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BPSC-107: IGNOU BAG Solved Assignment 2022-2023

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TitleBPSC-107: IGNOU BAG Solved Assignment 2022-2023
DegreeBachelor Degree Programme
Course CodeBPSC-107
Programme NameBachelor of Arts (General)
Programme CodeBAG
Total Marks100
Assignment CodeBPSC-107/ASST/TMA/2022-23
Last Date for Submission of Assignment:For June Examination: 31st April
For December Examination: 30th September

Assignment – I

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

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

Ans: The global political landscape is currently undergoing a series of structural changes, with significant implications for international relations. One important trend is the shift towards a multipolar world, with the rise of new powers challenging the traditional dominance of Western powers. The growing economic and military power of countries such as China, India, and Brazil, for example, has led to a rebalancing of global power, as these countries seek greater influence on the world stage.

At the same time, the increasing interconnectedness of the world, facilitated by advances in technology and communications, has led to the emergence of new forms of transnational governance and cooperation. International institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund have become increasingly important in shaping global governance and promoting cooperation among states.

However, these changes have also created new challenges for international relations. The rise of new powers has led to increased competition for resources, markets, and influence, which has in turn led to tensions and conflicts between states. The proliferation of non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, civil society organizations, and terrorist groups, has also complicated the traditional state-centric approach to international relations, raising questions about the effectiveness of existing institutions and norms in addressing new challenges.

Another important trend in global politics is the growing importance of issues such as climate change, energy security, and human rights. These issues are increasingly recognized as global problems that require collective action and cooperation among states, but they also raise questions about the distribution of power and resources in the international system. For example, debates over the distribution of carbon emissions and the allocation of responsibility for mitigating climate change have highlighted the unequal distribution of power and wealth between developed and developing countries.

Overall, the structural changes in global politics and international relations are complex and multifaceted, reflecting both the opportunities and challenges of a more interconnected and multipolar world. The future of international relations will depend on the ability of states and other actors to adapt to these changes, to promote cooperation and dialogue, and to address new challenges and opportunities in a way that is equitable and sustainable.

2. 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 United Nations (UN) plays a critical role in addressing non-traditional security threats, such as climate change, terrorism, and cyber security, as well as the issue of nuclear non-proliferation. However, the UN faces several key challenges in transforming itself to effectively address these threats in contemporary international relations.

One major challenge is the issue of reforming the UN’s structure and decision-making processes. The current structure of the UN, established after World War II, is characterized by a dominant role for the five permanent members of the Security Council and a lack of representation for many developing countries. This has led to criticisms that the UN is not representative or democratic enough, which undermines its legitimacy and effectiveness in addressing global challenges.

Another challenge is the limited resources available to the UN, particularly in the face of growing demand for its services. The UN relies on voluntary contributions from member states, which can be unpredictable and unevenly distributed. This limits the UN’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to emerging crises, and may compromise the quality of its programs and services.

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A third challenge is the difficulty of addressing non-traditional security threats, which are often complex and difficult to define. These threats may require new forms of collaboration and cooperation among states, as well as between states and non-state actors, which may challenge traditional notions of sovereignty and state autonomy.

Finally, the issue of nuclear non-proliferation remains a critical challenge for the UN, as the risk of nuclear war or terrorist attacks continues to pose a threat to international peace and security. The UN has established a range of measures and institutions to address this issue, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, the effectiveness of these measures depends on the willingness of states to cooperate and comply with their obligations, and on the ability of the UN to monitor and enforce compliance.

Assignment – II

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

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

Ans: The Post-Cold War era, which began with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has witnessed major changes and challenges in the international order. The most significant change has been the emergence of the United States as the world’s only superpower, leading to a unipolar world order. This shift has had a profound impact on international relations and has led to new challenges and opportunities.

One major challenge has been the rise of non-state actors such as terrorist organizations, which have become more prominent in the post-Cold War era. These groups have exploited new technologies and have been able to carry out attacks across borders, posing a significant threat to global security.

Another challenge has been the changing nature of conflicts. The end of the Cold War has seen an increase in ethnic and civil conflicts, many of which have been fueled by the collapse of authoritarian regimes and the emergence of new democracies. These conflicts have been difficult to resolve and have led to the displacement of millions of people.

The post-Cold War era has also seen the emergence of new economic powers, most notably China. The growth of China’s economy has challenged the dominance of the United States and Europe, leading to new tensions in international trade and investment.

Finally, the post-Cold War era has witnessed a growing focus on human rights and humanitarian intervention. The international community has become more willing to intervene in conflicts to protect civilians, leading to new debates about the legitimacy and effectiveness of such interventions.

2. Critically examine the effects of decolonization on world politics.

Ans: Decolonization, which began in the aftermath of World War II and continued through the 1960s, had a profound impact on world politics. It marked the end of the European colonial empires and the emergence of new independent states in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The effects of decolonization have been significant and wide-ranging, and continue to shape global politics today.

