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Politics Dissertation Topics and International Relations Dissertation Topics

It is absolutely vital to choose the right topic for your dissertation. This gives you the best opportunity of achieving a mark representative of your abilities in your chosen discipline, with a view to maximising your potential overall grade. Therefore, you are looking to pick a topic and a question that serves to facilitate an effective critical discussion of the issues at hand, making an original point where possible and also recognising and stressing the importance of the literature that has already been produced in your chosen area. To help you prepare for your politics dissertation, this article discusses international relations and politics dissertation topics within the areas of 9/11, US foreign policy, British foreign policy, Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Israel, Middle East, European Union and international law.

The world since 9/11 Dissertation Topics

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the World Trade Centre have served to significantly influence world politics and international relations by bringing many countries closer together, whilst also pushing many others much further apart. This is a very influential area that would be ideal to base your politics dissertation topics on. Suggested international relations & politics dissertation topics include:

  • What is the most significant event in international relations since 9/11?
  • In what ways could the events of 9/11 be said to have improved international relations?
  • Why, on the basis of international relations prior to the event, could 9/11 be considered inevitable?
  • How have international relations between the West and the Middle East been influenced by 9/11?
  • What are the key lessons that have been learned politically since 9/11?
  • How has trade between nations been influenced by the events of 9/11?
  • Why did the events of 9/11 actually happen?
  • Was enough done in the immediate wake of 9/11 to prevent further similar acts of terrorism?
  • Were the actions of countries in the wake of 9/11 legitimate?
  • Is the use of force a legitimate response to terrorist attacks?

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US Foreign Policy Dissertation Topics

In the latter half of the last century in particular, US foreign policy developed at pace, with the US electing to involve itself in events far across the world as a means of maintaining its position as one of the key ‘superpowers’ in the world today. To discuss US foreign policy in your dissertation, you could research one of the following politics dissertation topics.

  • In its foreign policy, the US has often talked about ‘policing the rest of the world’ how could such terminology be merely construed as bullying?
  • Are the actions of the US in its international relations with other nations always legitimate?
  • How, through the developing relationships of other countries, could the US be said to have overstepped its powers?
  • The United Nations is meant to regulate countries, but the US thinks it is the ‘police’ who are really in control?
  • How do the development of nuclear power in China and other Asian countries serve to reflect the negative aspects of US foreign policy?
  • Why does China’s growth as an economic power serve to threaten the US?
  • Who actually controls US foreign policy?
  • In recent years, why has US foreign policy bordered on bullying?
  • Why could US foreign policy be likened to the Crusades for the ‘Holy Grail’ during the time of the Richard the Lion Heart?
  • What is the most significant potential threat to US foreign policy? How is this likely to change US foreign policy?

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British Foreign Policy Dissertation Topics

How the government establishes its foreign policy goals and seeks to put them into play, is a significant marker for how the country is perceived in Europe and the rest of the world. The topics below will help you research further into British foreign policy for your politics dissertation.

  • Compare the policies of this Labour government with that of the last Conservative governments – which were better? Why?
  • Why could current Labour policies be said to be detracting from Britain’s once proud traditional position in Europe?
  • What are Britain’s current policies? How are they legitimate?
  • Has Britain’s moves to be closer to Europe caused most of its economic and social problems?
  • Is the free movement of people within the EU a significant marker for the success of Britain’s foreign policy?
  • How does Britain’s current foreign policy serve to illustrate its close ties with the US?
  • On the basis of Britain’s foreign policy, is Britain little more than the US’ ‘pet’?
  • How influential is Britain’s foreign policy on the rest of Europe?
  • How has the formation of a ‘Single European Entity’ served to influence Britain’s foreign policy goals?
  • ‘Britain’s foreign policy goals have always been limited and never really changed or achieved anything’ – Discuss.

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Problems with Africa Dissertation Topics

Africa’s relations with the rest of the world have often been problematic because of the fact that many in the West consider their policies and politics somewhat contradictory, as governments are rarely considered democratic. Conflicts throughout many countries in Africa will give you many areas to research on for your politics dissertation.

  • Why is Africa such a worry to the Western world?
  • If Africa is such a disappointment, why has Western involvement only served to make matters worse?
  • To what extent could the political problems in Africa today have been affected by colonial rule?
  • How far could ancient tribal traditions and religious beliefs be held to blame for the problems between African nations?
  • What is the key cause of problems between African nations and how do they affect their relationships with the West?
  • What efforts have been made by the rest of the world to resolve the tensions between African nations? How successful have they been?
  • How are relations between African nations likely to develop in the future?
  • On the basis of the many problems with relations between African nations, how could these best be resolved?
  • Can Western ideals in relation to politics ever really be utilised in an African setting?
  • Why has the West not gone into Africa and taken all their weapons away?

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Russia and Eastern Europe Dissertation Topics

Whilst Russia remains a ‘superpower’ in the modern world, the fall of the Soviet Union has seen some significant changes in Eastern Europe with much closer relationships now being forged between these countries and those of the West. To base your dissertation in this area, you could on one of the following politics dissertation topics:

  • How has the collapse of the Soviet Union served to influence international relations between Eastern Europe and the West?
  • With the formation of a ‘Single Europe’, has the opening up of the EU to Eastern European countries served to hinder or help this ideal?
  • How did international relations in Eastern Europe serve to cause the Soviet Union’s collapse?
  • Why were Eastern European countries so susceptible to Soviet rule? What changed?
  • How successfully have Eastern European countries been integrated into the EU?
  • What are the most significant problems for the EU caused by the entry of Eastern European States?
  • Why is Russia still considered to be such a threat to Western ideals?
  • Has the Cold War ever really stopped?
  • On the basis of past relations, why does Russia still look to distance itself from any offer of help from the West?
  • On the basis of relations between Russia and the US, why have they never actually declared war?

