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BPSC-107: Perspectives on International Relations and World History

BPSC-107: Perspectives on International Relations and World History

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPSC-107/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-107

Assignment Name: Perspectives on International Relations and World History

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all questions in each Section.


Assignment - I


Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks


Q1) Critically examine the important undergoing structural changes in global politics and international relations.

Ans) The important undergoing structural changes in global politics and international relations are as follows:


Through a number of regional alliances, including NATO, SEATO, and others, the US united the liberal democratic capitalist nations into the American bloc. Under the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union organised the socialist countries. The world was split vertically into two groups during the Cold War between the two superpowers and their blocs; this division became known as "bi-polarity." However, fissures started to show in both sides by the late 1950s. The American camp was undermined by France's attempts to assert its independence as well as a few other issues. Similar to this, the Soviet camp became weak due to Yugoslavia's decision to stay Non-aligned and the advent of Sino-Soviet disagreements.


The advent of new centres of power, like the European Community, Japan, Germany, China, India, and NAM, also undermined the rigid bipolar arrangement of the early 1950s. These changes have started the transition away from bipolarity and toward multipolarity, or polycentrism. In the 1970s, bipolycentrism or bi-multipolarity were terms used to describe the ongoing international operations of the two superpowers and their respective blocs.


Beginning in 1990, this bi-multipolarity effectively became unipolar, with the United States and its NATO as the lone surviving superpower. The collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, Russia's failure to challenge the US power as the (erstwhile) USSR's successor state, the failure of the EU, Germany, Japan, France, and China to materially constrain the US power, Britain's continued support for US foreign policy, the vulnerability of NAM, the economic dependence of Third World nations and former socialist states—all of these events became the new reality.


As the only remaining superpower, the United States started to rule the international community in general and the UN Security Council in particular. The US was able to dominate world affairs because there was practically no other country that was able or willing to challenge US power. The international system began to be characterised by unipolarity. Due to the neoliberal ideologies taking hold in international economic interactions, unipolarity has grown even stronger. However, there were some clear signs of polycentrism's resurgence at the start of the twenty-first century. Russia, China, Japan, the EU, India, Brazil, and the G-20 all started to take a more active role. All of these nations expressed their determination to safeguard and preserve the multipolar nature of the global order.


China, India, and Russia made the decision in June 2005 to create and establish a shared perspective and methodology towards resolving issues like the scourge of terrorism and the requirement for the protection of their strategic interests. Additionally, the US hegemony that was evident in the early years after the Cold War started to wane. Later, a group known as BRICS emerged to contest western control over the global financial system. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist strikes in the USA, many states needed to be completely and more actively involved in the global fight against terrorism. As a result, numerous clear trends towards the resurgence of a new polycentrism or multi-polarity in international relations became apparent. An increase in multipolarity is something that the current international system is working toward.


Q2) Describe the key challenges in transformation of the United Nations and its role in the non –traditional security threats and threats of nuclear non–proliferations in international relations.

Ans) The key challenges in transformation of the United Nations and its role in the non –traditional security threats and threats of nuclear non–proliferations in international relations is as follows:


Problem of Nuclear Proliferation

The nuclear factor has been a source of a big change in international relations and the nuclear powers particularly the USA, Russia, Britain, France, and China are in predicament. They have the power, rather an overkill capacity, yet they cannot use it for securing their desired objectives. The nuclear powers strongly oppose the spread of nuclear weapons and are, therefore, keen to prevent the horizontal expansion of the nuclear club. The non-nuclear states are opposed to nuclear weapons and they oppose both vertical and horizontal expansions of the nuclear club. The nuclear nations support piecemeal nuclear control systems like the creation of nuclear weapons-free zones in the world. Countries like India are opposed to this piecemeal and sub-regional view of Arms Control and Disarmament. Several states support measures for comprehensive and global disarmament. They want to end the state of their defencelessness against nuclear weapons as well as the overkill capacity of the nuclear states. These advocate nuclear non-proliferation by the non-nuclear states but justify their own nuclear proliferation in the name of nuclear deterrence and world peace. The issue of CTBT evades consensus. Nuclear weapons and the problem of Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control continue to be key issues of contemporary international relations.


Emergence of Non-Traditional Security Threats

The issue of international terrorism has caused the international community to become increasingly aware of the need to contain this threat, which has the potential to seriously jeopardise and disturb global peace and security. However, the world, led by the USA, did not see the urgent necessity to combat the scourge of international terrorism until after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, on the American World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The international community is now firmly committed to winning the fight against international terrorism, especially that which emanates from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and spreads to several other regions of the globe. The world community expects Pakistan to take unreserved action against all terrorists in a forceful, transparent, all-encompassing, and effective manner.