One of the most significant effects of decolonization has been the emergence of new states and the shift in power dynamics in the international system. The end of European colonialism led to the emergence of new actors in international politics, with many former colonies becoming members of the United Nations and other international organizations. This led to a significant shift in the balance of power, with new states exerting influence and challenging the dominance of traditional powers.

Decolonization also had a significant impact on the Cold War. Many newly independent states sought to balance their relationships with the two superpowers, often seeking support from both the United States and the Soviet Union. This led to new alliances and alignments, and contributed to the complexity of the Cold War system.

However, decolonization also had negative consequences. Many newly independent states struggled to establish stable and effective governments, leading to instability, conflict, and economic underdevelopment. In some cases, former colonial powers continued to exert influence and control over their former colonies, and conflict and exploitation continued long after formal independence was achieved.

In addition, decolonization led to the creation of new borders and the division of ethnic and linguistic communities. This has contributed to ongoing conflicts and tensions in many parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa.

3. What are the feminist perspectives of theories of international relations?

Ans: Feminist perspectives in international relations challenge traditional theories that have been dominated by male voices and experiences. Feminist theorists argue that gender, and the social and political inequalities associated with it, are integral to the understanding of international relations. There are several feminist perspectives in international relations, and they can be broadly categorized into three main areas: liberal feminism, critical feminism, and post-structuralist feminism.

Liberal feminists argue that women should be included in traditional international relations theory and practices, and that gender equality should be promoted through mainstream political and legal processes. They focus on women’s access to political power and representation, and advocate for equal opportunities and rights.

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Critical feminists, on the other hand, reject the idea that gender inequality can be addressed through mainstream institutions and practices, which they see as being complicit in perpetuating patriarchal structures. They argue that gender relations are central to understanding international relations, and that issues of power, domination, and inequality cannot be separated from gender. Critical feminists also highlight the intersectionality of gender with other forms of inequality, such as race and class.

Post-structuralist feminists challenge the idea of fixed and stable gender identities, and argue that gender is constructed through discourse and power relations. They emphasize the importance of language, culture, and social norms in shaping gender roles and identities, and highlight the role of discourse in the maintenance of patriarchal power structures.

Feminist perspectives in international relations have contributed to the development of new research areas and policy agendas, such as the study of gender-based violence, women’s empowerment, and the gendered impacts of conflict and war. They have also influenced the development of international norms and institutions, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the establishment of UN Women.

Assignment – III

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

1. Significance of Critical theory in International Relations.

Ans: Critical theory in International Relations is significant as it provides a framework for analyzing and understanding the ways in which power, oppression, and inequality are reproduced and reinforced in global politics. It challenges mainstream IR theories that often overlook the role of power and ideology in shaping world affairs. Critical theory emphasizes the importance of examining the social and historical contexts in which political and economic institutions are formed, and the ways in which they produce and reproduce patterns of inequality and domination. By exposing the hidden power relations in global politics, critical theory helps to promote social justice, equality, and democracy in international relations.

  1. Role of Regional Organizations in International Relations.

Regional organizations play a critical role in shaping global politics, as they serve as important platforms for cooperation and coordination among neighboring countries. They provide opportunities for member states to engage in collective action on issues of common concern, such as economic development, security, and human rights. Regional organizations also facilitate regional integration and promote the building of shared norms, values, and identities among member states. Examples of regional organizations include the European Union, African Union, and ASEAN. Through their collective efforts, regional organizations can help to address regional challenges and contribute to global governance.

  1. Implications of Climate Change for International Relations.

Climate change has significant implications for international relations, as it poses a threat to global stability and security. It affects a range of issues, from food security and migration to energy and water resources. The effects of climate change are unevenly distributed, with developing countries often facing the greatest challenges due to their vulnerability to extreme weather events and limited resources to adapt. Climate change can also exacerbate existing conflicts and inequalities, as competition for resources intensifies. International cooperation is essential in addressing climate change, and the Paris Agreement is a key example of global efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Climate change is a global challenge that requires collective action and commitment from all nations.

  1. Impact of Globalization on International Relations.

Globalization has had a significant impact on international relations, as it has facilitated the growth of global interdependence and the erosion of national boundaries. It has increased the flow of goods, services, and people across borders, and has created new opportunities for economic growth and development. At the same time, globalization has also created new challenges, such as the diffusion of transnational threats like terrorism, the marginalization of certain groups and regions, and the erosion of state sovereignty. The rise of new powers in the global economy, such as China and India, is also challenging the dominance of traditional powers, such as the United States and Europe. Globalization has created both opportunities and challenges for international relations, and requires careful management and cooperation to ensure that its benefits are widely shared.

