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The Assignment: You are to use an international relations theory to explain the US decision to initiate the 2003 Iraq War, drawing heavily on Bob Woodward?s Plan of

Attack.
While you are not required to use subheadings for theory, argument, and evidence, you should be clear about what you are doing when you are doing it. If you skip any

sections you will not earn any points for that section. You do not need to provide a standard introduction or conclusion and will not lose any points if you begin with

a summary of the theory.
Theory: You should begin by noting the theory you are using and
summarizing it without reference to the case study. 20 points
1. You are to provide a summary in general/abstract terms (no mention of Iraq) 2. Because this section is worth 20 points, it should be roughly 20% of the paper. The

same rule applies to all sections that follow. 3. Because you did not create the theory you are using, you should cite (with endnote, footnote, or parenthetical

citation) your summary of the theory. If you do not provide citation after your summary of the theory you will incur a 10 point penalty. 4. In citing the theory you

must use Goldstein and Pevehouse or Mansfield & Snyder. You may not cite lecture or outside sources (be especially wary of random online sources on IR theory) without

my explicit permission.
Argument: You should explicitly state how your approach applies to the use of force broadly and then how it applies to this case. 30 points
1. Here you will apply your theory to the question of why states go to war but continue to do so in general/abstract terms. For example, you might say “Defensive

realism suggests that states go to war when they face threats to their security. By threats to their security I mean….” 2. Because you are developing this logic, you

do not need to provide citation. 3. After you have developed the abstract explanation of war from your theory’s perspective, you will provide a brief discussion of its

application to the 2003 Iraq War. The section should begin “Defensive realism explains the US decision to go to war with

Iraq in 2003….” This is similar to a thesis statement and it should track with the previous abstract tie between your theory and war.
Evidence: You should provide as much specific evidence as possible from the Woodward book to support your argument. You should cite all evidence and ideas that are not

your own (see
citation guide). 50 points
1. Note the points associated with this section. This is the heart of the paper and should be at least half the length (if you are a good writer you can get away with

skimping in the previous sections but this section is where the money is). 2. Take care to organize your evidence around three or so subarguments. For example: “I will

first provide evidence that the Bush administration thought Iraq had WMD and that they believed it was a threat to the US….” 3. Evidence consists of facts (e.g.,

UNSCOM inspectors found….), statements by Woodward (in quote or paraphrase form), and statements by named or anonymous officials. Every piece of evidence must be

cited in order to count. I will interpret anything that is not cited as an unsupported assertion. 4. Citation entails a footnote, endnote, or parenthetical citation.

Regardless of the form you use, citation of evidence MUST include a page number (or Kindle number). Publication details of the Woodword book in a follow-on page does

not constitute citation. Students who provide no citation will incur an additional 20 point penalty. (Note: I do not care whether you use MLA, Chicago Manual of Style,

or another conventional citation format but in referencing sources you should provide all relevant information.) 5. The Woodward book should be the primary (in most

cases sole) source of evidence. The book has more evidence to support DR than other approaches, which is why most students choose that theory. Note, however, that I

expect more in terms of evidence from DR papers because more is available. 6. Those writing from pluralism would benefit from a bit of outside research (though

Woodward should still be the main source). For example, the book provides little polling data.
Brevity: Your paper must not exceed two pages, with adequate (no less than 1 inch) margins and (12 pt. TimesNewRoman) font. This will force you to make your words

count and to focus on the most important information.
1. You may single space. 2. If you break any of the brevity rules above you will suffer a 10 point penalty AND I will use your electronic copy to adjust the paper

according to the guidelines and will only read the first two pages. 3. If you use endnotes, they may follow on a third page. You may also provide a cover page and/or

use the header for title/your name/date, etc. to save space.
Tips

Defensive Realism (DR): focus on Iraq?s threat to US security from WMD, ties to terrorist groups, and prior aggressive behavior. Constructivism (C): US identity as a

?beacon of freedom?Pluralism (P): Bush as a strong leader who wants to get re-elected
1. I caution students against using offensive realism (OR) or neoliberal institutionalism (NLI). 2. If you are tempted to use OR note that its explanation of this case

stresses a US desire to preserve its hegemonic control of the Middle East (using this approach does NOT entail providing lots of quotes about “staying on the

offensive” and preventive war, which is arguably not OR at all. 3. If you really want to use NLI, get in touch with me.

                                        

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