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Theories of International Relations (TIR)
Sem VIII, Spring 2019
MAIR, level 7
Written assignment for the class
(60% of the final mark)
Each student is to choose one of the topics below for a written essay (within first two weeks of
classes). The paper is to present a critical analysis of an event, phenomenon or process in
international relations from two of the theoretical approaches discussed in class. The paper should
contain a brief explanation of the theoretical approach’s main arguments followed by critical
assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. The paper should have 3500 words and have a form
of a scholarly paper, with proper referencing and bibliography.
Theories discussed in class:
Classical Realism, Structural Realism, Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Critical Theory,
Constructivism, Feminism, the English School, Marxism.
Explain the process of European integration from the English School and Constructivist
Explain the President Trump’s foreign policy from Structural Realist and Liberal perspectives;
Explain the role of the United Nations in international relations from Liberal and Classical
Explain the conflict in Ukraine from Constructivist and Critical Theory perspectives
Students can also propose their own paper proposals of the same comparative character, but they
need the explicit approval of the Module Leader.
Your review should have around 3500 words.
Format & Evidence
The paper has to meet all formal standards as presented in ‘IR Essay Writing Standard’ and Thesis
Manual available on student resources (zasoby) under course1 and course 2. These include:
• Requirements relating to a scholarly paper, such as providing evidence that supports your
theses, statements and claims, as well as proper referencing. Bibliography should have a
sufficient number of academic sources (at least 10 for papers of 1500 words and 20 for
2500 or more words)
• Editing rules: title page; font, Times New Roman 12; margins, 2,5 cm; double space
between verses; italics for book/periodical titles; single quotation marks, etc. The paper
must be logically structured (introduction; the main body subdivided into paragraphs;
conclusions) and meet the minimum language standards.
• Plagiarism: be aware that anything copied without quotation marks and references is treated
Digital and printed copies
Your paper has to be submitted in two versions, printed and digital. The printed version must be
stapled (handwritten papers will be dismissed). The digital version is to be in the Word format (no
pdf). The docs should have a name that include: (1)student’s last name and ID, (2)an abbreviated
name of the module and of (3)the title of your paper. For example, tkachuk_1000_AFP_Cold war
(Tkachuk, ID no, for American Foreign Policy writing on the Cold War). Papers which do not meet
the standards above will be dismissed.
Deadline (means deadline!)
The paper must be delivered by the deadline as indicated below. Failure to deliver any version
(digital and printed) on time will lower your mark by 5% per day. If the delay is longer than 6 days,
your paper gets 0 point and you will have to submit it as a re-sit paper.
20% each for: (1)for the quality of writing; (2)use of evidence; (3)quality of argument and analysis;
(4)context and facts; and (5)for use of references and citations. See below the table of assessment
criteria for details.
PAPER DUE date is April 18, 2019; paper version should be submitted by the end of our class
or delay penalty will apply on that day; electronic version can be emailed by 12:00 midnight.
A student who fails a paper (mark below 35% and the total for the coursework below 40%) writes
a new paper on the same topic. This will be a re-sit for a paper assignment. The paper must meet
all the criteria and requirements as described above. The deadline is any time prior to the scheduled
Student ID: ____________
1st attempt / re-sit
The paper is assessed according to the following criteria:
Brief description: [for ex., A review of a given book on political thought (2500 words), worth 30%]
Poor use of
Mixed use of
Sufficient use of
Very good use of
sources & quotes;
not relevant; do not
flawless use of
Poor, no clear
very clear and
problems in either
little or no
attempt at analysis
attempt at analysis
Very poor in terms
Mixed in terms of
Good use of the
of facts and context;
use of context;
use of the
some errors of
material with no
little support and
fact; supportive of
with no factual
Very poor, not
Mixed, with errors
in style and form
done with minor
Very few errors
% for each
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