The problem of drug trafficking has grown significantly in scope in the modern period. The social, political, cultural, and other conditions, as well as the operational procedures of those states, were earlier impacted by the smuggling of these narcotics. These mafias now use the money they make from the sale of these substances to fund terrorism development. The security of the affected governments as well as the entirety of the international political system are seriously threatened by this connection between drug supplies and terrorism. Therefore, it is even more important to understand how risks originating from such actions function in order to comprehend contemporary foreign policy.


Growing Ethnic Conflicts: The island nation of Sri Lanka's Tamil ethnic conflict has not yet been totally resolved, despite the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) being routed at the hands of Sri Lankan soldiers. In addition to Russia and Georgia practically getting involved in regional ethnic battles, Armenia and Azerbaijan have both been parties to ethnic conflicts. In Rwanda, the inter-tribal conflict caused a number of hundred thousand deaths. A painful truth of modern times has been the murder of children, women, and men in the name of religion and ethnic cleansing. Another development that is cause for concern is the growing influence of Islamic fundamentalism in West Asia, Central Asia, Algeria, Egypt, and other places.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks.


Q1) Major changes and challenges of the Post–Cold War order in international relations.

Ans) The major changes and challenges of the Post–Cold War order in international relations are as follows:


The nation-state used to be at the centre of international relations operations. In this period of growing global interdependence and interconnection, nation-states, no matter how strong they may be, are forced to exercise restraint in their use of power and pursuit of their goals. Its function in international affairs has been negatively impacted by the development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, against which the nation-state can only provide limited security for the lives and property of its citizens.


Many independent nation-states had become new political players in the 1950s as a result of decolonization. These developing nations, however, have largely failed to be potent and effective actors on their own as a result of their fresh issues and unfulfilled developmental aspirations. Individually, they have discovered that they are unable to deal with the increased security risks of the post-Cold War world as well as the economic and cultural difficulties brought on by globalisation.


China, India, and Russia made the decision in June 2005 to create and establish a shared perspective and methodology towards resolving issues like the scourge of terrorism and the requirement for the protection of their strategic interests. Additionally, the US hegemony that was evident in the early years after the Cold War started to wane. Later, a group known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—was formed to challenge western control of the global financial infrastructure.


The US became an even more significant player in world affairs in the post-Cold War era as the only surviving superpower. The operations during the Gulf War were essentially US operations under UN leadership with a team of coalition forces. As Russia and the former USSR states lost power in the early years of the post-Cold War era, the US's influence in the UN Security Council strengthened. None of the other four veto-wielding permanent members were eager to offend the US.


Q2) Critically examine the effects of decolonization on world politics.

Ans) The effects of decolonization on world politics are as follows:


Redrawing international borders between nations or the founding of new states, like Pakistan and Israel, is one of the most significant outcomes of the decolonization process. Unfortunately, this political shock frequently causes unresolvable disputes or enduring rivalries that persist in regional or global politics. According to research, the most enduring rivalries frequently have a territorial genesis. Given the significance of defining territory for a nation in terms of its security or reputation, these conflicts are ultimately very challenging to resolve. There are actually two concerns at play here that frequently reinforce one another.


First off, while they were in power, European countries drew a lot of boundaries in Asia and Africa. The justification for establishing these limits had less to do with the actual religious or ethnic reality on the ground and more to do with concerns about the balance of power in Europe. After the European nation departed the colony, these boundaries persisted. Furthermore, the borders were only upheld for as long as European colonisers used their physical force on the ground.


However, when they went, widespread racial or religious violence frequently broke out. This frequently resulted in a redefinition of the political landscape. This meant that a long-running boundary dispute was typically a result of decolonization. These early boundary conflicts frequently became entangled in the complexities of the Cold War, making them much more unresolvable. The Indo-Pak war, particularly over Kashmir, and prominent examples like the Arab-Israeli conflict are categorised as ongoing rivalry and have long been a part of world politics.


Q3) What are the feminist perspectives of theories of international relations?

Ans) The feminist perspectives of theories of international relations is given below:


Judith Ann Ticker wrote one of the most significant feminist writings that criticised the realist theory of international politics. She calls attention to the fact that men have dominated many fields that are deemed essential to the practise of international relations, including diplomacy, military service, and security concerns. The six tenets of Hans J. Morgenthau's realist view of world politics. Political realism, according to Morgenthau, holds that the political realm is autonomous and that politics is governed by objective rules with origins in human nature. Interests are also defined in terms of power, and moral precepts cannot be used to guide state conduct.


