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BPSC-134: Introduction to International Relations

BPSC-134: Introduction to International Relations

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPSC-134/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-134

Assignment Name: Introduction of International Relations

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status:Verified by Professor

Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Examine the causes of World War - I and its impact for Europe. 20

Ans) The causes of World War - I are as follows:


  1. Following the French Revolution in 1789, nationalism grew.

  2. Monetary imperialism

  3. Formation of covert coalitions.

  4. Race in arms

  5. Lacking a strong international organisation, etc.


The impact of World War - I for Europe is as follows:


Nationalist sentiment started to play a significant role in international relations after the French Revolution of 1789. Both dissension and togetherness resulted from this. For instance, national aspirations led to the unification of Germany and Italy. Nationalism's emergence is attributed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the calls for independence made in the Balkans and other East European nations. On the one hand, nationalism helped countries become free and also sparked unity in some. However, nationalism also planted the seeds for war and strife. Germany defended the "supremacy of the Aryan race," while Britain promoted the idea of the "white man's burden." These concepts led to the separation of "Other" and "Us" in society.


Another cause was the creation of covert coalitions. Germany attempted to keep France weak following the Franco-Prussian war. For twenty years, Bismarck remained without a rival as the leader of Germany and the centre of European politics. Following the Berlin Congress and during the time of the League of Three Emperors between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, a covert alliance was formed between the two countries against Russia. Later, in a reinsurance treaty, Germany and Russia formed a dual alliance. Italy later joined as well. To isolate France, the Triple Alliance was established. There were numerous counter alliances formed after Bismarck's downfall. Triple Alliance was contested by the France-Russian Entente.


French and British issues were settled in 1904, and they signed the Entente Cordiale. In 1907, disputes between Russia and Britain were also resolved, and they agreed to a Treaty of Friendship. Thus, a Triple Entente was established. This split the major European powers into the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente camps, and each camp made allies with other countries to strengthen their militaries.


The race for arms was a further factor. Napoleon's army's might and his exploits shook all of Europe. To defeat Hitler, the other countries likewise had to strengthen their armed forces. New powers emerged after Napoleon's loss at Waterloo, and they too joined the weapons race. The military might of Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary began to grow. China, Korea, Russia, and the United States were all concerned about Japan's military might in addition to China and Korea. The main means of gaining superiority in international affairs became war.


One of the key factors leading to the outbreak of the First World War was the lack of an efficient international organisation. Even though a loose alliance of important European nations called the Concert of Europe was formed, the escalating confrontations continued. It was impossible to stop the weapons race and imperial rivalry. It was not a formal organisation and lacked international country representation. The two Hague conferences did cover the establishment of arbitration and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. However, bringing in a peaceful solution to a quarrel was impossible.


Q2) Explain different theoretical approaches of international relations. 20

Ans) The different theoretical approaches of international relations are as follows:


Realism Theory in International Relations

According to the realism theory, governments primarily act to retain their security and influence over other nations and are driven by national interests. According to the view of international relations known as realism, the state and its security are what matter most in these relationships. It has drawn flak for being overly simplistic and failing to take into account elements like culture, religion, or societal development. Both realists and those who oppose them have utilised the notion of realism to defend a wide range of policies. In the past, it has affected several foreign policy choices, notably the Cold War.


Liberalism Theory in International Relations

Liberalism emphasises the value of individual rights and liberties as well as democracy and is among the most important philosophies in international affairs. Individual sovereignty serves as the cornerstone of liberal thought in international affairs. Regardless of a state's size or level of authority, it aims to defend individual rights and make laws for all of them. There are no universal values that can be applied to all nations, according to the liberal view of international relations. Since liberalism holds that the basis of international relations should be self-interest rather than moral precepts or power politics, it is frequently compared to realism in discussions of international affairs. After World War I, liberalism began to take hold in the modern Western world.

Marxism Theory in International Relations

The Marxist perspective emphasises the role of economics in the state and maintains that the key to understanding political change is money, not power or concepts like nationalism or religion. Marxism is a social and political theory that supports socialism, an economic system distinguished by government regulation of industry and public ownership of the means of production. Karl Marx highlighted the significance of social class conflict and economic class struggle in bringing about social change. He also thought that after capitalism had fully developed, communism will eventually supplant it as the dominant economic system.


