1. Can you identify a particular IR theory that appeals to you as a better explanation of human behavior than others? Or would you say that the existence of multiple theories is an indication that perhaps all of them are plausible as possible interpretations of the same or different human events? Be clear and use examples to make your case.
2. What is the relationship of theory to actual policy? Are theories pre-packaged conceptual tools policy-makers then apply to the interpretation of actual events? Expressed differently, is there a 1/1 correspondence between a particular event and a theory that explains it? If so, how do we explain two ‘realist’ (or liberals or constructivists, etc.) policymakers who both call for completely opposite policies in the same case, one opting for military intervention for example, while the other prefers a policy of restraint? What does this say about the relationship between theory and actual policy?
3. Consider the structure of the US government as reflected in the Constitution (i.e. institutional checks and balances, power-sharing among federal and state authority, etc.) Does this structure reflect a realist, liberal, or some other theory of human behavior? In effect, is the ‘more perfect union’ of 1787 infused with a more realist or more liberal spirit, or maybe a bit of both. Explain the possibilities concisely yet clearly with examples?