Sample Coursework Paper on Introduction to International Relations

1, According to your text and class lectures, what is a multilateral treaty and what is its significance and impact on international law? Identify an example of a multilateral treaty mentioned in your text? How many nation-states are parties to this multilateral treaty identified in your answer to this question?

A multilateral treaty is a treaty that involves not less than three sovereign states and in which they owe each other the same obligation. Treaties are always formed when nations come together in conferences (Bassiouni p 4). Treaties form the basis of international law. An example of a multilateral treaty is the Geneva Conventions which was most recently revised in 1949 and champions for the protection of civilians during war. The Geneva Conventions have been ratified by 196 nations and is inclusive of all the member states of the UN.


2, According to your text and class lectures what is a bilateral treaty and identify an example of abilateral treaty in international relations.  Do bilateral treaties necessarily intend to establish norms for the entire international system?  Explain your answer in detail?


Unlike multilateral treaties, a bilateral treaty is that treaty or agreement between only two states or parties. The Bermuda Agreement of 1946 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom is an example of a bilateral treaty. Bilateral treaties can be multilateral if other parties join. Some bilateral treaties like the trade treaties might not be multilateral. Bilateral treaties, therefore, aims at protecting the interests of the member parties hence has no intention of establishing norms for the entire international system.


3, According to your text and class lectures what does the principle of pacta sunt servanda mean?  Is this principle in international relations always upheld?  Provide at least one specific instance in international relations when this principal is not upheld.  Explain your answer in detail,


Pacta sunt servanda is a Latin word which if translated means that agreements should be kept. In International law this principle dictates that all the signatories of a treaty should uphold it. Once a party or state becomes part of a treaty they are supposed to obey and observe the terms of the treaty. This principle is sometimes not upheld I international relations. A good example is during war or manufacture of nuclear weapons.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what was the Kyoto Accord and what does it have incommon with India, Pakistan and Israel’s response to the NPT treaty?  What was the result of the NPT?  Explain your answer.


The Kyoto Accord is an international treaty that encourages member states to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (Eizenstat p 119). It draws its reason from the logic that global warming is real and a threat and it is caused by human activities which emit CO2. In both treaties, some countries failed to comply with the terms of the agreement. Some nations failed to adhere to the treaties for example, India, Pakistan and Israel failing to sign the NPT treaty which enabled them to have their nuclear weapons while Canada and other states failed to adhere to the Kyoto Accord. The NPT treaty saw some nations support and others fail to adhere and develop and test their nuclear weapons.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what is the most obvious weakness of the    International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the World Court? How is this weakness related to the”jurisdiction by consent” approach to international law?  What case does your text provide as an illustration of this weakness?  Explain your answer.


The world court has failed in handling lots of cases because of the existence of alternative criminal justice systems among the member states. This has seen the court receive very little cases. Jurisdiction by consent gives respective member states the sovereign authority to act within their capacity. The ICJ has limited control over countries and some offenders have failed to show up for trial and they could not be dragged to the court. It is also challenging for the ICJ to carry out investigations in states that are not corporative.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what is a NGO? Provide an example of an NGO discussed in your text.   What does your textbook conclude about the number of NGO? Are they growing or diminishing in number?


An NGO is a non-profit generating organization that relies majorly on donations and in most cases run by volunteers. They are autonomous that means they are independent from the states and international government organizations even in the states in which they are based. A popular example of an NGO is the Red Cross which mainly provides emergency response services. The number of NGOs have been steadily growing and dealing with humanitarian challenges. They are also known for providing services that the governments have neglected.

  1. What does your text describe as the single most important international organization since the end of World War II?  What reason does your text give for this conclusion?


The United Nations (UN) is the most important international organization formed just at the end of the second world war to replace the League of Nations which was less effective. The UN promotes international co-operation since it is intergovernmental. It was formed with the sole purpose of preventing an outbreak of another war. It cuts across all sectors. It promotes peace and harmonious co-existence among member states.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what is the ICC and what is the US’ relationship to the ICC?  How is the US-ICC relationship complicated and problematical?  What other worldregions have had complicated relations with the ICC?  Please explain your answer.


