One of the key concepts in international relations theorizing is balance of power.
- What is the meaning of this concept? What do proponents of this approach to international relations suggest that states must do?
- How have states actually behaved in the past? That is, do you think states have followed or are following this approach in their actual conduct? Alternatively, have states acted or are acting differently? Be clear and introduce evidence to support your view.
- Is there a balance of power in todayâ€™s international system? That is, do you think power in todayâ€™s international system is distributed relatively equally among several major powers, or do you think it is concentrated in the hands of one country? Again, support your view with evidence.
- How do you think states ought to behave in todayâ€™s world? Do you think they should follow the advice to balance against power, or not? Why?
Your paper must include a discussion and explanation of at least three theoretical ideas or concepts such as those mentioned in the glossary for January 27 and 29, and/or the glossary for February 17 and 19. A hint: ideas and concepts such as those just alluded to can be easily looked up in the glossary and index sections of your textbook (and of course, they are also discussed in the text and/or taken up in the lectures).
You paper will be evaluated on the basis of the coherence, clarity, consistency, and completeness of your answer to the above questions. As well, the extent to which you can introduce compelling evidence and present cogent arguments to support your conclusions would be a basis of evaluation. Naturally, historical accuracy will be another consideration for evaluation.
The best thing you can do to help yourself is to start preparing for your paper assignment early, and to avoid turning in your paper late. In addition, you should make an appointment to see your teaching assistant to get feedback and advice on your paperâ€™s draft outline. So, sign up for this appointment early rather than wait till the last minute! Contact your teaching assistant about any questions you have about your paper assignment.
Finally, be mindful of the deadline for you to turn in the finished paper, the penalty for tardiness, and the Honor Codeâ€™s stipulations against cheating and plagiarism. Always identify the sources of your ideas, arguments and evidence! Put direct quotes between quotation marks. Even when you are just paraphrasing someone, give this person credit by citing him/her.