Final Exam Essay Topics (All Teams)

Pick one of the topics below. The essay is due at 10 am, Friday, 15 Dec. at my office, 517 Ross Hall.


  1. Criticize or defend this position: “Multilateral cooperation in the UNSC to mount an effective multilateral peace operation to end the genocide in Darfur is no more likely than similar cooperation to effectively compel an end to the Iranian or North Korean nuclear programs. This is because there is no such thing as ‘international security’ in a world of independent sovereign states. Only national security matters for governments and their publics, and all states see their security in different ways.
  2. Criticize or defend this position: “Marten's concept of ‘security-keeping’ is inappropriately a-political and will not making complex peace operations any easier. Wolfers argued that security is about making political choices about what values to protect, so either peacekeepers will act imperially if they make the choices for the polity in which they are intervening, or they will act as foreign enforcers for whatever local authority makes the choices. We see this clearly in Afghanistan and Iraq — these polities are insecure because there is no agreement on who the legitimate local authority should be.” 
  3. Read the Iraq Study Group "Executive Summary" (p. xiii-xviii) and then choose either option a or option b for the essay:

Option a)  Read "The External Approach: Building an International Consensus" (p.43-58) and critique the recommendations and underlying assumptions based on course readings and discussions. How will these recommendation improve the prospects for a settlement in Iraq? Do they foreclose "victory" as an option?

Option b) Read  "The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help Themselves" (p.59-76; the section continues afterward but you only need to read up to p.76) and critique the recommendations and underlying assumptions based on course readings and discussions. Are the ISG recommendations in line with Marten's views on how complex peace operations should be handled?




This is a final exam essay. You should be drawing on readings, lecture, and discussions from across the course, not just the last two weeks.


Special Final Formatting

The essay should be 1500-1600 words (roughly 5-6 double-spaced pages) in length. Essays must be typed or machine-printed and stapled (no paper clips or folders). Do not use colored paper. Keep a copy of your submitted essay. Use fonts no smaller than 12 points. Use a serifed font, like Times New Roman and not sans serif fonts, like Arial. (While sans serif fonts are easier to read on monitors, they are harder to read, for me at least, on printed paper.) Have a separate title page with 1) your name and 2) your student ID number printed on it. Do not put your name or ID number on the pages of text (I grade “blind”). Text should be double-spaced and have 1-inch margins. Number the pages of text. Put the number of the topic you are answering or the first phrase of the topic at the top of the first page of the essay text so that I know what topic you are answering.