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Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century

Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century

Please read carefully the instructions below and author two of the following four essays (50 points each).

The final paper assignment makes up 100% of the final grade.
You may use any additional source (but a good place to start is the class notes and the reading list) and there is no need to cite resources, although you may relate arguments and statements to specific individuals. However, you are expected to author your essays independently – in your own style and voice – without over-using other sources. In other words, please refrain from cut-and-paste with minimal changes, let alone direct plagiarism. Your well-structured essay ought to open with a thesis statement referring to the questions. You should explain, substantiate, and support the thesis statement throughout by elaborating the main and relevant concepts, positions, historical processes and examples, including those discussed in class and in the course readings. Each essay should not exceed 1,200-1,500 words.

Essay #1

“Had the US and the EU devised and implemented a more effective strategy to promote peace, development and regional cooperation in the Middle East, they could have spared the turmoil and violence engulfing the Middle East since the onset of the so-called “Arab Spring.” Discuss and opinionate. In your essay, explain the main features (objectives, mechanisms, and outcomes) of Western engagement in the Middle East in the post-Cold War era (1990-2010). Why did the EU and the US invest so many resources in the Middle East? Why did these efforts fail? With the benefit of hindsight – what could have the EU and US done to prevent the regional turmoil?

Essay #2

The three main theoretical schools/paradigms of IR thought – Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism – offer different readings of the Atlantic Alliance (or community) and of the challenges it faces. These readings reflect dissimilar explanations concerning the basic rationale and driving force of NATO and different expectations concerning its future. For instance, while Realists view NATO as an alliance, Liberals would focus their attention on NATO as an institution (some of them would also highlight the role of domestic politics). Constructivists, on their part, would pay attention to ideas and norms and view NATO as a community.

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