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Old Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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Post Lets discuss IR 2018 papers

Hi everyone,

Anyone feeling like discussing IR-2018 questions?

Below are my responses to questions in Paper 1 and 2. You are more than welcome to discuss and assess my approach to the asked questions. And I will value ur suggestions because I am not a regular student of IR, and my understanding of the subject is only '6-months' deep.

Paper 1.


Q 2: Evolution of IR.

I made 3 major headings:

i. main events: treaty of westphalia, birth of nation state, french revolution, american civil war, renaissance in europe, colonialism, post colonialism, world wars, recognition of IR as a subject in 1920s. every event had its impact on the subject.

ii. major writers: john locke, thucydides, carl von clausewitz, immanuel kant etc etc. And how their writings provided the foundations for the theories of IR .

iii. great debates: realism v liberalism, positivism v post positivism, neo-neo and 4th one (whatever its name is).

Q 3: Convergence and Divergence in neo-realism & constructivism.

Divergences: realism believes that anarchy is permanent feature and is a structure of international order. constructivism says that "anarchy is what states make of it". so anarchy is not a structure but a process through which states perceive threats and interests etc. Realism stems from positivism, constructivism from post positivism.

convergences: both believe that 'anarchy' exists.

Q 7: Globalisation.

Yes I agree that it has transformed national culture and politics. It has given rise to 'identity politics' and different responses on issues of immigration, free trade and supra-national government. Some are for it, and some are against it. e.g. Brexit is an example of saying no to free flow of people and goods across UK's borders. whereas, France is an advocate of supra-national government i.e. EU. and so on.


Q 8: Pre-emptive self-defense: US attack on Iraq.

Int law scholars are divided on the isssue of legitimacy of pre emptive defense. Each side forwards its own reasons.
I personally think that US attack on Iraq was illegal. Why? because there was no imminent threat from Iraq (Saddam hussen didn't threaten to attack the US after or before 9/11). Iraq wasn't supporting al-qaeda. No WMD were found in Iraq (so again no imminent threat). And other peaceful options were not exhausted like negotiations or involvement of mediators etc. and also world opinion was against the attack so US's thinking was not shared by many countries except UK and few more countries.


Paper 2


Q 3: strengths and liabilities of Containment policy.

i. Marshall plan. (successful policy because it made allies economically strong)
ii. NATO. (success in terms of deterence but it also instigated USSR to create its own defence alliance: Warsaw pact. so rivalry became reinforced. and russian block became 'sealed').
iii. Proping up of 'pro-US' dictators in aisa and africa: (successfully at that time but it has backfired now. caused resentment in the people.)
iv. promotion and propaganda of liberal economy: (very successful. as soon as USSR broke into parts, many countries rushed to embrace liberal economy and came under the wings of the US and allies).

Q 6: Contentious relations between Pak & India.

lets put Kashmir and other territorial disputes aside for a moment,because we can't resolve them by merely wanting to resolve them. We need to take some steps to enhance trust and friendship between the two countries, and then we can come back to these issues. then we will have better chance of solving them. So, what should we do:

i. economic interdependence: in line with liberal theory of economic interdependence, we should increase bilateral trade. and blah blah blah.

ii. People to people contact: in line with democratic peace theory, we should increase people- people contact. because we are both democracies, and in line with democratic peace theory it is expected of us to resolve our disputes peacefully. blah blah blah

iii. consulting international institutions: we should rely and depend more on the UN etc for mediating and adjudication.

iv. put an end to arms race: break this cycle of arms race. we should find a way to get out of security dillemma and building confidence between us.

I also mentioned how SAARC has become essentially dead because of pak-india rivalry.

Q 7: Possibility of settlement of Kashmir:
(unlike Bosnia) UN is not sending Peace forces because there is no human-emergency in Kashmir. Clashes and fights spark up from time to time, but there is no 'war' in Kashmir.
(Unlike East timor) the resolution of UNSC regarding plebiscite in Kashmir was passed under chapter 6 not 7. so its not binding. should have been passed under chapter 7.
furthermore, it is very complicated issue, because for one thing Raja of Kashmir abdicated in favor of India so you have legal issues of succession as well. and second thing, pakistan also controls some part of the Kashmir and both India and Pakistan agreed upon LOC so there you have another issue of territorial control.
Possible settlement: Both sides will have to make some compromises. Settlement plan proposed by Musharraf seems most workable to me.