The ICC stands for International Criminal Court based at The HagueNetherlands. It is an intergovernmental organization which has the mandate of prosecuting individuals responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity (Broomhall p 13).The United States of America withdrew its intent of ratification in 2002 having previously signed the Rome Statute. The ICC has faced opposition from the US which has also campaigned to undermine the court. Africa has complicated relationships with the ICC. Most African countries have campaigned so that they withdraw from the Rome statute because they feel the court targets political leaders therefore having excess influence on the states.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what is the UN General Assembly?  What is the UN Security Council?  What is the major difference between the two?


The UN General Assembly is the organ of the United Nations that is responsible for the formation of policies and representation of the UN. It handles matters to deal with the admission of new members, peace, security and the budgetary matters. The UN Security Council includes five permanent members and ten elected members who have two terms. The main function of this body is to maintain world peace and security. The major difference between the two is the membership. The UN Security Council has 20 members in total while the UN General Assembly has 192 members.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what steps have been taken to establish human  rights norms by the U.N.?  Have these steps been very effective?  What factors explain theU.N.’s effectiveness in the area of human rights?


The establishment of the International Bill of Human Rights by the UN is one of the major steps taken to it has taken to establish human rights norms. This bill contains universal human rights protecting everyone in the world. It has also helped in the implementation of human rights treaties. The formation of the International Criminal Court to prosecute criminals who commit crimes against humanity. These steps have been effective in protecting human rights in different states of the world. Human rights of minorities have been an international agenda. The rising number of NGOs is another factor that proves its effectiveness.



11, According to your text what effect does the existence of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques have on perceptions of U.N. human rights norms? Whatdoes the existence of these institutions say about human rights norms in the international system?  Do terrorists practice human rights?


UN human right norms protects people from torture. Institutions like Guantanamo Bay has been seen to violate human rights. They subject victims to torture and harsh treatment. These institutions subject terrorists to the worst imaginable conditions and use all means necessary to extract information from them. Terrorists do not practice human rights. Terrorists violate people’s right to life even those of children.


  1. According to your text and class lectures describe the U.N. and NGO’s track-records on monitoring and preventing human rights abuse around the world?  Have efforts by these two groups been very effective?  Explain your answer by discussing examples provided in class and in your text.


The U.N has troops that are from the member states which helps fight terrorists who abuse the rights of people. NGOs and the U.N. have done a tremendous job in monitoring and preventing human rights abuse all over the world. A most recent case is the Aleppo case where they sent troops of soldiers to help the civilians who were caught in the crossfire. NGOs have established to almost all regions of the world. They have championed for the rights of children and women especially in the less developed countries like some parts of Africa.

  1. According to your text and class lectures has military intervention been a major problem in the international system?  Have human rights violators been brought to justice?  Whatexamples of military intervention are discussed by your text?


Military interventions are important when maintaining peace and protecting human rights. Sometimes the sovereignty of a state can be breached when that country has failed to protect the rights of its people. Human rights violators have been brought to justice. Military interventions include deployment of troops to the affected areas to restore peace. The deployment of military troops to Somalia and Aleppo are some examples where militarytroops have been used.


  1. According to your text and class lectures what role has the ICC played in establishing human rights norms and in bringing violators to justice?  What specific remarks were made in class regarding the role of the U.S. in establishing the ICC and helping to promote its effectiveness?


The ICC conducts investigations and tries suspects that are accused of crimes against humanity. The court has persecuted some of the criminals found guilty of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. The U.S has always opposed the ICC and since it is a superpower it has a lot of influence on other states. The U.S has in the recent years collaborated with the governing bodies and provided support for ongoing prosecutions in the court.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what is the R2P and what major flaws exist in theimplementation of this concept?  What does Charles Kraunthammer say about R2P?  What examples of both were provided in class.


R2P is the Responsibility to Protect which is a worldwide commitment which all member states of the United Nations during the world Summit of 2005 to look into cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Charles Kraunthammer has criticized the failure to protect Syria which he terms as ‘as Syria’ burns. He gives the example that Libya was liberated from Gaddaffi. The same liberators have however, stood idle while ‘Syria burns’.