Constructivism Theory in International Relations

According to constructivism theory, international relations were not about collective security or economic growth but rather were about power. Constructivism is based on the idea that a country's historical, cultural, and social belief systems—rather than its overt pursuit of monetary interests—explain its activities and behaviour in foreign policy. Constructivists contend that non-state players such as international organisations and other non-state actors are more useful in influencing behaviour through lobbying and other forms of persuasion than governments as the primary actors in international relations.


Feminism Theory in International Relations

Another theoretical perspective on international relations that emphasises gender inequality and how it impacts countries and their interactions with one another is feminism theory. Feminism is a philosophy of international relations that aims to control the power obtained from a person's gender. Gender issues are an important topic in global politics. Politics and social trends that limit the success of female populations are of particular interest to feminists. Women's contributions to the advancement of more just and equitable international relations policies serve as evidence of the importance of feminism in international relations. Nations like Iceland have made significant financial and social contributions, addressing the need for full gender equality and illuminating the benefits of feminism in both domestic and foreign policy.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q1) Define Collective security and the purpose of UN collective security approach. 10

Ans) Schleicher explains “collective security as an arrangement among states in which all promise, in the event any member of the system engages in certain prohibited acts (war and aggression) against another member, to come to latter’s assistance.”


The purpose of UN collective security approach is as follows:


According to the United Nations Charter, collective security measures can be utilised to maintain global peace and security. The UN Charter's Chapter VII, Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace and Acts of Aggression, discusses the collective security system. 13 Articles in Chapter VII numbered 39–51, establish a communal structure to maintain world peace and security. The task of launching collective security action against the act of aggression has been delegated to the UN Security Council.


Article 39 decides what constitutes an act of aggression and what steps should be taken to maintain international peace. According to Article 40, temporary measures like a ceasefire can be used as a first step in the prevention of war or aggression. Other than collective military actions, enforcement measures are discussed in Article 41. According to Article 42, the Security Council may use force to protect global peace and security. According to Article 43, the Security Council's members must provide resources, labour, and forces. Procedures for establishing, sustaining, and using a UN Peacekeeping Force for collective security action are outlined in Articles 44–47.


In accordance with Article 48, the Security Council's decisions must be carried out by all members of the UN, or at least a majority of them, as the Security Council may decide. In contrast, Article 49 requires UN members to cooperate with one another to implement Security Council decisions. Article 50 outlines how non-member nations might modify their policies and activities in response to a decision. In accordance with Article 51, in the event of an armed attack against a State, the UN recognises the State's right to engage in individual or collective self-defence until the Security Council has taken action to safeguard global peace and security.


Q2) Describe the factors responsible for World War - II. 10

Ans) The factors responsible for World War - II are as follows:

  1. The Treaty of Versailles was a directive in Germany. Germany crushed France in 1871, and France intended to exact revenge.

  2. Failure of the Collective Security System: By enacting economic sanctions against the aggressor or by providing military backing, the Collective Security System failed to give security to the victim of aggression. Due to the League of Nations' reluctance to intervene against Germany, a new World War resulted.

  3. Failure of Disarmament: The Paris Peace Conference agreed that if armaments are reduced to a point of defence, the ultimate goal of maintaining world peace can be achieved. Germany was de-armed, withdrew from the League of Nations, and started building up its arsenal in preparation for war.

  4. The abrupt cessation of American loans to European nations in 1929 marked the start of the global economic crisis. The country with the highest unemployment rate, Germany, had seven lakh unemployed citizens.

  5. Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis: By signing the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936–1937, Germany, Italy, and Japan created an anti-communist alliance that aspired to advance imperialism. They opposed peaceful conflict resolution, praised war, and oppressed less powerful nations.

  6. Large national minorities were still present in the new nation governments that were established in Europe following the First World War. Minorities were left feeling angry and afraid as a result.

  7. Failure of the League of Nations: Although the League of Nations was created with the intention of preserving peace and harmony on a global scale, there were numerous other flaws in the organisation.

  8. German attack on Poland: Hitler demanded justice for the German minorities in Poland, so he attacked Poland from the West, and the USSR sent soldiers from the East to occupy Poland. Poland received assurances from Britain and France about their support in the event of an attack. They launched an assault on Germany in order to defend Poland. The Second World War began when numerous other nations attacked Germany.


Q3) Methods of securing national interests in world politics. 10

Ans) The methods of securing national interests in world politics are as follows:

  1. One of the persuasive strategies for defending national interests is diplomacy. To attain their intended goals and results, nations bargain, compromise, and work together. It is a successful method of resolving disputes.

