unclear prospects for the CTBT, the international de facto norm against nuclear testing seems well established, and the already semi-functioning CTBT Organisation plays an important role in monitoring and verification. It is also important not to view the CTBT as an end in itself, as independently it will not be so effective as to make nuclear weapons obsolete.

Does International Relations theory privilege Western ways of thinking and acting?

Francesca Lo Castro • Sep 4 2011 • Essays
IR theories, as with any other theoretical approaches, developed at certain times and for certain reasons. The western biases of IR scholarship and a lack of concern for history and the consequent focus on presentism are profoundly affecting the credibility of the discipline. Postcolonial theory can be a powerful means for IR to become less parochial.

Is the EU a Normative Power?

Daniel Hardwick • Sep 3 2011 • Essays
The EU, by using non-normative means to diffuse norms and by not being able to detach itself from state self-interest, has regressed from being a normative power in the international system. This repositioning places the EU on a middle ground between ‘normative’ power and political realism.

British Counterinsurgency in the post-Cold War World

Ross Hall • Sep 1 2011 • Essays
The ‘British approach’ for conducting counterinsurgency (COIN) operations can act as guidance for how to achieve the best results. This approach has been honed through Britain’s unique experience of empire policing and conduct in several small wars spanning over 150 years. However, it is now coming under criticism for its apparent lack of utility in the post-Cold War world.

Liberal Institutionalism: An Alternative IR Theory or Just Maintaining the Status Quo?

Rebecca Devitt • Sep 1 2011 • Essays
Institutionalism rejects the realist assumption that international politics is a struggle for power in which military security issues are top priority and argues that instead, force is an ineffective instrument of policy. In order to understand the impact of internationalism on IR theory and its criticisms we must first look at its definition and how it differs from realist perspectives.

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