Zweig film Analysis.
1. In the Zweig film, how are the earlier conflicts in which the US was involved the same or different from our current conflict in Afghanistan? How likely is a “victory” in Afghanistan and what in your opinion would such a victory look like?
2. In what ways does Dr. Kissinger’s assessment of U.S. policy in the war against
terrorism reflect general realist principles? In what ways does it differ?
3. What aspect of liberalism (institutional or economic transnationalism) does De
Soto focus on in the documentary and can you find any internal inconsistencies
4. Discuss Wallerstein’s contention (p. 223:5.4) that “the capitalist world-economy cannot survive” and as a historical social system is “in the process of being superseded.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
5. From the Khattak article, how does a “women-centered perspective” on the
U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan differ from that of a male-centered
perspective? Is this distinction useful in formulating IR theory?
6. Why does Barber believe that the realist paradigm fails to provide U.S. guidance for U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century?
7. What are some of your thoughts and observations on the Weimberg / Ryan
documentary? How does it support, or undermine, the tenets of human nature or cognitive theory?
8. Discuss some of the criticisms of peace studies theory. Do you believe that today’s world makes this type of theory “unrealistic”?
Journal #5: Question 2
As defined in our textbook, transnationalism, “builds incentives for cooperation, enhances trust between nations, and promotes negotiation rather than military confrontation as a means to resolve disputes between states” (124). Critics of transnationalism however, argue that this system of interdependence amongst states leads to conflicts of interests as well as unnecessary involvements in foreign affairs. Realists often emphasize this critique and I definitely find it to be the most compelling. I feel that over time, liberals become advocates for global interdependence rather than remaining neutral in terms of international affairs, as they state in their theory. Creating a pool of connections through transnationalism can be harmful in my opinion. I think that when you join forces with a multitude of nations, you become totally interdependent which can eventually cause a nation’s demise, especially in terms of foreign policy. I feel that when you have no one to rely on, you are more cautious of your decisions but when you have the reassurance of several different nations; you are put in a position of ease, which can be detrimental to your country’s position in the global market. To me, the less reliant you are on other countries; the better off you’ll be in maintaining a strong position globally.
The critique of transnationalism that I find least compelling is the one put forth by class-system theorists. Class-system theorists argue that this system of inter-dependence exploits and takes advantage of less-developed countries. Though I do admit that having a large group of first world countries working together, looks rather intimidating and suspicious, I do not believe that it is made to put down third world countries. In fact, many transnational agencies, such as various NGOs, have been working hard to eliminate violence and oppression by instilling Human Rights Campaigns. Therefore, transnationalism can be beneficial to these countries.
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