International Relations

Posted: October 17th, 2013

International Relations




International Relations

Journal #1: Question 5

The milieu of energy supply is a considerable factor that largely affects the modern world. Klare compares the contemporary energy struggle with the Thirty Years War that took place between 1618 and 1648 (Klare, 2011). Comparison of the energy struggle and the Thirty Years War seems highly unlikely in the sense that the Thirty Years War was a period characterized by bloodshed and lack of specific reasons for the series of different disputes that took place between 1618 and 1648. During this time, nations within Central Europe struggled to gain dominance regardless of the fact that the war began because of the conflicts between the Catholics and the Protestants in France. This major difference stands out between the two. Regardless, one specific reason underlies the 16th century dispute and the contemporary energy war: the struggle for dominance. Similarly, the 30-year energy war will be based on preeminence. This is because the war will be characterized by a struggle for survival in order to gain energy domination. According to Klare (2011), the struggle will be between firms that supply the chief types of energy and the nations that utilize this energy. This relates to the 1618-1648 war whereby the struggle for dominance of Europe occurred between the emerging state, which in modern context represents the firms and the imperial government, which represents the countries. The energy war will feature the struggle for survival for most of the multinational firms and most countries around the world as well. Another similarity between the two wars will be based on creation of a peace treaty. Just like the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War, the energy war will be culminated by a similar accord or system that will focus on reorganizing the global society by forcing the new political systems to adopt novel economic models on energy requirements.

Journal#2: Question 10

 Indeed, the United States and the Republic of Iran are embroiled in a struggle for terrestrial preeminence and influence transversely over the Middle East. The two nations have always been in conflict attributed to disagreements based on Iran’s nuclear practices, which the Bush and Obama administration have sought to remedy for a while. As such, it is within this context that Machiavelli’s The Prince can be applied to understand the United States’ strategy in curbing Iran’s dissidence. It is indeed agreeable that the Prince is tasked with maintenance of sociopolitical institutions that are accustomed to by the people. As such, the United States, in its relations with Iran, should be more parsimonious than generous. According to Machiavelli (1515), being parsimonious will conserve resources and lessen the risk of hatred. This is because being excessively generous leads to greed. In the event that the leader ceases being generous, then he creates room for hatred among his subjects. Additionally, the United States (the Prince) should also be feared than loved in the sense that fear coerces one to be in line and thus negate mutiny which is evident if love or excessive mercy is implied. In simple sense, Machiavelli urges that fear inspires commitment among followers or subjects of a leader regardless of the negative tendencies the subjects harbor towards the leader. In conclusion, this assessment of leadership is agreeable regarding the United States’ foreign policy with Iran. This is because diplomacy has proved futile between the two nations based on Iran’s emphasis to continue with its nuclear warhead program despite the United Nations’ prohibition on the continual of the program. Moreover, it is alleged that Iran has been constantly involved in the funding of Shia extremists in fighting U.S. troops in Iraq. Additionally, the United States should also focus on being feared by employing military action based on Iran’s adhesion towards UN restrictions and Shia extremism that has led to the deaths of innocent American troops.

Journal #3: Question 8

Keohane’s use of the term “informal violence” substitutes terrorism effectively. This is because the term, terrorism, has been riddled by prejudiced assertions and biased assumptions such that it has lost its initial and contextual meaning. According to Keohane (2002), informal violence involves the performance of violence through the power of non-state agents by capitalization on the elements of secrecy and revelation to wreak immense damage with minute material facilities. Such violence, which describes terrorism in an effective and efficient manner, is informal since it is not handled by prescribed state institutions and is naturally unannounced unlike a declaration of war. As such, this term describes terrorism since terrorism involves the use of unorthodox and non-governmental means to unleash terror on intended or unintended targets. Nevertheless, it is evident that the nuance of terrorism has become heavily politicized such that it cannot be utilized as an analytical term. Commonly, the idea of terrorism has been used controversially by government authorities and persons supported by the State in recriminating political or further adversaries and latently justifying the utilization of armed force against rivals by the State. Consequently, the term terrorism has been used as justification by various individuals and organizations to accomplish unrelated objectives. As such, the act has been performed by political parties, religious factions, reigning governments and revolutionaries in order to accomplish certain objectives that do not necessarily require the involvement of violence and violent attacks against individuals. Moreover, terrorism has become a prejudicial term that is used to label or condemn a specific sector or an entire populace based on the acts of a few individuals or a group. Adding on, the term has been used as a moral viewpoint in the sense that specific groups influence a considerable population in assigning the title of ‘terrorist’ to a particular population thus influencing the society in labeling the affected stereotypically.

