Chat with us, powered by LiveChat One or more “cases”, real or hypothetical, will be assigned, along with an accompanying “information packet” providing further relevant information/background. - Tutorie

One or more “cases”, real or hypothetical, will be assigned, along with an accompanying “information packet” providing further relevant information/background.

One or more “cases”, real or hypothetical, will be assigned, along with an accompanying

“information packet” providing further relevant information/background. You will be

asked to provide analysis and actionable advice from two competing theoretical perspectives

studied in the first half of the course, answering a set number of questions along the way

that will assist in organising your report. The analysis report will be due October 19, by the

end of the day. Further details will be provided in class and on Brightspace.

Instructions for the Simulation Analysis POL 2103B (Fall 2022)

Due: Tuesday, October 19 (by end of day)
Length: 51⁄2 – 7 pages, double-spaced (not including bibliography) Worth: 22.5% of final grade

Description of the Simulation Analysis:

You are a senior policy analyst in the relevant branch of Global Affairs Canada. (Strategic Policy, International Security and Political Affairs, Global Issues and Development, Partnerships for Development Innovation, or Trade Policy and Negotiations.) Your Assistant Deputy Minister has tasked you with providing an analysis of a pressing global issue currently facing Canada. (Choose from one of the three available options below.) Your analysis must be relatively concise and well-structured, as your ADM has a notoriously short attention-span; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who, your ADM assures you, will ultimately receive the file and your recommendation, is not known for patience.

Your analysis must (1) apply two different theories of international relations to your chosen case; (2) critically evaluate both theoretical interpretations of the case; and then (3) choose between them as a basis for providing a strategic action plan for the Canadian government to address the issue moving forward.

How should Canada respond to this issue? What should Canada’s policy be? You must make an argument and support it, through a critical comparison and assessment of two rival IR theories.


Pick one:

Globalisation or global decoupling? The uncertain future of international economic relations, post-COVID and post-Ukraine.
COP27: implementation and finance. The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, starting Nov. 6, 2022.
Available theoretical approaches:

Classical Realism Neo-Realism Liberalism Neo-Liberalism Constructivism Post-Structuralism Post-Colonialism Feminism Marxism

Structure of the analysis:
(1) Introduction (3⁄4 of a page):

Due 3⁄4 no doubt 3⁄4 to all your previous reports, your ADM knows a fair amount about the case, so there is no need to explain everything. What your ADM needs now is a concise refresher on key relevant details of the factual background of your chosen case. You must also discuss why the issue is significant both to Canada and to international relations more generally, and why Canada urgently needs to formulate a coherent policy / action plan to deal with it.

(2) Theoretical interpretations (2 × 1.5 = 3 pages):

A couple of years ago, Global Affairs gave you time off and some funds to pursue a mid- career Master’s degree in IR at uOttawa. Now it wants some return on that investment. Your ADM wants you to apply those fancy theories you learned at school to help develop a policy platform for Canada on an urgent global issue.

You should pick two, and only two, different theoretical approaches in international relations that you’ve learned about, and apply each one in turn to the case. Drawing on some of the core concerns and concepts of each theory, explain how that theory might plausibly interpret the case and its implications for Canada’s position, as well as for international relations more broadly. What are the central features and challenges of the case from that theoretical perspective? What about it should Canadians be most concerned with? What are some of the key drivers of the problem/challenge from that perspective?

Roughly 1.5 pages should be devoted to each theoretical interpretation of the case, for a total of 3 pages. For each theoretical interpretation, the first half-page should focus on the main themes and concepts that the theory focuses on when explaining international relations in general. The rest of the interpretation should focus on applying the most relevant themes and concepts to the case at hand.

(3) Comparative analysis (1-1.5 pages):

Assess the two interpretations against each other. Critically compare and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each interpretation of the case, decide which provides the most appropriate approach to the case and to how to deal with it effectively, and explain the rationale for your decision.

Your comparative analysis section should be around 1 to 1.5 pages long. (4) Strategic action plan (1-1.5 pages):

Drawing on the theoretical interpretations you’ve presented, and the comparative analysis of them that you’ve done, provide concrete action-advice to the Canadian government about how it should respond to this issue in both the short- and medium- term. What should Canada do, immediately and over the next 2-5 years, to advance its concerns and to address the issue effectively?

You must make connections between your theoretical interpretation(s) and comparative analysis, on the one hand, and the specific actions or policies you advocate, on the other. In other words, there should be a clear logical coherence between the four sections of your analysis.

Available sources:

For your two chosen theoretical approaches, you should try to rely on the lecture slides and lecture notes, plus the relevant readings from the syllabus, of that POL 2103 course you took back in the day. Ideally you should not require or cite any other sources.

For empirical details about your chosen case, you can use whatever credible information sources you like. These can include news articles (try to avoid opinion pieces), political-affairs / current- events magazine articles; working papers; technical papers; government reports; reports by inter- governmental or non-governmental organisations; (printed) encyclopedia entries or other reference-book entries. Official webpages of relevant organisations can be useful, but documents (reports, articles) are preferred.

A handful of potentially relevant sources on each case will be provided on Brightspace to get you started.

All sources used/cited should be listed in a bibliography at the end of the analysis.

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