Any topic (writer’s choice)

Paper Logistics:  Your paper should not exceed 1800 words and should be double-spaced.  Papers should be uploaded via SafeAssign on Blackboard by Monday, October 12 by 11 pm.  If for any reason you are unable to upload your paper, be sure to email a copy to your TA by the deadline.

This is not a research project.  If there is factual information that you believe might influence your analysis, but do not know, simply state the nature of the information and how it could influence your analysis.  In other words, you do not need to gather this information and will not be given extra credit for doing so.

You do not need to provide citations to the readings or to identify specific authors, although you can if this helps present your positions.  Direct quotations must be cited. Your paper will be evaluated in terms of the strength of your arguments and the clarity of your paper.

Paper topic: Assume that contrary to current expectations, Chinas growth slows dramatically and the European Union finally achieves a fully integrated military and defense policy.  As a result, the United States faces a rising power, but instead of China, it is the EU.  Assume that the EU can be envisioned as a unified state and that its GDP is comparable to the United States and is expected to grow faster than US GDP; the EU deploys a nuclear force that is originally built from member countries current arsenals and expands it.  The EUs population is significantly larger than the United States population, but much smaller than Chinas; the EUs technology and military base is comparable to the United States and superior to Chinas; and the EU is home to financial and internet network hubs that are more important than those China would have achieved. 

Your boss, an experienced diplomat, wants to know what international relations theory can tell her about major-power threats to the United States.  She has a passing familiarity with IR theory and knows that different isms and paradigms offer divergent perspectives on how states should understand and analyze the threat posed by opposing states. 

She wants a memo that compares how the threat posed by the rising EU compares to the threat that would have been posed by a successful rising China.  Your paper should address this question from three perspectives: 1) defensive realism; 2) liberalism; and 3) a theory built from constructivism.  Your paper should provide a clear very brief summary of the key relevant arguments offered by each theory, make clear why the theories agree or disagree about the implications for the United States of the EUs rise, and compare these predictions to the predictions they would make about a successful rising China. 

Your memo does not need to present all of the arguments these theories offer; part of the challenge is to present the arguments that are most important for analyzing these questions.  The purpose of your memo is to present the contending positions as clearly and sharply as possible, not to make a case for one approach over the others or to adjudicate their disagreements. 

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