Q 8: Taliban - Afghanistan challenge.
Honestly, I wasn't sure what was required of us in this question. (thank you paper setter for making this question vague for me )
But anyway I attempted this question and gave few recommendations of my own. (like if I was somehow more qualified than pak, us, china, russia and afghan diplomats combined
I made a point that Taliban want the US out of their country before even their coming to the negotiation table. It could be a trap. because if the US leaves and the Taliban decide that they don't want to uphold their part of the deal, what will happen then? what the guarantee that the Taliban won't pick up their arms again and won't sabotage the government and peace process.
So the US should stay in Afghanistan, but elections should be held in provinces turn by turn. Lets see how Taliban behave after elections and how they run the government in their stronghold provinces.


Observation: The paper was fine. except for few ambiguities in the questions, maybe questions needed to be rephrased properly.
One or two mcqs were also vague. It seemed like paper setter was try to play pun on words. because more than one options seemed like suitable answer.

What are your thoughts??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fahad Qaiser View Post
Hi everyone,

Anyone feeling like discussing IR-2018 questions?

Below are my responses to questions in Paper 1 and 2. You are more than welcome to discuss and assess my approach to the asked questions. And I will value ur suggestions because I am not a regular student of IR, and my understanding of the subject is only '6-months' deep.

Paper 1.


Q 2: Evolution of IR.

I made 3 major headings:

i. main events: treaty of westphalia, birth of nation state, french revolution, american civil war, renaissance in europe, colonialism, post colonialism, world wars, recognition of IR as a subject in 1920s. every event had its impact on the subject.

ii. major writers: john locke, thucydides, carl von clausewitz, immanuel kant etc etc. And how their writings provided the foundations for the theories of IR .

iii. great debates: realism v liberalism, positivism v post positivism, neo-neo and 4th one (whatever its name is).

Q 3: Convergence and Divergence in neo-realism & constructivism.

Divergences: realism believes that anarchy is permanent feature and is a structure of international order. constructivism says that "anarchy is what states make of it". so anarchy is not a structure but a process through which states perceive threats and interests etc. Realism stems from positivism, constructivism from post positivism.

convergences: both believe that 'anarchy' exists.

Q 7: Globalisation.

Yes I agree that it has transformed national culture and politics. It has given rise to 'identity politics' and different responses on issues of immigration, free trade and supra-national government. Some are for it, and some are against it. e.g. Brexit is an example of saying no to free flow of people and goods across UK's borders. whereas, France is an advocate of supra-national government i.e. EU. and so on.


Q 8: Pre-emptive self-defense: US attack on Iraq.

Int law scholars are divided on the isssue of legitimacy of pre emptive defense. Each side forwards its own reasons.
I personally think that US attack on Iraq was illegal. Why? because there was no imminent threat from Iraq (Saddam hussen didn't threaten to attack the US after or before 9/11). Iraq wasn't supporting al-qaeda. No WMD were found in Iraq (so again no imminent threat). And other peaceful options were not exhausted like negotiations or involvement of mediators etc. and also world opinion was against the attack so US's thinking was not shared by many countries except UK and few more countries.


Paper 2


Q 3: strengths and liabilities of Containment policy.

i. Marshall plan. (successful policy because it made allies economically strong)
ii. NATO. (success in terms of deterence but it also instigated USSR to create its own defence alliance: Warsaw pact. so rivalry became reinforced. and russian block became 'sealed').
iii. Proping up of 'pro-US' dictators in aisa and africa: (successfully at that time but it has backfired now. caused resentment in the people.)
iv. promotion and propaganda of liberal economy: (very successful. as soon as USSR broke into parts, many countries rushed to embrace liberal economy and came under the wings of the US and allies).