2. Basic assumptions of realism and neorealism.

Ans: Realism and neorealism are two key schools of thought in international relations. They share many basic assumptions, but also have some important differences.

The basic assumptions of realism include:

  1. An emphasis on the importance of the nation-state: Realists view the nation-state as the primary actor in international relations. States are seen as autonomous, rational actors that act in their own self-interest to maximize their security and power.
  2. The centrality of power and security: Realists argue that power and security are the primary concerns of states in international relations. States seek to maintain or increase their power and security by balancing against potential threats and seeking to gain relative advantage over other states.
  3. Anarchy and self-help: Realists assume that the international system is characterized by anarchy, meaning that there is no higher authority above the nation-state. As a result, states must rely on themselves to ensure their security and survival.
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Neorealism, also known as structural realism, shares many of these basic assumptions, but places more emphasis on the impact of the international system on the behavior of states. The basic assumptions of neorealism include:

  1. The primacy of the international system: Neorealists argue that the structure of the international system, rather than the actions of individual states, has a strong impact on state behavior. In particular, they emphasize the distribution of power among states as a key factor influencing state behavior.
  2. The anarchical nature of the international system: Like realists, neorealists assume that the international system is anarchical, meaning that there is no higher authority above the nation-state.
  3. The concept of self-help: Neorealists also assume that states are engaged in a process of self-help, seeking to maximize their power and security in the absence of a higher authority.

3. International Liberalism.

Ans: International liberalism is a political ideology and school of thought in international relations that emphasizes the importance of cooperation, democracy, and human rights in global politics. International liberals argue that the best way to ensure peace and prosperity in the international system is through the promotion of economic interdependence and the spread of democratic governance.

The basic assumptions of international liberalism include:

  1. The importance of cooperation: International liberals believe that cooperation among states is essential to address global challenges and to promote peace and prosperity in the international system. They support the development of international institutions and the creation of rules-based systems to facilitate cooperation among states.
  2. Economic interdependence: International liberals argue that economic interdependence promotes peace and stability in the international system by reducing the incentives for conflict and promoting cooperation. They advocate for free trade and investment to increase economic interdependence among states.
  3. Democracy and human rights: International liberals place a high value on democracy and human rights in global politics. They argue that democratic governance and the protection of human rights are essential for promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the international system.
  4. Soft power: International liberals emphasize the importance of soft power, which refers to the ability of a state to achieve its objectives through attraction and persuasion rather than coercion. They argue that soft power can be used to promote international cooperation, advance human rights, and foster economic interdependence.

International liberalism has been influential in shaping international institutions and policies, such as the creation of the United Nations and the development of the post-World War II international economic order. However, it has also faced criticism for its emphasis on Western liberal values and its failure to adequately address issues of inequality and global poverty.

4. E. H Carr’s critique of idealism.

Ans: E.H. Carr was a British historian and international relations theorist who is well-known for his critique of idealism in international relations. Carr believed that idealism, which is the belief that international relations should be guided by moral and ethical principles, was both unrealistic and dangerous.

Carr argued that the pursuit of idealistic goals such as disarmament, collective security, and the rule of law would ultimately fail, because it ignored the reality of power politics and the anarchic nature of the international system. In Carr’s view, states were primarily motivated by self-interest, and the pursuit of idealistic goals would only serve to weaken them and make them vulnerable to more powerful states.

Carr also criticized idealism for its focus on individual morality and its failure to account for the role of systemic factors in shaping state behavior. He argued that international relations were not a matter of individual morality or intention, but rather were shaped by broader social, economic, and political factors.

Carr’s critique of idealism had a significant impact on the study of international relations, and helped to shift the focus of the field towards a more realist perspective. Realism, which emphasizes the importance of power, interests, and security in international relations, has remained a dominant perspective in the field ever since.

5. The Neo-Neo debates in International Relations.

Ans: The Neo-Neo debates in International Relations are a series of ongoing discussions between two broad schools of thought that emerged in the 1990s: neorealism and neoliberal institutionalism. Neorealists argue that the international system is inherently anarchic and that states are primarily concerned with their own security, leading to a focus on military power and strategic competition. Neoliberal institutionalists, on the other hand, argue that states can cooperate to achieve common goals through international institutions and regimes.

The Neo-Neo debates center on questions of power, cooperation, and the role of international institutions in shaping the behavior of states. Critics of neorealism argue that it oversimplifies the complexities of international relations and neglects the potential for cooperation and collaboration. Neoliberal institutionalists, meanwhile, are criticized for placing too much emphasis on international institutions and failing to account for power asymmetries and conflicts of interest.

The debates continue to shape the field of International Relations, with scholars and practitioners grappling with questions of state behavior, international cooperation, and the role of institutions in shaping the global order.

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For June Examination: 31st April, For December Examination: 30th October

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