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POL 1410 International Relations-Auditori

Professor Auditori


International Relations Project

POL/IGS 1410

Objective: You and a partner will research and analyze a current international relations conflict that does not directly involve the United States. An IR conflict occurs when one sovereign state has a strong disagreement or antagonist relationship with, or adopts a coercive foreign policy against, another sovereign state. It could be war or violence, but it may also be a trade, border, humanitarian, or other conflict.

You will analyze the conflict through several lenses—its origins (installment 1), the IR theory that best explains it (installment 2), and the role of international organizations OR the international economy in the conflict (installment 3). Lastly, you will propose a viable solution to the conflict (installment 4).

Audience: You have two options:

  1. Imagine that you are writing a series for The Atlantic, a leading magazine that abides by the commitment to be an “organ of no party or clique,” in other words, to be unbiased. Your audience is the readers of this magazine who are generally well-informed about and understanding of basic international relations themes and philosophies.
  2. Imagine that you are creating a podcast for Global Dispatches, the podcast that we listen to for class. Your audience is the listeners of this podcast who are, like readers of The Atlantic, generally well-informed about international relations.


By Wednesday, February 9 at midnight: Sign up for an IR conflict (Moodle > IR Project > Conflict Sign-Up). You will use the same IR conflict as the basis for your entire IR project, so be sure to choose a conflict that will hold your attention for the entire semester.

Four Installments—You will write four installments for this project. As you move forward with this project, take into consideration my feedback on previous installments. Making the same or similar errors on subsequent installments will incur strong penalties.

Installment 1: Identify and describe the international relations conflict and its origins. (600-900 words or 4-5 minutes)

Installment 2: Consider the major IR theories (realism, liberalism, constructivism, post-modernism, Marxism, and feminism). Which one best explains the conflict that you have identified? Evaluate the conflict through the lens of that theory. (600-900 words or 4-5 minutes)

Installment 3: Investigate the roles that at least two international organizations have played in this conflict OR the role of the international economy in the conflict. Describe and analyze how the organizations or economic matters have contributed to or helped to resolve the conflict. (600-900 words or 4-5 minutes)

Installment 4: Propose and defend a viable solution to the conflict. Considering the situation in full (maybe economic interests, the role of terrorism, the history of the conflict, leadership, security issues, or other contextually important elements), explain why your proposed solution is likely to be successful. (1000-1200 words or 6-8 minutes, counts twice the others)


  • Format as an article from The Atlantic. Or record as a podcast and submit an audio file. In either case, you must submit a Bibliography using MLA formatting.
  • Each installment should have a unique heading, just as a magazine article would, or title, just as a podcast would.
  • Each installment should have an introduction and conclusion.
  • Each installment should have 3+ sources, including 2+ primary sources. You may use some of the same sources from one installment to the next, and you will have one Bibliography for all installments. Your final Bibliography should have 6+ sources, including 4+ primary sources.
  • Submit by the deadlines indicated on the syllabus.


                                                                                    Does not meet              Meets             Exceeds

Objective                                                                     2          4                6          8           10

You adhere to the parameters of the objective

You demonstrate an understanding of material

Content                                                             2          4             6          8           10

You explain ideas clearly and in detail

You avoid generalizations and incorporate specific examples as needed

You synthesize ideas

You critically analyze

Organization                                                                  1          2                3          4           5

The content is logical and flows nicely

The project is neat and well-formatted, if written

Writing                                                              2          4             6          8           10

Your writing or speaking is clear and concise

Your communication is skillful and fluent

Your installment is publication-ready (free of typos and grammatical errors)

Evidence + support                                                         2          4                6          8           10

Your sources are sufficient in number and well-vetted (credible, relevant)

All sources are properly referenced in the Bibliography

Logistics                                                                       1          2                3          4           5

Your installment is the appropriate length

Your contributions are equal those of your partner

You submit your installments on time and as a word doc or

                                                                                                                           TOTAL            /50