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I have been told to write an essay to discuss and explain the origins of the cold war...

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melissaa215 | Student | eNoter

Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:59 AM via web

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I have been told to write an essay to discuss and explain the origins of the cold war in relation to an international relations theory - I have chosen to explain the origins using Realism and Constructivism. 

I'm finding it really hard to figure out where to start and how to relate both these theories to the cold war. 

Are there any tips/ideas that may help?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM (Answer #1)

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I don't know a whole lot about Realism and Constructivism, but it seems to me that you have created your own problem by going beyond the purpose of the assignment and trying to explain the origins of the Cold War with two different theories when you apparently are only being asked to do it with one. Having chosen to explain the Cold War with two different theories, you are immediately faced with the problem of relating these two probably contradictory theories, when you would have enough trouble dealing with one or the other. I believe you could write a much better essay if you selected either Realism or Constructivism and focused on that one theory. You might feel that both theories have their virtues, but you can't solve all the world's problems with a single essay. At some future date you might write another essay comparing the two, but I don't believe this is the proper time to open that can of worms. 

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