International Politics


Classical thinking of international relations was incomplete but highly suggestive. Classical authors saw vital aspects of international relations. Then the Westphalian systems emerged as the dominant international system. Years of familiarity have created the impression that it is the only way to manage world order.

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But it has long been appreciated that the approach has serious deficiencies, both as a descriptive tool and prescription for policy-making.

Essay Assignment One is your opportunity to show your mastery of course readings on classical perspectives on international relations and the modern international system, your understanding and ability to apply these readings to questions of international politics.

Tasks with Directions

What did the classics and Westphalia get right? Where do they need reconsideration? Explain the fundamental elements of classical and Westphalian IR, and their strengths and weaknesses today. Explain and apply assigned readings: from Hobbes and Thucydides to Hume and Rousseau, though Kegley and Raymond, Kissinger, and of course Lamy and Masker. Resolve two of the assignment questions, as explained in the essay guidance located in Blackboard > Submissions >

Essay One instruction.

Respond to all parts of the assignment, thoroughly covering the course readings, including explanations of their general themes and concepts, their specific application to assignment questions, and comparison of course readings.
Submission Guidelines

Submit your document to Blackboard > Submissions > Essay One: Classics through Westphalia

Grading Evaluation Criteria

Essays will be marked primarily for explanation and application of assigned readings, and resolution of assigned questions.

Your essay needs a descriptive title and summarizing the introduction.

Formally cite all references to readings precisely, with a page number. Generally, the more citations, the better.

Use of brief quotations from class readings—with proper citations and explanations—is encouraged. Citations can be Chicago or MLA style.

Essays should be at least three single-spaced, typed pages.

Papers receiving the highest grades typically are at least four to six pages. There is no maximum.

Tips for Success

Submit a draft to get suggestions.

Refer to the example papers in the Resources section of this module.

Show you mastered course readings. Re-read assigned articles for full comprehension. As you read, always look up any unfamiliar nouns: concepts, countries, events, people, etcetera. Write deductively; when introducing a reading, show you understand its most important themes, explain major themes from course readings—what are they all about—then apply those themes to the specific questions of the assignment. There is no tool as useful in composition as detailed outlining. The more you outline, the less you have to write. For more information on International Politics check on this:

Impact of International Actors

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