Journal #4: Question 4

The concept of imperialism evolved as the development and undeviating furtherance of the essential traits of capitalism in common. According to Lenin (1917), imperialism can be referred to as the monopoly phase of capitalism. Similarly, Lenin implies that imperialism is the development phase of capitalism characterized by the establishment of the domination of monopolies and finance capital, the importance of export capital, segregation of the world based on international trusts and the completion of the division of all global territories among the largest capitalist authorities. Thus, Lenin explains the evolution of imperialism from capitalism by assessing five features of the concept. The first feature involves the concentration of capital and production, in which free competition, which was the basic feature of capitalism, has been modified to monopoly. The concentration of capital and production has led to the conception of cartels and syndicates that have merged with the capital of numerous financial institutions such as banks. The second feature involves the replacement of industrial capital by finance capital, which is used increasingly by industrial capitalists who obtain it from financial institutions. The third feature involves the export of the finance capital. Evolution of imperialism from capitalism has been furthered by overemphasis on the export of commodities. The fourth feature involves the separation of the world. This has been made possible by the formulation of global cartels and multinational corporations. Finally, the last feature of imperialism evolution involves the global political segregation. The world has become politically divided by considerable powers through exploitation. According to Lenin, the export arising from finance capital by the sophisticated capitalist industrialized countries to their colonies has enabled such nations to exploit the colonies for their investment prospects and resources. This exploitation of inferior nations enables the nations to satisfy a section of their employees.

Journal #5: Question 5

Feminist perspectives on international relations have been continually expunged from mainstream conventional approaches towards International Relations (IR) theory based on misunderstandings. Numerous misunderstandings illustrate significant epistemological and ontological dissimilarities that are specifically sensitive to conventional IR approaches. As such, they do not conform within the conventional configured and state-centric propositions based on theorizing international relations or with approaches often practiced by the theory’s scholars. Feminists are skeptical of general truth explanations and statements that are related with the body of comprehension from which women have frequently been expunged. Regardless of the fact that females utilize knowledge that is diverse from conventional international relations, most of them continue searching for greater comprehension of procedures that inform political, social and economic relations (Tickner, 1996). Producing knowledge that does not commence with the location of the disconnected general subject comprises the use of perception on diversity while attempting the objective. A feminist assessment of global terrorism would differentiate from the analysis of a realist in a considerable manner. This is because a realist would describe security using political or military terminology. For instance, a realist would describe security as defending the state’s boundaries and integrity in conjunction with its ideals against the dangers of a hostile international environment. Contrary to this delineation, feminists illustrate security in multifaceted and multilevel terms by describing it as the diminution of all forms of violence, which entails physical, structural and ecological violence. Since females are insignificant to the structures of power within most nations, most of these definitions start with the community or person rather than the state or international structure. Additionally, the descriptions result from feminist views, which are mostly centered on women security as the main concern.

Journal #6: Question 6

Fukuyama’s contention based on the effect of radical Islam on Western liberal democracy was considerably influenced by the September 11 Attacks as well as the subsequent war against violence in the state of Afghanistan and the formulation of the Axis of Evil by the Bush Administration. According to Fukuyama (2001), the Islamic society had arrived to the culmination of history. The notion of history is explicably used by Fukuyama to describe the innovations towards modernity identified by institutions such as democracy and capitalism over the years. The scrutiny made by Fukuyama in 1989 prior to the demise of Communism assumed that considerable regions within the world were traversing towards modernity. Regarding democracy and liberal markets, there lacked anticipation for the world to evolve thus leading to the conclusion of history. Regardless of the presence of conventional systems that opposed the change, it was evidently hard to obtain a feasible optional civilization that people required in order to survive in after the disgrace of monarch tyranny, socialism and other classes of authoritarianism. Additionally, the presence of numerous states that had not settled on either democracy or capitalism, this does not negate the fact that Islam still maintains a stronghold of resistance towards these global ideals of political and economic governance. Interestingly, Islam has made its point by being the sole cultural structure to create radical personalities such as the late Osama Bin Laden. As such, it is evident that Islam is a revolutionary religion. Furthermore, the reasons for this extremism, which are poverty and political tyranny, are linked with the regular attrition of traditional village dwelling and cultural hazards of modernity. Moreover, the areas in which Muslim societies have acquired extensive wealth through oil exploitation have approved rentiers who are Islamic extremists. In conclusion, the liberal democracy will prevail since most Muslims favor the integration of personal spending and noninterventionist politics.

