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International Relations debates. Because the world is a big place. 3 Big types of motions. 1. Incentives/Intervention in countries 2. Rules of war/International justice 3. Point of View debate. 1. Incentives and intervention.

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international relations debates

International Relations debates

Because the world is a big place

3 big types of motions
3 Big types of motions

1. Incentives/Intervention in countries

2. Rules of war/International justice

3. Point of View debate

1 incentives and intervention
1. Incentives and intervention
  • These motions are based around trying to get countries or groups within countries to do things
  • It’s not enough to say sanctions show condemnation – you have to show how that changes things
  • Think about your actor – NATO is a good choice for interventions, the UN for sanctions –if it’s just the UK it won’t really do much
during prep
During Prep
  • Think about your actor – NATO backing The Arab League or African Union is a good choice for interventions, the UN for sanctions –if it’s just the UK it won’t really do much
  • Who will back and who will oppose your course of action – in general China & Russia oppose international action against the same people as the West does
  • America tends to oppose action against Israel – are your sanctions viable can you actually win a fight if these actors are involved
during prep 2
During Prep 2
  • Even if you don’t know about groups – if it’s a conflict there will tend to be rebels and a state
  • Rebel groups in conflicts are rarely homogenous and peaceful – if the country has a high % of Islamic population Al-quaeda are normally involved
  • What are the incentives of these groups –
  • States desire security and prosperity (Burma sanctions are a great example)
  • Rebels often come from marginalised discriminated against groups (this is NOT the same as minorities)
during the debate
During the debate
  • If people claim facts you’ve never heard of before – run with it steal the facts as your own to back up your case
  • If people claim things that are untrue – only spend time pointing this out if it’s important and you can explain why it’s untrue rather than just say it is
  • If one team is clearly doing an essay on the topic and fab debaters don’t expect to beat them – aim for the second
types of motions
Types of motions

THW militarily intervene in Syria

THW lift all sanctions on North Korea

THBT Western Liberal Democracies should boycott the Russian Olympics

TH regrets the invasion of Iraq

2 rules of war international justice
2. Rules of war/International justice

Important considerations on the legitimacy of action:1. Self-defence – is the act essential protection from an existential threat

2. Humanitarianism – is the act/type of war the most humane possible to achieve the goals. ALWAYS THINK RELATIVE HERE (motions on legalising child soldiers have been made before)

3.Strategic interest – Are states entirely self-interested

4. International precedent – even if in some scenarios this course of action might be good is the precedent so important we can’t let it happen

the international criminal court pros
The International Criminal court -pros
  • Theoretically promises accountability no matter what
  • Creates a rigorous standard of what you can and can’t do as a leader/general both at peace and in war (deterrent affect?)
  • Gives the potential for justice to the victims of crimes where no other – the court’s mandate only starts when there is no chance at local justice
the international criminal court cons
The International Criminal court -cons
  • Ineffective enforcement mechanisms – relies on local people handing people over (only 1 conviction to date)
  • Accused of racism and colonialism – almost everyone charged is African (Serbia was dealt with by independent commissions before the ICC existed)
  • Neither America nor Israel have signed it – both fear political prosecutions

THBT the ICC should use Private Military Companies to enforce warrantsTHW lift the international ban on child soldiersTH regrets the moral and legal distinction between conventional and chemical weapons

THBT it is the right of all states to develop nuclear weaponsTHBT energy security is 1 legitimate reason for military action

3 point of view debates
3. Point of View debates
  • Assume the identity of a certain actor or nation (for example Japan) and debate benefits of a certain policy for you
  • Do not forget the affect on other nations – if Japan remilitarises China may consider economic action
  • You are generally aiming for benefit for your “faction” or nation however rather than a “better world” though these things will often go hand in hand
  • Otherwise you should consider the things in the first 2 types of motions

THBT Japan should acquire nuclear weaponsTH, as Germany, would immediately cease all reparations to the State of Israel

THBT Greece should ban the Golden Dawn party

TH, as the Muslim Brotherhood (of Egypt) , would sincerely offer to cease resistance, participate in elections and respect a liberal constitution