3011GIR Essay Questions Answered

IntroductionThe promotion and maintenance of sound international relations have for long been a key subject of focus. There are certain rules set to govern the co-existence of all states globally. These rules are contained in documents such as the international law and the United Nations Charter. This essay will closely examine the most prominent and the often controversial elements contained in these international documents. The key tenets discussed in this essay include state sovereignty versus human rights, foreign policies, liberalization, international peace, and stability in relation to the Islamic State, humanitarian intervention, and the liberal international order. Opinions will be well stated to ensure that they do not appear as factual statements.

Question 1: In the course of attempting to respond to national security threats, are there times when the rights of states as sovereign entities should take precedence over the rights of groups and individuals within states? Why or why not?

In today’s World, the controversy about the supremacy of sovereignty over human rights is gaining momentum. After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many countries engaged in forming Bills of Rights to safeguard the human rights within the domestic law. In this case, state sovereignty has provided an opportunity for the states to guard human rights without external interference. Some people argue that state sovereignty and human rights are always opposed. They argue that sovereignty interferes with the full realization of human rights. In the attempt to address national security threats, the rights of states as sovereign entities should take precedence over the rights of groups and individuals within states.

State sovereignty is the best method a country can adopt to bring about and uphold a peaceful status. States are established under diverse cultural, social, political and economic practices. Decisions should, therefore, be based on such practices. Interventions by other states may result in more harm. A good example of this can be traced on the situation where the state of sovereignty was founded. According to Jarczewska( 2013), sovereignty was born in Westphalia when peace resumed after the Thirty Years’ in Europe. The Peace of Westphalia was signed as a result of cumulative wars caused by external interventions. It was during this period that state sovereignty was recognized. This is an affirmation that states can control their domestic affairs (Ledgerwood, 2012). Intrusion by other states is a violation of the state’s rule of sovereignty.

Sovereignty helps a state to select the rights that best suits their citizens in relation to their cultural and social status. The imposition of the universal human rights is a form of degradation to the state’s autonomy. Take an example of the Islamic states where the practices are contradictory to those of other states. The communities are highly patriarchal and opposed to the application of gender equality. In these states, any faith apart from Islam is condemned and all extra-marital practices forbidden. These practices are heterogeneous to liberal countries though justified in Islamic states. The islands are contented by such ways of life.  The applicability of the universal rights at such incidences becomes limited. This calls for state-based mechanisms to address security threats.

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Question 2: Identify and explain a contemporary dilemma in Australian foreign policy, paying particular attention to the factors that make it a “dilemma”. What are the policy options, and which option would you recommend to policy makers and why?

Question 3: To what extent, if at all, should the maintenance and promotion of liberal values and institutions in the international system be pursued at the risk of conflict between states? Discuss using one contemporary example.

Question 4: Is the threat posed by Islamic State overstated, or does it pose a significant enough threat to regional and international peace and stability   to justify the use of force by the US and its Western allies, including Australia?

Question 5: The international community should not involve itself in the internal affairs of states wracked by civil war and internal strife. Use examples of intervention and/or non-intervention to explain why you agree/disagree with this claim.

Question 7: To what extent does the liberal international order depend on American leadership and military primacy? Would a decline in US power and international engagement foreshadow a different kind of international order?