International relation. Treaties of the Westphalia

From the readings and videos this week, consider the historically amorphous nature of international relations
(IR) over the centuries. The diverse tools of analysis in table 1.2 provide only one clue to why experts disagree
about the precise nature of IR then and now (note the MACAT videos on prominent IR theorists). With such
analytical diversity and disagreement in mind, answer the following three prompts in any manner you choose,
integrated or separately:
Why do most historians of IR view the Treaty of Westphalia as a permanent legacy of modern international
relations? What are its benchmarks?
Consider major IR events in the centuries since Westphalia—the French Revolution & the rise of nationalism,
the Concert of Europe (balance of power) from 1815-1914, the concurrent onset of modern European
colonialism during the same period, the breakdown of peace with WWI & II, the Cold War, and finally, the postCold War present. From this wider horizon, identify at least three key factors / elements that appear to
influence whether the system becomes stable or unstable—Explain.
Finally, historians often trace the decline if not ‘death’ of European Christian civilization to the various crises
mentioned above. Does this view seem justified—could the health or wellbeing of the Church actually depend
upon the behavior of states?

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS