Political Science Question



The purpose of this assignment is to assess whether you understand two key theories of international organization and whether you can accurately apply those theories to questions of institutional design. By completing this assignment, you will acquire a better appreciation for how different views on the power of international organization translate into different perspectives on how institutions should be designed and world politics organized.

Skills: Students will develop the following skills

  • Apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations
  • Analyze the political dimensions of international organizations
  • Explain how theory informs the variety of design choices that confront those seeking to organize world politics and construct international organizations

Write a two-page memo (double-spaced, 12-inch font, 1-inch margins) which summarizes your view on the basic design principles that should guide this institution and how those relate to either realist, liberal, constructivist or critical theories of international organization. Focus on answering the following questions in your memo:

  • Should this new international institution be a formal organization, like the World Trade Organization, or an informal institution, like the G-7, and why?
  • What rules should govern membership in the organization and why? Should the organization be open to all states or a select few?
  • How should decisions be made in the organization and why? Should decisions be taken by unanimity, by majority voting of all members, or should some states have more influence than others?
  • How should these decisions be implemented? Should there be a formal bureaucracy delegated the task of developing cybersecurity standards and rules for members and monitoring their compliance with those standards and rules? Or should member states assume the responsibilities of sharing information with each other directly without an independent secretariat?

You should not concern yourself with the details of the rules or policies the institution will adopt; focus instead on the basic design principles that should be adopted, and clearly indicate whether those principles reflect realist, liberal, constructivist or critical theory views on the power of international organizations. It is ok to mix these principles in the design of the IO.

Criteria for Success:

In order to do well on this assignment, you must demonstrate that you understand the different design principles suggested by realist, liberal, constructivist, or critical theories of IO and apply them to the issue area of climate change migration.

You can demonstrate this by clearly answering the questions about institutional design principles listed above and explaining how your answers reflect either realist, liberal, constructivist or critical theories of IO. For example, if you recommend that the institution be a formal organization, discuss (1) whether this reflects a realist, liberal, constructivist or critical perspective on global governance, and (2) why a realist, liberal, constructivist or critical theorist would suggest this type of design for the institution. Be sure you address all of the questions related to institutional design listed above in this way.

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