You will need to apply at least one theory to the case study, but you might like to try your hand at applying two theories. Your answer will show how the theory you?ve chosen highlights the major actors, forces, forms of power and recommendations associated with the case at hand. You can also reflect on the weaknesses of the theory in relation to the case.
Challenge yourselves and be creative. Don?t necessarily go for something easy and obvious. We are looking for originality and an excellent understanding of international relations theory. You could achieve this result by doing something more difficult instead of going for the obvious option.
– What to include and focus on.
Your paper should include the following things, though not necessarily in this order:
? A summary of the case: What is the case study you have chosen, and (briefly) what is the background and context of the case?
? A brief discussion of the theory you have selected and its basic principles. Avoid just repeating what you stated in your Tutorial Exercise 1, (if you choose one of the theories you discussed), as the focus of the assignment is the application of the theory to the case study. Remember this part should be brief as the main focus of the exercise is your analysis of a case.
? An analysis of the application of the theory to the case:
1. How does your theory explain or interpret the case?
2. What are the major assumptions, issues and actors identified by the theory?
3. What does the theory suggest are the limitations or incentives presented to the actors involved?
? A reflection on the relevance of your chosen theory in explaining or interpreting the case: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen theory?
? Does the theory you have chosen lead you to make any recommendations about how states should resolve the issue?
We have learned that theory helps simplify the complexity of the real world, this means your theory will emphasize some points in the case as more important than others.
? What kind of argument about the case and its theoretical significance can you make?
? What aspects of the case do you need to emphasize and what aspects are not as important?
For some cases, two theories may apply. I?m quite happy for you to try your hand at comparing a couple of theories and their different accounts of the case. Diane and I think this is quite challenging so making an attempt is likely to be rewarded.
Your answers will need to be clear and concise and you need to use the appropriate terminology when discussing international relations theory. You are not required to go beyond the textbook to address this question, however you can do so if you wish. If you want to obtain more insight into the case study you can, however this is not really necessary. Just ensure that you reference ideas and quotes as detailed above and remember we are looking for your analysis.