Journal #7: Question 9

The Weimberg/Ryan documentary expresses the authenticity of morality by the United States soldiers on the War in Iraq. The documentary details the opinions and views of soldiers based on the aspect of morality regarding their military duties. The documentary indeed revealed credible information based on the cognitive and human responses of the soldiers towards performance of their military duties. It is overwhelming to discover that most soldiers in the army are usually reluctant to induce armed combat on their adversaries due to the effect of the action of killing on their consciences. For instance, Weimberg and Ryan (2009) reveal that soldiers occasionally refuse to adhere and comply with their prescribed orders on killing in the battlefield. This illustrates the tension and difficulty that the soldiers face when conflicted with the choice of killing within the battlefield. Additionally, Weimberg and Ryan reveal the interference techniques that military personnel use to construct the soldiers’ conscience. Specifically, the documentary reveals the techniques and methods that the armed forces utilize to eliminate the confidence and conscience of the soldiers in order to configure an effective and efficient military. This supports the doctrine of human nature based on conscience. Conscience is intrinsic with human nature and provides moral judgment such that the actions one commit will result in either feelings of integrity if the actions are moral or feelings of guilt if the actions are immoral. As such, the facet of conscience within the tenet of human nature is supported in the sense that the documentary provides information on the existence of conscience in determining feelings of reluctance and guilt in committing immoral or deviant acts such as murder regardless of the prescribed situation. Additionally, the effect of conscience in determining a soldier’s action on the battlefield is important such that the army is prepared to employ techniques of eliminating conscience in order to make them more effective on the battlefield.

Journal #8: Question 5

Peace studies involve the integration of cognitive and normative facets of learning in order to employ a decisive approach towards the approach of teaching peace. The theory of peace studies comprises several connotations. On one hand, peace studies involve connecting the widespread historical and political problems with the integration of peace facilitating methods. On the other hand, the theory of peace studies provides a platform for illustrating peace among individuals and states. On a separate context, the peace studies theory has been deemed as unrealistic due to the concept of peace, which presents diverse and different connotations for various individuals depending on the type of issue or the magnitude of assessment. As such, the phrase, ‘images of truth’ requires implementation in order to ensure that the notion of peace is viewed realistically and pursued in one meaning among different individuals (Crews, 1989). Therefore, in order to ensure facilitation of the theory of peace studies, individuals require viewing the images of truth, which refer to the unbiased and fair pictures that illustrate the concept of peace. Additionally, Crews provides fundamental values that are associated with peace studies. One of the values in peace studies is the value of respect. Crews underlines that respect is essential in peace studies. This is because it is important and just to respect one another. Respect creates room for agreeing even in the context of disagreement in order to maintain peace. Another value that is associated with peace studies according to Crews is attention. Being attentive in peace studies provides a platform to understand the different aspects of peace studies. Additionally, careful attention dispels the need to create disagreements and arguments. The final value expressed in peace studies is the value of understanding. Understanding facilitates peace in the sense that it provides room for rejecting bias and inspecting impulses to prove individuals wrong within peace studies (Crews, 1989).


Crews, J. R. (1989). A Values-based approach towards peace studies. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.555-564). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Fukuyama, F. (2001). The West has won: Radical Islam can’t beat democracy and capitalism. We’re still at the end of history. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.433-435). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Keohane, O. R. (2002). The Globalization of Informal Violence. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.176). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Klare, T. M. (2011, Jun 27). The New Thirty Years’ War: Winners and losers in the great global energy struggle to come. Retrieved from <>

Lenin, I. V. (1917). Imperialism: The highest state of capitalism. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.210-213). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Machiavelli, N. (1515). The Prince. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.58-62). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Ryan, C. M., Weimberg, G. (2007). Soldiers of conscience. Surrey, England: Journeyman Pictures.

Tickner, A. J. (1996). You just don’t understand: Troubled engagements between feminists and IR theorists. In M. Genest (Ed.), Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations (pp.312-337). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

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