  1. According to your text and class lectures what was the Nuremberg Tribunal and what  enduring lessons were learned from this experience?  According to class lectures what implications are raised by these lessons?


These were a series of tribunals held after the second world war by the Allied forces which was majorly aimed at persecution of war leaders who participated in the Holocaust. They were members of the Nazi of Germany. Some of the lessons were letting loose someone who committed serious crimes against humanity. Some were found guilty and executed while others receivedlesser penalties.

  1. According to your text and class lectures what significance does Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir raise for the ICC?  According to class lectures what major consequence has PresidentOmar al-Bashir and former President Charles Taylor had on the perceived internationallegitimacy of the court? How might South Sudan be related to these controversies?


Omar al-Bashir was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The president was however re-elected and warrant of arrest was issued. He however made diplomatic visits to other nations like South Africa who were in a verge of deciding whether to arrest him or not. This exposed the jurisdiction weakness of the court.


  1. According to class lectures, what distinct strategy did President elect Trump use to win office?  Explain your answer and provide evidence that supports your answer.


President elect Donald Trump provided his audience with the true person that he is. He called himself an American and not a politician. He distanced himself from the American politicians of the likes of Hillary Clinton and Obama. However, his greatest strategy was in telling the American people that voting Clinton would have been maintaining the status quo.  People need change and not maintaining the same leadership regime. The paradigm shift was in his election. This, he won.




19.According to class lectures, how is the answer to question 18 above the easy part of 

     the challenge that faces President elect Trump and his team?


President elect Trump has never been a politician, let alone a political leader. He is inexperienced in leadership and this poses a challenge because he needs to learn a lot of things within a very short time. Being a commander in chief is a tough job because all the 53 states in the United States look up to him. He needs to learn on ways to unite and his conversations ought to be channeled towards doing the same apart from sparking racial wars and gender discrimination undertones.



  1. What difficult tasks discussed in class still face President-elect Trump?

Uniting Americans and dealing with problems of racial discrimination and gender rights. International relations such as those with Russia and the rest of the world (diplomatic relations). Selecting a competent secretary of state and bringing a reform in the Healthcare through policies and issue based politics.


  1. According to class lectures, what practice associated with nearly all newly elected

     Presidents has Donald Trump already displayed?


Showing respect to the American constitution and accepting to be the commander in Chief to the American people. All American Presidents always defend and uphold the constitution and this they acknowledge during swearing in. Mr. Trump has also started selecting the Trump team who are the officials he will work with. This is the job of every newly elected president.


22, According to class lectures what was meant by the phrase ” the lull before the storm”?



Lull before the storm simply refers to thesoft landings before the actual tough job of being the commander in chief begins. The easy part according to this phrase is being elected president. The storm is the actual fuss that the president elect is bound to face. When he gets to office, there are several challenges he is bound to face.


23.According to class lectures, “the lull” referred to in question 22 refers to what?


The lull refers to calmness – an unusual tranquility.According to class lectures, lull was used to the current state of affairs as far as the President-elect is concern. The ‘lull’ was used to explain the easier part of presidency which is winning. After a candidate, has won,


24.According to class lectures, “the storm” referred to in question 22 refers to what?


The storm refers to the challenges in leadership that the President elect Donald Trump is more likely to face. The winning election part was not as hard as what he is going to face in office. When he has been sworn in, they will have a lot of responsibilities and challenges. The storm was used to refer to the hard decisions and choices he will have to make once in office.


  1. What recent international development illustrates the steep learning curve that President elect Trump is bound to face?


The nuclear power possessed by Russia and the subtle wrangles between Russia and the United States. Russia is slowly but gradually stepping up to claim their prowess as a superpower. Something that the United States has to deal with. Donald Trump is at the helm of it all.




26.According to class lectures how have announcements of members of the Trump “team” been seen in some quarters as a major source of anxiety?  Explain your answer.