  2. Frankel described propaganda as "a systematic endeavour to influence the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of a certain group for a specific public objective." The practise of statesmanship is a part of propaganda. It enables securing national interest by persuading others of the justice of their objectives. The spread of the Internet has increased the reach of propaganda. Social media platforms are utilised to shape public opinion.

  3. Rich and developed nations employ loans and other forms of economic assistance to further their interests abroad. Powerful nations rely on weaker nations for technological know-how, international assistance, manufactured goods, and the sale of raw materials. Free economic interchange has grown in importance as a measure of protecting the interests of nations during these times of globalisation.

  4. Treaties and alliances are agreements made between two or more nations to protect each other's national interests. The partnered nation is now required by law to cooperate toward the specified common objectives. However, the Warsaw Pact was ratified by socialist nations to stop the expansion of capitalism.

  5. Coercive Tactics: States utilise coercive measures, such as intervention, boycotts, retaliation, sanctions, and severance of ties, among others, to further their objectives. Although war and aggression are banned in the international system because they disturb global peace and harmony, strong states nonetheless use some illegal methods to further their objectives.

Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q1) Critical theories of International Relations 6

Ans) In the 1980s, critical approaches in IR became more popular. Critical theories strive to end oppression and free the disadvantaged groups. They are emancipatory ideologies. The phrase "Critical Theory" implies that the theory has criticised the oppressive and unfair social systems. According to Antonio Gramsci, the capitalist class also exerts influence over society through the hegemony of bourgeois ideas in addition to its use of uneven economic and political power. Critical theorists support emancipatory politics and the creation of a multicultural and inclusive global order. The Frankfurt School was founded in 1923, and they emphasise how the weakest members of society are oppressed.


Q2) International anarchy and world politics 6

Ans) Anarchy is defined in the context of international affairs as a social structure devoid of lawful institutions of power. Neorealists and Neoliberals both believed that the lack of a global government was the primary cause of worldwide anarchy, which resulted in the creation of a "state of nature" distinct from nation-states. As a result, Neorealists favoured a self-help mechanism to deal with global anarchy. International anarchy, according to Onuf, is a rule by no sovereign entity and is thus a rule by everyone involved with the aforementioned rules. According to Onuf, rules govern international interactions. An analytical approach to world politics that highlights the influence of global conditions on foreign policy action is used to track international relations.


Q3) Describe Green Politics. 6

Ans) Green politics explains the connection between people and the natural world. It discusses the necessity of striking a balance between environmental protection and economic prosperity. On sustainable development is focused. According to this, development and growth can only continue if they are in harmony with their surroundings. Eco-socialists contend that the current market-driven phase of capitalism, or what is commonly referred to as neoliberalism, seeks profit at the expense of the environment. An additional movement is that of eco-feminism, which contends that the exploitation of women leads to the exploitation of nature, and eco-anarchism, which claims that the exploitation of other people leads to the exploitation of nature. Male dominance always goes against nature. The soft, kind, caring, and delicate values of feminism will aid in protecting the environment.


Q4) Describe Treaty of Versailles 6

Ans) The pact that was imposed upon Germany was the most degrading. Not even the German delegation were contacted. Although they were invited to Paris, they were placed in lodgings that were far away from the city and guarded by police. Only when the document was prepared for the handover were they contacted. They were called for signing it a second time. The German delegation was escorted by armed guards and was not permitted to sit at the head table.


The Treaty's rules were also extremely strict. Germany effectively lost territory on all four sides, which was allocated to the majority of her neighbours. To make up for the damages suffered by the victor, Germany was forced to pay enormous reparations. She suffered a military handicap. Her army's size was diminished, and she was forbidden from having a naval air force, submarines, or air force. The Treaty of Versailles aimed to put an end to war and establish a stable peace. However, the Second World War broke out shortly after, and the League of Nations was unable to stop it.


Q5) Regionalism and New Regionalism 6

Ans) In international politics, regionalism is a strategy used by nations to increase support and collaboration in a variety of state activities, including the military, politics, economy, and social-cultural relations. It frequently results in regional integration and collaboration between the nations in a certain region.


Different state and nonstate actors were active in the process of changing the global order, in contrast to the previous regionalism, which was more focused on interactions between states. Thus, new regionalism was impacted by globalisation, which in turn influenced globalisation. States and societies have responded to these affects by advancing, modifying, or reversing the effects of globalisation through the processes of regionalism. The forces of globalisation have had an impact on the restructuring of the social, political, and economic aspects of regions.

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