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Quiz about International Relations Theory
Quiz about International Relations Theory

International Relations Theory Quiz


A quick look at the theories of international relations. Match the description to the correct theory.

A multiple-choice quiz by Portobello. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Portobello
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
265,794
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
2612
Last 3 plays: Guest 64 (8/10), Guest 196 (7/10), Guest 86 (0/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Which international relations theory holds that states are unitary, rational actors driven to maximize their power and utility in an anarchic world, and that the nature of states comes from human nature? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. On a cold February morning, President Woodrow Wilson declares "states' internal values and norms should determine their foreign policy and the pattern of their international relations." Which theory of international relations does this statement support? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. If someone (possibly while wearing a red shirt with a black silhouetted face) declared "State interests are an extension of class interests and relations between states are driven by the exploitation of weaker states by stronger states," what theoretical perspective would they be espousing? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. You read in a pamphlet that "States are pluralistic actors seeking to maximize absolute gains under anarchy, however, 'complex interdependence' can diminish anarchy, and the state is the primary focus of analysis." Which international relations theory is this pamphlet articulating? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Which international relations theory holds that state interests are neither inherent nor unproblematic and that international norms have an independent power to shape state interests and affect state behavior? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Say you are watching a speech at the World Bank, and the Bolivian representative states that "Poorer, less developed states are prevented from achieving full development by the structure of the international system." Which theory did he just articulate? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. During a break from fighting crime, Dove, an obscure superhero, declares that "States are pluralistic actors seeking to maximize absolute gains in a world where international trade reduces the potential for conflict. Non-state actors merit legitimate analysis." Which theory of international relations did he define?. Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. A disheveled vagrant is standing on a street corner wearing a sign with the statement "States are unitary, rational actors driven to maximize their power and utility in an anarchic world. State behavior is determined by the structure of the international system," painted on it. Which theory is his sign advocating? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In response to the contention that former colonies are incapable of independent self-government, a professor declares that "All knowledge is situated in representations. As a result the possible scope of state action is defined by the discursive environment in which it is situated." Upon which theory is this professor's argument founded? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. An official at the World Bank declares that "Less developed states will achieve development through the adoption of the cultural norms and organizational patterns of industrialized states." Which international relations theory did she explicate? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which international relations theory holds that states are unitary, rational actors driven to maximize their power and utility in an anarchic world, and that the nature of states comes from human nature?

Answer: Classical Realism

Realism came to dominance in the post World War II period as a response to the failure of classical liberalism and idealism to predict or prevent World War II. The term 'Machtpolitik' (German for 'power politics') is more or less a synonym of realism. Hans Morgenthau is considered the father of classical realism.

A common term in international relations is the 'black box,' which is one way of referring to the state as a unitary actor. That is, its internal characteristics are irrelevant when analyzing its international behavior.

This is one of the core ideas of realism, whether classical or one of the more modern variants.
2. On a cold February morning, President Woodrow Wilson declares "states' internal values and norms should determine their foreign policy and the pattern of their international relations." Which theory of international relations does this statement support?

Answer: Idealism

Idealism in international relations is often referred to as 'Wilsonianism' or 'Wilsonian idealism.' Its origins lie in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Idealism as a coherent theory has not enjoyed significant prominence or influence in international relations since before the 1950s.

However, some elements of idealism, most notably the 'democratic peace thesis' (the notion that democracies do not go to war with each other, and thus world peace lies in the spread of democracy) continue to enjoy prominence.
3. If someone (possibly while wearing a red shirt with a black silhouetted face) declared "State interests are an extension of class interests and relations between states are driven by the exploitation of weaker states by stronger states," what theoretical perspective would they be espousing?

Answer: Marxism

Marxism of course originates in the writing of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism as a prescriptive theory is essentially dead, i.e. few people advocate world wide proletarian revolution as the path to world peace. However, descriptive Marxism is alive and well.

When used descriptively, an analyst will describe situations characterized by capitalistic exploitation and assert that this exploitation is the driving force of international relations. Often such analyses take the form of a critique and do not include suggestions for comprehensive solutions.
4. You read in a pamphlet that "States are pluralistic actors seeking to maximize absolute gains under anarchy, however, 'complex interdependence' can diminish anarchy, and the state is the primary focus of analysis." Which international relations theory is this pamphlet articulating?

Answer: Neoliberalism

As its name implies, neoliberalism grew out of classical liberalism. It differs from classical liberalism in two primary ways: its primary unit of analysis is the state, and the nature of the international system is the primary determinant of state behavior. Neoliberalism is similar to neorealism in its focus on the nature of the international system as the basis for explanation.