A majority of the American people feel that the Trump team is inexperienced just like President elect Donald Trump is. Therefore, people are anxious to see how their leadership would turn out and if the President elect would deliver his promises to the American people. Some are also fellow businessmen some of which failed in their sectors. For example, the Wall street case, where he has appointed a person from the region to be in charge of finance.



27.According to class lectures how was the greatest shortcoming of the Obama     Administration associated with the economy characterized?


The Obama Administration was failed to corporations and saw a lot of companies leave the United States. This is because of the high corporate tax of 35% which is highest in the world. Most of the products used in USA are from China. It also allowed a loophole for tax eversions for companies who sought tax heavens and therefore, loss of jobs.

28.According to class lectures, what outcome following the presidential election of

     2016 was provided before-hand in class?


It was projected that Donald Trump had a higher winning opportunity than his opponent. This was due to his campaign strategies which were sharp. It was also due to his preparedness in the second presidential debate.It was also discussed that most women would vote for Mrs. Clinton and a significant number would Mr. Trump. Minorities would vote for Mrs. Clinton.


29.According to class lectures, is the emergence of the political right in the US an isolated incident or is the rise of right populism a political phenomenon witnessed in other parts of the around world?   Provide examples to support your answer.


This is a political right. A people in need of a reform and stepping forward to vote for a change. Moreover, voting in Hilary would have been historical because she might have made the first woman president of a superpower country.


30.According to class lectures, what conclusions were drawn regarding the role of race in the 2016 presidential race?  Although numerous elements of President-elect Trump display strong racial views including the Klan and Ault Right factions, is it necessarily true that the President-elect is a racist?


Race plays a very important role in election. Different regions are comprised of a popular race and the number of a race in a particular area can decide the winning candidate. This can be referred to as tyranny of numbers. When a candidate is supported by the dominant race then their winning chances are higher. The President-elect just used a strategy that made people think he is racist but nobody has heard him make racial comments ever since he was elected. It was just a strategy.

31.According to class lectures, what conclusions were drawn regarding the role of gender in the 2016 presidential race?  Did a significant portion of women vote forPresident-elect Donald Trump?   Is the President-elect necessarily a bigoted sexist?


Gender is very crucial for any elections. Women have the power to convince others and as it was witnessed in the 2016 general elections where women votes were split between the candidates. Even though Mrs. Clinton had a higher percentage, Mr. Trump had a sensible portion of over 40%. The President-elect is not necessarily a bigoted sexist just because of the remarks he made. Mere remarks are not enough to brand him a bigoted sexist.

32.According to class lectures, what conclusions were drawn in class regarding the role of minorities in the US.?  Based on the President-elect’s statements about Mexican and Muslimimmigrants, how might the President-elect’s strategy be characterized?


Minorities are just as important as any other citizen. 2012 recorded the highest number of black voter turnout which exceeded even that of whites. They decided who became president. Minorities are therefore important even in deciding candidates that win elections. The strategy used by the President-elect can be characterized as a brilliant strategy. People actually thought he as creating chaos instead he was already winning.

33.According to class lectures, how has the appeal discussed in question 33 impacted the fears and anxieties of Mexicans, Muslims and other minorities living in the US?  Explain your answer.

            The president elect has been against illegal immigrants in the United States and his earlier statements about Mexicans who take American jobs and smuggle drugs into the country and Muslims who have been the champions of terrorism created fear among these groups. These minority groups felt marginalized and targeted, they felt that a Trump presidency would oust them out of the United States on the basis of their cultural and religious backgrounds despite the fact that they are American citizens.


Work Cited

Bassiouni, M C. Multilateral and Bilateral Enforcement Mechanisms. Leiden: BRILL, 2008. Internet resource.

Risse, Thomas, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink. “The power of human rights: International norms and domestic change.” (2001): 408-409.

Eizenstat, Stuart. “Stick with Kyoto-A Sound Start on Global Warming.” Foreign Aff. 77 (1998): 119.

Broomhall, Bruce. International justice and the International Criminal Court: between sovereignty and the rule of law. Oxford University Press, 2003.