Tickner draws attention to how masculinity has been given priority in the study and practise of international relations. Therefore, in international relations theory and practise, emphasis is placed on notions like power understood as domination, autonomy, objectivity, competition, zero-sum game, aggressive behaviour, the idea of a strong, muscular masculine leader heading the state, state security, and nuclear politics. In addition to excluding a variety of players from global politics, this renders the discipline totally oblivious to concerns crucial to personal security, particularly those affecting women.


The state is viewed as the primary actor in international relations in mainstream theories including realism, liberalism, and constructivism. As a result, when it comes to security, they are primarily concerned with state security and how it may be attained largely through military and economic methods at the national level. According to feminist researchers, the concept of security must be understood from both a top-down and bottom-up viewpoint, with a focus on both individuals and communities. This is due to how fully personal problems are concealed in the struggle for state security. Some nations spend a disproportionate amount of their defence budgets on fundamental needs for their citizens.


Assignment - III


Write a short note on the following in about 100 words each. Each short note carries 6 marks.


Q1) Significance of Critical theory in International Relations

Ans) The significance of Critical theory in International Relations is as follows:


It has strong reservations about the positivist approach and its presumption that knowledge can be acquired through object-neutral interaction and is not socially placed. It considers structure to be malleable. It charges that individuals who assert that the current system cannot be changed seek to preserve the status quo and continue the inequality of money and power in international politics. It "learns from the flaws in Marxism and overcomes them." Because the state only counts a tiny portion of people as citizens while rejecting a big portion as non-citizens, it is seen as a grounds for exclusion. A social arrangement is evaluated according to its ability to embrace an open discussion with all other people.


Q2) Basic assumptions of realism and neorealism

Ans) The basic assumptions of realism are as follows:

  1. The main players in international relations are states.

  2. Power and security are the fundamental topics of study in international relations since state survival is of utmost importance.

  3. Ego dominates human nature, and like people, groups and states too have egos.

  4. To protect their national interests, states must rely on themselves.

  5. States use the balance of power to assure their continued existence.

  6. A security conundrum or spiral mode exists in anarchic international relations.


The basic assumptions of neorealism are as follows:

  1. The modern world has a chaotic nature.

  2. The key players in this system are states as sovereign entities.

  3. In the system, it is crucial that units are distributed according to their capacities.


Q3) International Liberalism

Ans) Liberals place a high value on human reason and logic. They emphasise the connections between the state and society and contend that there are strong ties between domestic institutions and politics and global politics. The realism claim that nations are the only actors in international politics is also in conflict with liberalism. They support free trade in order to make governments more interdependent and prevent war. The neo-liberal approach is different from liberalism in its updated form. The issue of anarchy in global politics was not addressed by the liberal strategy. The causes of conflict between nations are another area where liberals and neo-liberals disagree.


Q4) E. H Carr’s critique of idealism

Ans) E. H. Carr’s critique of idealism is as follows:


E. H. Carr attacked the idealists academically, labelling them dangerous and foolish. He made the case that morality is not absolute but rather relative. By stating that power, not morality, is what brings about order, he emphasised the significance of power. Carr claimed that morality is a by-product of power. He consequently criticised American and British academics and statesmen for denying the significance of power in global affairs. He claimed that states are very concerned with power, but not alone. He rejected pure realism and acknowledged that international relations include an idealist component, but in the event of a clash between power and principles, states will typically chose power when formulating policy.


Q5) The Neo-Neo debates in International Relation

Ans) The Neo-Neo debates in International Relation is as follows:

  1. According to neorealism, governments will constantly compete with one another because of anarchy. On the other hand, neoliberals emphasise that nations do work together on issues where they have comparable interests.

  2. Neorealism emphasises surviving. Therefore, using force is unavoidable. The neoliberal school, on the other hand, is an advocate of the concept of complex interdependence.

  3. The neorealists place a high value on "high politics" like the armed forces and diplomacy. Trade and economic activity are more significant to neo-liberals.

  4. Neoliberals support absolute gains because they are enthusiastic about cooperative behaviour. According to neo-realism, governments compete with one another, hence there can only be relative gains.

  5. The capabilities of the states are illuminated by neorealism. In neoliberalism, governmental preferences and goals are given more weight.

  6. International regimes, according to neo-liberals, are crucial to global politics. Neo-realism disagrees with this assertion.

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