Q 6: Contentious relations between Pak & India.

lets put Kashmir and other territorial disputes aside for a moment,because we can't resolve them by merely wanting to resolve them. We need to take some steps to enhance trust and friendship between the two countries, and then we can come back to these issues. then we will have better chance of solving them. So, what should we do:

i. economic interdependence: in line with liberal theory of economic interdependence, we should increase bilateral trade. and blah blah blah.

ii. People to people contact: in line with democratic peace theory, we should increase people- people contact. because we are both democracies, and in line with democratic peace theory it is expected of us to resolve our disputes peacefully. blah blah blah

iii. consulting international institutions: we should rely and depend more on the UN etc for mediating and adjudication.

iv. put an end to arms race: break this cycle of arms race. we should find a way to get out of security dillemma and building confidence between us.

I also mentioned how SAARC has become essentially dead because of pak-india rivalry.

Q 7: Possibility of settlement of Kashmir:
(unlike Bosnia) UN is not sending Peace forces because there is no human-emergency in Kashmir. Clashes and fights spark up from time to time, but there is no 'war' in Kashmir.
(Unlike East timor) the resolution of UNSC regarding plebiscite in Kashmir was passed under chapter 6 not 7. so its not binding. should have been passed under chapter 7.
furthermore, it is very complicated issue, because for one thing Raja of Kashmir abdicated in favor of India so you have legal issues of succession as well. and second thing, pakistan also controls some part of the Kashmir and both India and Pakistan agreed upon LOC so there you have another issue of territorial control.
Possible settlement: Both sides will have to make some compromises. Settlement plan proposed by Musharraf seems most workable to me.

Q 8: Taliban - Afghanistan challenge.
Honestly, I wasn't sure what was required of us in this question. (thank you paper setter for making this question vague for me )
But anyway I attempted this question and gave few recommendations of my own. (like if I was somehow more qualified than pak, us, china, russia and afghan diplomats combined
I made a point that Taliban want the US out of their country before even their coming to the negotiation table. It could be a trap. because if the US leaves and the Taliban decide that they don't want to uphold their part of the deal, what will happen then? what the guarantee that the Taliban won't pick up their arms again and won't sabotage the government and peace process.
So the US should stay in Afghanistan, but elections should be held in provinces turn by turn. Lets see how Taliban behave after elections and how they run the government in their stronghold provinces.


Observation: The paper was fine. except for few ambiguities in the questions, maybe questions needed to be rephrased properly.
One or two mcqs were also vague. It seemed like paper setter was try to play pun on words. because more than one options seemed like suitable answer.

What are your thoughts??
Excellent answers.
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Old Thursday, March 01, 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saniam View Post
Excellent answers.
Thanks. I hope the checkers feel the same way.
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Old Thursday, March 01, 2018
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I only remember some of what I wrote in both papers.

Paper - I

Q6. Explained the concept of economic liberalism and the neo-liberalism of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Core interests of economic liberalism are laissez faire free markets, free transnational trade, deregulation, privatisation. Gave examples like British Airways. Also explained the "competitive advantage" concept of David Ricardo. Neo-imperialism/economic dependency is the reliance of the Least Developed Countries on the capital and markets of the developed nations, whom are controlled via IMF, WB IGOs. Oft times policies are dictated which are not in the best interests of the LDCs. Other points of reliance are the lag in cutting edge technology due to which LDCs have no choice but to export raw materials which are then value added by the developed states and exported back to the LDCs in the form of finished products.

Q4. Classic traditional form of international security had only two components, internal and external threats. Internal threats were non-state actors who committed subversion etc. whereas external threats were other hostile states. The contemporary perception of international security is multifaceted and entails many aspects which could destabilise the international order. Food security, water security, economic security (fulfillment of needs), personal security (rule of law etc.), border security etc. were elaborated and how the lack of security in these variables could lead to instability.

Q5. Strategic culture is the perception of the civil-military elite of a polity regarding the security position of a state, owing to historical and cultural experiences. Mentioned that according to Hasan Askari, due to Pakistan's hostility with India during its nascent stage, as well as domestic rioting, Pakistan's strategic culture has been largely dominated by an obsession with security. The determinants of the strategic culture are arms race with India and the need to import arms from foreign states, relationship with China, maintaining regional balance of power from skewing further in India's favor by maintaining nuclear programme. Wrote other points which I forgot.

