Posted: September 17th, 2017

How would you defend or critique Kenneth Waltz’s bet on states and perennial actors


For this unit you are required to write a research essay of no more than 1,700 words on one of the following topics.

For information on the presentation of essays, extensions and late penalties, please consult the unit of study guide and the distributed Guidelines on Written Assignments.

. 1. How would you defend, or critique, Kenneth Waltz’s “bet” on states as the perennial actors within the international political economy?

2. ‘The road to the free market was opened by an enormous increase in continuous, centrally organised and controlled interventionism’ (Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation). Discuss.

3. To what extent would you accord with Neil Smith that uneven development is the hallmark of the geography of capitalism?

4. With reference to key examples, to what extent are counter-spaces of resistance significant within the contestation of the global political economy?

5. Critically evaluate Barry Gills’ view that we are witnessing a multidimensional “triple” crisis on a global scale within the global political economy.

6. Craig Murphy, in International Affairs, 76.4 (2000) “Global Governance: poorly done and poorly understood” argued that ” The best arguments for paying attention to the world polity are ethical and moral… governance is likely to remain inefficient, incapable of shifting resources from the world’s wealthy to the world’s poor, pro market, and relatively insensitive to the concerns of labour and the rural poor…” Critically analyse this statement with reference to some of the issue areas covered in the course.

7. The world has globalised financial markets and globalised financial institutions, but no global system of regulation. Does this explain why a crisis that started in the United States in 2007 spread so rapidly to the rest of the world? Explain what drove that spread and whether and how global governance might (or might not) have made a difference.

.8. Discuss the extent to which the issue of climate change is linked to the broader issue of sustainability. What are some of the implications of a continued “Business as Usual” approach and what are some alternatives and targets?

9. Sovereignty has been one of the fundamental concepts in International Relations since the Treaty of Westphalia and it is enshrined in the UN Charter in Article 2.1. Yet in an increasingly globalised world the sovereignty of states is being undermined and challenged in a variety of ways. Critically analyse the extent to which state sovereignty is being undermined using some of the issue areas covered in the course.

The essay will be graded according to:
a) Your ability to summarise key themes
b) Your ability to critically engage the literature – that is, move beyond summary and into evaluation
c) Your ability to identify a range of bibliographical sources
d) Your adherence to the conventions of prose, presentation, referencing, etc.

Of these, items b is the most demanding, and hence the key to receiving high grades
There should be a reference list and the in-text references.


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