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Chinese Politics Dissertation Topics

In the latter part of the 21st century, whilst the Chinese government still maintained its distinctly communist ideals, the country became increasingly open to Western views on economic growth and technology, blended together with a view to rapid growth. There is a lot to be discussed here, and below are some suggested topics for your politics dissertation.

  • To what extent have Western politics and ideals influenced China?
  • Why did China elect to ‘open’ what have previously been a distinctly closed economy?
  • Why China is considered such a threat to Western ideals?
  • How could China’s rapid economic growth be considered a good thing for the West?
  • Why have greater efforts not been made by the West to forge closer relations with the Chinese?
  • How could Chinese political ideals be said to have influenced Western politics? Has this been for the better?
  • Why, when the power of the Soviet Union was considered such a threat, were greater efforts not made to overthrow China’s communist rule?
  • How can China be viewed with such suspicion, when the West is largely responsible for its growth? Discuss.
  • To what extent is the West’s relationship with China illustrative of their relationship with Asia as a whole?
  • Why does China’s human rights record make relations with the West so complex?

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Israel and The Middle East Politics Dissertation Topics

There have long been significant difficulties in the relationship between the Arabs and the Israelis, mainly centred upon the recognition of a Palestinian State, which has led to many armed conflicts and complications with relationships with other countries. If you are stuck for ideas for your politics dissertation, the following topics may be useful for you to research.

  • Why did the recognition of a Palestinian State prove so complex?
  • How have relations between the Arabs and the Israelis served to influence their relationships with Western States?
  • Why has the Arab-Israeli conflict gone on for so long?
  • What is the most significant event that most effectively symbolises the breakdown of relations between the Arabs and the Israelis?
  • How successful have Western attempts proved to be in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict?
  • What needs to be done to cement relations between the Arabs and the Israelis?
  • Can a Palestinian State ever be recognised?
  • Compare and contrast the recognition sought for a Palestinian State with that of Tibet – which is more likely?
  • Why events were not resolved when the Arab-Israeli conflict descended into war?
  • On the basis of past events, how could the UN be used to resolve this conflict?

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European Union Dissertation Topics

The EU served to cement relations between the countries that were party to the Union with a view to establishing closer ties between the nations on all social, political and economic matters, for the good of the EU and its many member states. There are many subjects to be discussed and researched for your politics dissertation regarding the European Union. Just some of these are suggested below.

  • How successful have the ideals of the EU proved to be in structuring international relations?
  • What is the most significant achievement of the EU?
  • How could the EU be considered flawed in forming closer international relations between member states?
  • Why could the EU be considered discriminatory to the formation of relations with nations beyond it? How could it be considered little more than a ‘boys club’?
  • How has allowing Eastern European countries into the EU served to detract from the ideals of the Union and the relations already forged?
  • To what extent has the EU’s formation been influenced by the understanding of the formation of the US?
  • What aspect of the EU could be considered most detrimental to international relations? Why? What does this mean for the political standing of the Union?
  • To what extent has a ‘Single European Entity’ been achieved? In the context of international relations, is this a good thing?
  • Why was a ‘Single European Entity’ not possible sooner? Why were international relations not previously conductive to it?
  • To what extent could the EU be said to be similar to the Soviet Union? Does this mean the Soviet Union was a good thing?

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International relations after the Second World War Dissertation Topics

In the immediate aftermath of war, in Europe in particular, many countries faced a great deal of problems as they sought to rebuild. Social unrest and economic instability were particularly prominent, as people struggled to to justify their existence, whilst many in authority took advantage of this instability. This was an important time in politics and a topic relating to international relations after the Second World War would make for an interesting politics dissertation.

  • How could the role played by the US in the immediate aftermath of the War be said to be illustrative of the position they took on in international relations and politics for all time?
  • To what extent was Germany’s division illustrative of the state of international relations at this time? Would a ‘united’ Germany have led to closer international relations?
  • How did the state of Europe in the wake of war make many countries susceptible to the Soviet Union and their communist ideals?
  • What were the War’s aims? Did it achieve them?
  • How were European relations effectively structured for the next fifty years by the immediate aftermath of war?
  • How did the ‘Cold War’ start? What were its most significant influences on international relations?
  • How did the effects of the ‘Cold War’ spread so quickly? How was it resolved?
  • What was the biggest achievement in international relations in the aftermath of War?
  • How successful were the reparations provided by the US in securing countries against the threat provided by the Soviet Union?
  • Why were nuclear weapons developed? How did they affect international relations?

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International law Dissertation Topics

The development of international law both regionally and throughout the globe has served to influence international relations and political views. But at the same time there is a feeling that such law is only useful where it serves a prescribed purpose that the majority chooses to recognise. For further inspiration on international law, here are some suggestions for your politics dissertation.

  • In what ways has the law of the EU served to influence relations between their member states? Has this always been a good thing?
  • Why does the law punish some countries when they break it, whilst others are left to their own devices? Discuss.
  • How successful has the United Nations proved to be as a law enforcement agency?
  • Is the US above the law? Discuss with examples.
  • Why are countries like China and Russia allowed to get away with breaches of the law as it stands internationally, whilst Iraq and Afghanistan are punished?
  • Were the actions of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan legitimate?
  • Is the use of force always justified?
  • What reforms are needed by international law to improve international relations? Are such reforms likely?
  • In the face of complex politics, can international law ever be universally applicable?
  • Why could it be considered best for international relations to have one set of rules for some countries and another set for others? Discuss.

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