OBJECTIVES FOR ASSIGNMENT: Upon completion, this research paper will satisfy the following course objectives discussed in the course syllabus:

● Understand the significance of major events shaping the international system since 1648;

● Possess knowledge of the principle issues, arenas, and actors in international relations;

● Complete independent research, providing analysis and synthesis of the information discovered in the research process;

● Analyze the major components of international relations: the structure of the international system and how/why it has evolved, the role of power, the meaning of security and the importance of economic issues;

● Appreciate the role of cultural values and perceptions in relationships among countries.


Separatism is the political act of a smaller group attempting to formally separate itself from a larger group. Motivation for this may be religious, ethnic, cultural, or economic. While many separatist movements are currently underway, most movements are using the possibility of separating from the larger group (state) as leverage. Many groups simply want more autonomy and are seeking a means to negotiate this additional autonomy. While some movements will result in full independence, other potential remedies include constitutional amendments addressing the issues raised by the separatist movement, additional rights and/or political opportunities for members of the minority group (those espousing separatism), a re-alignment of the political structure of the state, as well as the potential for an overwhelming and disproportionate military response from the home country. Studying the concept of separatism will provide the student with a more in-depth appreciation of the following issues related to the study of International Relations: International Law, Neo-Liberal Institutions, Realism v. Liberalism, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, and Geopolitics.


The student will write a research paper 8 – 10 pages in length on the topic assigned. The topic assigned will allow the student to craft an argument using appropriate, college-level sources.

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