Q7 Explained how globalization is leading to internationalisation and liberalism. Due to increased movement of people across international borders, there is people-people contact which leads to cultural diffusion. Due to interdependence, the politics is affected as harsh stances can't be adopted. I think I gave example of the US-China relationship. I agreed that globalization is changing national cultures and politics.

Paper - II

Q8 First I explained what a state is according to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States 1933 and how Afghanistan is only fulfilling the "capacity to enter international relations" requirement properly. I fully supported the mainstreaming of the Taliban in order to attain a peaceful resolution of the futile 17 year old Afghan conflict. I explained that the current South Asia strategy of Donald Trump relies on a troops surge from the current level of 8000 troops, but this strategy had already been tried by the Obama administration to no avail. I explained that Pakistan can play its role through multilateral fora in mediating between the Taliban and the Afghan government. This is necessary as according to a BBC report, the Taliban control 70% of Afghan territory. Afghan forces face heavy casualties and desertions. Political engagement with the Taliban is also in the interests of China, the CAR, and Russia as well so there will be broad international support for the measure. Finished by stating that the current US policy of troop surge is just trying the same thing and expecting different results, which is insanity.

I regret attempting this question first because I don't think I could include much IR theory in this answer.

Q4. Discussed what foreign policy is, a bit about how it is devised. Then I discussed the US threats to Pakistan post 9/11 about bombing it "back to the stone age" and "˙ou're either with us or against us". Then I described Pakistan's position of fully supporting the war on terror by providing logistical support as well as military bases to the US, and training to middle eastern allies but not taking part in any combat operations on foreign soil. The reason for this policy is to avoid any unpredictable consequences in the future.

Q5. Explained that the capitalist USA has the values of free trade, free markets, and the ideology of human rights, freedom of expression etc. Described the USA's confused foreign policy of maintaining an interdependent relationship with authoritarian centrally controlled China, a strong relationship with monarchy of Saudi Arabia (which helps to maintain hegemony of US $ through OPEC), and poor relationships with socialist states such as Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea. Stated that the US foreign policy is not dependent on its ideology, rather on its national interests.

Q6. Explained the usual measures like economic interdependence, people-people contact, bilateral arms control treaties but I also included one suggestion to "understand constructivism". If diplomats become aware of this theory that foreign policy is often affected by the manner in which the historical and cultural factors influence the perception of states and hence their international positions, the institutions can be reformed and peace could be achieved more easily.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaindy View Post

Paper - II

Q8 First I explained what a state is according to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States 1933 and how Afghanistan is only fulfilling the "capacity to enter international relations" requirement properly. I fully supported the mainstreaming of the Taliban in order to attain a peaceful resolution of the futile 17 year old Afghan conflict. I explained that the current South Asia strategy of Donald Trump relies on a troops surge from the current level of 8000 troops, but this strategy had already been tried by the Obama administration to no avail. I explained that Pakistan can play its role through multilateral fora in mediating between the Taliban and the Afghan government. This is necessary as according to a BBC report, the Taliban control 70% of Afghan territory. Afghan forces face heavy casualties and desertions. Political engagement with the Taliban is also in the interests of China, the CAR, and Russia as well so there will be broad international support for the measure. Finished by stating that the current US policy of troop surge is just trying the same thing and expecting different results, which is insanity.

I regret attempting this question first because I don't think I could include much IR theory in this answer.

Exactly. Q 8 was too broad and too general. I wasn't sure whether to focus on current events, actors involved or future recommendations. So I tried to throw everything in the mix. I too couldn't link any of that with any IR theory.
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Old Monday, March 05, 2018
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the only thing which i could remember about my exams is.... i did not performed as well, as i ought to be.
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Fahad
excelent job man
some of my answers match urs but urs are so compact i didnt or couldnt touch every aspect.
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ur response is also great best of luck buddies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by étoile brillante View Post
Fahad
excelent job man
some of my answers match urs but urs are so compact i didnt or couldnt touch every aspect.
Thanks mate. All of us InshaAllah will pass these exams.

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Originally Posted by adan zahra View Post
the only thing which i could remember about my exams is.... i did not performed as well, as i ought to be.
Don't worry about it. Everybody think that they could have done better. I even made a blunder so big that I fear I won't pass the exam. But as they say, do ur best and don't worry about the rest. so...

Cheers.
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for me i.r was difficult
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