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Final (revisedrevised)(1)

International Relations
Final Exam

Directions: Respond to one question in Part One AND one question in Part Two. The question in part one may not be dealt with in less than four well-written pages, and the question part two in fewer than three well-written pages. Of course, if you really want to write a longer essay, I have no objections. You may not write a shorter essay (and earn a decent grade). Always keep in mind that your conclusions (i.e. which theory you agree with) must be based upon use of evidence and sound reasoning: you must have a position, not an opinion.

You must submit your essay through Bb as the college requires it is run through plagiarism detection software. Your response should reflect thoughtful analysis, not merely a list or a summary of the text and lecture notes. To do well on this essay, you must clearly show that you have thought about this question. If you have any questions or problems, please e-mail me at

Part One

“Politics and economics are interwoven strands in the fabric of world order. Two world wars, a depression, and the cold war have made us well aware of the important causal effects of each on the other. Unless definitions of politics and economics are arranged so that one category necessarily includes all fundamental phenomena, neither economic not political determinism can explain events successfully.”

International relations deals with both politics and economics and one way to approach the sought after definitions in the quote above is to devise a definition of the field as a whole. So, based upon what you’ve learned in this class, devise a comprehensive and analytical definition of International Relations.
We have studied theory – both economic and political – as well as various issues in international relations. Be sure to devise a balanced definition: as you can tell from the above quote it’s not really possible to discuss economics without introducing political theory or vice versa. The definition should not be simply a list of topics that we have studied and their individual definitions, but rather a cogent presentation of what the field of international relations means in your understanding of it.

The theoretical basis for virtually all of the areas of exploration this semester has been the tension between fragmentation and globalization. As I’m sure you remember, theory is used to both explain and predict. I will ask you here to apply one of these competing theories in both explaining and predicting.

Imagine the year is 2119, and you are a historian of international politics, writing for the 27th edition of Essentials of International Relations (your textbook). Which theory provides an explanation for the course of human history in the last century? You will need to look for some events that occurred in the last half of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century to provide factual basis for your position. Perhaps there was one seminal event? Or were there several events, related or not, that can explain the state of affairs in 2119? Be sure to explicitly rely upon theory and level(s) of analysis, as well as empirical evidence – this is not a license to write fiction.

Part Two

What is the Basis for Trade among nations according to the Ricardo Model? What are some examples of the barriers to trade? Be sure to provide a simple example. Given that economists argue the anything that impedes the flow of free trade does not maximize efficiency, thereby interfering with the pricing mechanism of the market (Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand), why do barriers to trade exist? What is the role of the floating XR regime in international trade?

Why are wars fought? What can you say about human nature as foundational to a particular theory that would help you devise a response to this question? Can a Just War ever be a reality? Finally, at what point does the individual become more important than sovereignty thereby justifying a humanitarian intervention?

What theory and level(s) of analysis should guide to the best solution nations should take up to deal with scarce natural resources, population growth and/or environmental pressures? Why is this theory superior to another?


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