Introduction: The photo above is of a 1999 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit meeting. As you know from the readings this week, a summit meeting takes place between state leaders, and at these meetings important issues are discussed. You might imagine our discussion activities as summit meetings among international relations and foreign policy experts; which seat would you take in the above photo?P lease carefully read all the instructions below. If you have any questions, please let me know (email or Canvas Message is best).
Instructions: For your main discussion post this week (due 11:59 pm (CT) Thursday, January 17), you will read and respond to situations that address issues relevant to themes brought up in this week’s reading. This activity is designed to help you relate the concepts of international relations to real-world events that might have an impact on your own life. It is also designed to familiarize you with the wealth of foreign policy-related resources published by the Council on Foreign Relations. (Links to an external site.)Prior to completing your assigned discussion response activity, you should carefully complete the reading assigned for this week. Remember that your response should be between 200 and 300 words, and that you should also respond to at least TWO of your peers by Sunday, January 20. Your specific discussion prompt varies by the first letter of your last name as below:
- Last Names A-D: Consider the nature of the modern state. Is ISIS an example of a modern state? Why or why not? Before responding, read the 2016 backgrounder on the Islamic State prepared by the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/islamic-state (Links to an external site.). You may also incorporate any outside sources you wish (but be sure to cite them appropriately and provide a link!)
- Summarize: Define the modern state. What criteria must be met for a state to be recognized?
- Evaluate: Does ISIS meet these criteria? Why or why not? Does ISIS have sovereignty?
- Analyze: What challenges does ISIS, which is largely recognized as a non-state actor, introduce to the Westphalian system?
- Reflect: Given the challenges presented by organizations like ISIS, is it better for individual states to try to contain these sorts of non-state actors, or are responses better coordinated by an international organization such as the UN or NATO? Why?
- Last Names E-M: Consider the security dilemma and how it relates to the increasing tensions between North Korea and other countries around the world (especially the United States). Is North Korean military builidup and the North Korean nuclear weapons program understandable as a consequence of the self-reinforcing nature of ensuring security within an anarchic global state system? Why or why not? Before responding, read the 2018 backgrounder on North Korea’s military capabilities prepared by the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/north-koreas-military-capabilities (Links to an external site.). You may also incorporate any outside sources you wish (but be sure to cite them appropriately and provide a link!)
- Summarize: Define the security dilemma. How powerful does a state need to be to defend itself in the Westphalian system?
- Evaluate: What is the nature of North Korea’s military? Is it sufficiently powerful? What threats exist within the Westphalian system and/or for North Korea specifically that require a well-developed military?
- Analyze: What impact might the US military have on North Korea’s military ambitions? How does this evidence the security dilemma?
- Reflect: Do any avenues for deescalation of tension seem appropriate? Is there a role for a supranational regime? Why or why not?
- Last Names N-Z: Consider the concept of nationalism and how it might contribute to international conflict. Is the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia explainable as a result of competing nationalisms, or are other factors at play? Before responding, read the 2014 backgrounder on the Ukraine-Russia crisis prepared by the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/ukraine-crisis (Links to an external site.) You may also incorporate any outside sources you wish (but be sure to cite them appropriately and provide a link!)
- Summarize: What is nationalism? How do the concepts of nationalism and national identity relate to states and sovereignty?
- Evaluate: What factors contribute to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? What actors are involved?
- Analyze: Can the conflict be reduced to conflict over issues of nationalism or are different factors at work? How important are nationalism and the national identity of those in the conflict zone in driving the conflict?
- Reflect: Is the nationalism expressed in this conflict similar to nationalism in the US? What similarities and differences do you observe?
Your discussion posts should carefully address your assigned article and directly cite the course textbook or other course materials as appropriate, and should consist of between 200 and 300 words. You are required to provide both in-text and reference citations in APA for all sources utilized.
Peer Responses: After submitting your response, you should respond to the discussion prompt of at least TWO of your peers. Choose peers who did NOT respond to the same prompt that you did. Consider your peer’s prompt and their contribution to the discussion. Address at least the following in responses of not less than 75 words each:
- Summarize how you would respond to the main discussion question assigned to your peer after reading their assigned article.
- Evaluate how your response compares to your peer’s response. What points of divergence can you identify.
- Analyze these points of divergence. Can they be reconciled? Why or why not? Is one interpretation more compelling than the other?
- Reflect on the issue being considered. How generalizable is the discussion? Is the analysis and interpretation relevant only to the specific case under consideration, or could it be applied to other cases or situations?