International relation theory class, a 10-page research paper, In this research paper, you will be expected to assess the relative merits of two IR theories in explaining the outcome of a case study of your choice. In this preliminary assignment you will present a research proposal for this research paper.
- A clear and concise research question (for example: why didn’t the Cold War escalate into an actual war between the United States and the Soviet Union? What explains the failure of the Kyoto Treaty? What explains the passage of the Landmine Ban treaty? Why did the United States and the Soviet cooperate during WWII? Why did the League of Nations fail?). Note that a good research question isanalyticalin nature, and can be answered within the time and space available. In other words, it is not merely descriptive, and should not take a book-length manuscript to answer. A descriptive question is one that seeks to describe an event (i.e. what happened? Example: what did Germany do in September 1939?), an analytical question focuses on why, or how, things happened (see the examples above).
- A preliminary literature review, of no less than 4 peer-reviewed sources, related to your topic. The research paper is your answer to the research question that you submitted in Week 2. The paper should include:
- An introduction, which clearly outlines the topic of the paper, its importance in the context of IR theory, the research question, and a brief overview of the paper (main argument, and an outline of the different sections).
- An theoretical section, that identifies and discusses the theory that you have chosen, and outline its main causal arguments as they pertain to your particular topic/question.
- A methods section that outlines the hypotheses, their observable implications, and the way you have tested them.
- An analysis section that presents your findings.
- A conclusion that summarizes your findings, and suggests avenues for future research.