This is known as "third image" analysis. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye are two of the more prominent neoliberal theorists.
5. Which international relations theory holds that state interests are neither inherent nor unproblematic and that international norms have an independent power to shape state interests and affect state behavior?

Answer: Constructivism

Constructivism emerged in the 1970s and '80s as a critique of neoliberalism and neorealism. The term originates from the idea that state interests are 'constructed' through the operation of norms. Neorealists and neoliberals assume state interests are inherent and universal. Constructivists argue that state interests evolve over time. Thus constructivists agree with the notion that states act to further their interests, they just do not regard those interests as simple or static. Constructivist analyses often emphasize the role of international institutions in shaping norms and interests. Martha Finnemore, Alexander Wendt, and Peter Katzenstein are notable constructivist theorists.
6. Say you are watching a speech at the World Bank, and the Bolivian representative states that "Poorer, less developed states are prevented from achieving full development by the structure of the international system." Which theory did he just articulate?

Answer: Dependency Theory

Dependency theory emerged as a response to modernization theory. Whereas the modernizationists suggested that the developing world (Third World) follow the same path of industrialization that the Western powers did, dependency theorists argued that the structure of international trade rendered this impossible.

In other words, the international system forces the developing world to be permanently dependent on the developed world. The theory originated in large part in Latin America, and its practitioners there are often referred to as 'Dependistas.' A number of prescriptive implications of dependency theory include nationalization or subsidization of key industries, limits on foreign ownership, and limits on imports.
7. During a break from fighting crime, Dove, an obscure superhero, declares that "States are pluralistic actors seeking to maximize absolute gains in a world where international trade reduces the potential for conflict. Non-state actors merit legitimate analysis." Which theory of international relations did he define?.

Answer: Classical Liberalism

Classical liberalism in international relations grew out of both idealism and the liberal economic theories dating back to Adam Smith. The maxim that 'a rising tide lifts all boats' is the core idea of classical liberalism; that is, international trade makes all nations more prosperous, and in doing so reduces the potential for conflict.

Another way of saying this is that international trade 'increases the opportunity cost of conflict.' In international relations, the term 'liberal' is also an umbrella term used to refer to any theory that focuses on sub-state actors. Namely, arguments about certain governmental structures leading to certain patterns of international behavior are categorized as liberal arguments.

This is what is meant when one refers to the state as a 'pluralistic' actor - its internal characteristics are important in analyzing its international behavior.
8. A disheveled vagrant is standing on a street corner wearing a sign with the statement "States are unitary, rational actors driven to maximize their power and utility in an anarchic world. State behavior is determined by the structure of the international system," painted on it. Which theory is his sign advocating?

Answer: Neorealism

Neorealism grew out of classical realism, and one of the principal differences between the two is that neorealism holds that the nature of the international system, not human nature, is the primary explanatory factor in determining state action. Power, self preservation, and anarchy are the stock-in-trade of both classical and neorealism. Neorealism differs from neoliberalism primarily in terms of the extent to which cooperation is regarded as possible. Neoliberals emphasize cooperation while neorealists emphasize anarchy. Neorealism enjoys wide influence in contemporary international relations theory, especially in the field of international security. Kenneth Waltz, Stephen Walt, and John Mearsheimer are prominent neorealists.
9. In response to the contention that former colonies are incapable of independent self-government, a professor declares that "All knowledge is situated in representations. As a result the possible scope of state action is defined by the discursive environment in which it is situated." Upon which theory is this professor's argument founded?

Answer: Post-Modernism

Post-modernism is a theoretical approach to many fields of knowledge. The theory holds that our knowledge of any subject is determined by the manner in which the subject is represented, and our possible actions are determined by our knowledge. For example, if developing states and their populations are represented as childish, immature, or 'uncivilized,' it becomes impossible to regard them as being capable of independence.

This results in the elimination of any foreign policy path that would involve treating those states as sovereign equals to developed, Western states. Analyses of imperialism are common topics in post-modern international theory writing.

The basics of post-modern analysis are the same regardless of the specific subject, and there is no better starting point than the writings of Michel Foucault.
10. An official at the World Bank declares that "Less developed states will achieve development through the adoption of the cultural norms and organizational patterns of industrialized states." Which international relations theory did she explicate?

Answer: Modernization Theory

Modernization theory was the original theoretical approach to development in the 'Third World.' The theory came into existence in the 1950s as many former colonies and Commonwealth possessions were gaining autonomy and independence, and the world tried to figure out how to integrate them into the existing system of international trade. Modernization theory is no longer commonly advocated as such, but a number of its concepts live on in contemporary developmental theories. Prescriptive implications of modernization theory included a focus on industrial infrastructure, such as ports and railroads.

I hope you enjoyed this quiz, please rate it and feel free to send me a note if you think anything is amiss.
Source: Author Portobello

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