Contemporary Problem in International Relations Research Paper Instructions

Topic: Choose a contemporary problem in international relations and analyze it using one of the three perspectives and an appropriate level(s) of analysis. This research paper is an open one.  You are free to select any problem you wish.  However, you must choose a contemporary and unresolved problem.  To get you started, you might consider a problem from one of these general areas:

  • International trade
  • Diplomacy and conflict resolution
  • Terrorism
  • Human rights
  • The environment
  • War

When you develop your research question, think of a specific issue that falls within one of these general areas (or another area of your choice).  For example, if you want to write about diplomacy and conflict resolution, you might analyze the issue of Iran and its nuclear weapons program from the liberal, state level perspective.

Develop your thesis according to the specific problem you intend to explore and the perspective you intend to use to analyze it.  In your paper, offer concrete, specific solutions to the problem you are analyzing.  The solutions you present should also reflect the perspective and level(s) of analysis you have chosen.

Do not mix perspectives.  Choose one perspective and stick to it.  I am interested in seeing how well you can apply the perspective you have chosen to a specific situation.  You may use multiple levels of analysis, if such an approach is appropriate to the perspective you have selected.
Your research paper should be 5-7 pages long and include a bibliography.
Assume that I have knowledge of the course material, so it is not necessary to define the concepts you have learned in the class.

Be selective with regard to any historical information or general background information on the problem you are analyzing.  Do not let your paper get bogged down in providing history about the problem to the detriment of your analysis of the issue.  You can assume that I have knowledge about the historical background of the problem you are analyzing.

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