DEPARTMENT OF PEACE STUDIES AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2022/23 PES5020-B Contemporary International Relations
Contemporary International Relations
1. Explain and critically analyse the key concepts of classical realism as a theory of
international relations. Discuss the extent to which these concepts apply to
contemporary security, using the Ukraine conflict as a case study.
2. Assess China’s challenge to the law-based liberal international order and US
hegemony with particular reference to the potential sources of armed conflict in East
3. “The Ukraine war is about the future of a norms based international order”. Discuss
4. Is democracy in decline? Discuss in the context of the growth of autocracy in Russia
and China and their efforts to subvert democracy
5. Discuss the role of nuclear weapons in contemporary security . To what extent may
nuclear deterrence be relevant in the conflict in Ukraine and to what extent will this
conflict impact international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons
6. Discuss the purposes and the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy. To
what extent has it been able to achieve its objectives?
7. “Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security” Discuss
8. Discuss the history of Russia’s relations with the West since the fall of the Soviet
Union with emphasis on the key elements of partnership with the United States and
the European Union. To what extent and for what reasons have the efforts to create a
partnership and cooperative security with Russia failed?
9. Discuss and contrast the different views of the Trump Administration and the Biden
administration on America’s global role. What does it mean when President Biden
states “America is back” and is this claim plausible in relation to foreign policy
actions taken since Biden assumed office.