Political Science Reaction Paper

Students are required to write four “reaction papers” during the semester. These are short

(minimum 700 words. maximum 900 words, excluding references). These should provide a

critical analysis of the readings for a particular week. They should draw out key themes.

identify strengths and weaknesses in the readings. and identify questions for discussion

arising from the readings. Students may choose any four weeks from the semester for their

reaction papers, from Week 3 onwards. If you submit more than four. you will be graded on

your best four. Each reaction paper is worth 1096 of the final grade.

All sources. including the week’s readings. must be appropriately referenced. and the usual

rules regarding plagiarism and academic integrity will apply.

1)Theoretical perspectives on the UN
Required readings:
Thomas G. Weiss et al. (2014), The United Nations and Changing World Politics. 7th edition, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Chapter 1.
Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore (2009), “Political Approaches”, in Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, eds., The Oxford Handbook on the United

Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 2.
Andrew Hurrell (1992), “Collective Security and International Order Revisited”, International Relations, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 37–55.
Further reading:
Karen A. Mingst and Margaret P. Karns (2011), The United Nations in the 21st Century. Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, Chapter 1.
John J. Mearsheimer (1994/95), “The False Promise of International Institutions”, International Security, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 5–49.
Robert O. Keohane and Lisa L. Martin (1995), “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory”, International Security, vol. 20, no. 1: pp. 39–51.
Leon Gordenker and Christer Jönsson (2009), “Evolution in Knowledge”, in Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, eds., The Oxford Handbook on the United

Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 3.

2)Historical development of the UN: Cold War to War on Terror
Required readings:
Thomas G. Weiss et al. (2014), The United Nations and Changing World Politics, 7th edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Chapters 2 and 3.
Further reading:
David A. Kay (1967), “The Politics of Decolonization: The New Nations and the United Nations Political Process”, International Organization,

vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 786–811.
Mark Mazower (2009), No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations. Princeton: Princeton University

Press.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace- Keeping, Report of the Secretary-General. New York:

United Nations, available at: bit.ly/1yNNTqY.
Michael N. Barnett (1997), “Bringing in the New World Order: Liberalism, Legitimacy, and the United Nations”, World Politics, vol. 49, no. 4,

pp. 526–551.
Brian Urquhart (1993), “The UN and International Security after the Cold War”, in Adam Roberts and Benedict Kingsbury, eds., United Nations,

Divided World: The UN’s Roles in International Relations. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Chapter 3.
Ramesh Thakur (2006), The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, Chapters 8 and 10.
PART II: THE ROLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN WORLD POLITICS

3)Peace and security
Required readings:
Karen A. Mingst and Margaret P. Karns (2011), The United Nations in the 21st Century. Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, Chapter 4.
Christine Gray (2010), “The Charter Limitations on the Use of Force: Theory and Practice”, in Vaughan Lowe et al. eds., The United Nations

Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 3.
Adam Roberts (2010), “Proposals for UN Standing Forces: A Critical History”, in Vaughan Lowe et al. eds., The United Nations Security Council

and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter 4.
Further reading:
Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, eds. (2009), The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Part V.
Ramesh Thakur (2006), The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, Chapter 11.
Anne Orford (2011), “What Kind of Law is This?” London Review of Books blog, 29 March, available at: bit.ly/1yMiruO.
Jules Lobel and Michael Ratner (1999), “Bypassing the Security Council: Ambiguous Authorizations to Use Force, Cease-Fires and the Iraqi

Inspection Regime”, The American Journal of International Law, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 124–154.
Michael N. Barnett (1997), “The UN Security Council, Indifference, and Genocide in Rwanda”, Cultural Anthropology, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 551–578.
Mark R. Hutchinson (1993), “Restoring Hope: UN Security Council Resolutions for Somalia and an Expanded Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention”,

Harvard International Law Journal, vol. 34, pp. 624–640.

4)Human rights
Required readings:
Thomas G. Weiss et al. (2014), The United Nations and Changing World Politics. 7th edition, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Chapters 6 and 7.
Bertrand G. Ramcharan (2009), “Norms and Machinery”, in Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, eds., The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations. Oxford:

Oxford University Press, Chapter 25.
Further reading:
Karen A. Mingst and Margaret P. Karns (2011), The United Nations in the 21st Century. Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, Chapter 6.
Ramesh Thakur (2006), The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, Chapter 4.
Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, eds. (2009), The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapters 26–31.

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