IGNOU MPS 002 Important Questions

 The IGNOU MPS (Master of Arts in Political Science) program includes several critical courses, one of which is MPS 002: International Relations: Theory and Problems. This course provides an in-depth understanding of the theories, practices, and contemporary issues in international relations. This article aims to offer a comprehensive list of important questions that students should focus on for MPS 002, ensuring thorough preparation for exams.

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Course Overview

What is MPS 002?

MPS 002: International Relations: Theory and Problems, is a core course in the IGNOU MPS program. It covers essential topics in international relations, including theories of international relations, foreign policy analysis, international organizations, and global issues such as security, economy, and environment.

Importance of MPS 002

Understanding international relations is crucial for students as it provides insights into global politics, the functioning of international organizations, and the dynamics of international conflicts and cooperation. This course equips students with the analytical tools necessary for critically examining global issues.

Detailed Outline of Important Questions

Theories of International Relations

  • What are the key theories of international relations?
  • Compare and contrast Realism and Liberalism in international relations.
  • Explain the main tenets of Constructivism.
  • Discuss the contributions of Marxist theory to the understanding of international relations.
  • What is Feminist theory in international relations?

Evolution of International Relations

  • Trace the historical development of the field of international relations.
  • Discuss the impact of the Treaty of Westphalia on international relations.
  • Explain the significance of the Cold War in shaping modern international relations.
  • How did the end of the Cold War change the landscape of international relations?

Foreign Policy Analysis

  • What is foreign policy? Discuss its main objectives.
  • Explain the different approaches to foreign policy analysis.
  • Discuss the factors influencing the foreign policy of a state.
  • How do domestic politics affect a country's foreign policy?

International Security

  • Define international security and discuss its key components.
  • Explain the concept of collective security.
  • What are the main security challenges in the 21st century?
  • Discuss the role of international organizations in maintaining global security.
  • How has terrorism affected international security?

International Political Economy

  • What is international political economy (IPE)?
  • Discuss the main theories of IPE.
  • Explain the impact of globalization on international trade and finance.
  • How do international economic institutions like the IMF and World Bank influence global economics?
  • Discuss the North-South divide in the context of IPE.

International Law and Organizations

  • Define international law and its significance in international relations.
  • Discuss the main sources of international law.
  • Explain the role of the United Nations in global governance.
  • How do regional organizations like the EU and ASEAN contribute to international cooperation?
  • Discuss the challenges faced by international organizations in the contemporary world.

Global Issues

Environmental Issues

  • What are the major environmental issues facing the world today?
  • Discuss the impact of climate change on international relations.
  • How do international agreements like the Paris Agreement aim to address environmental challenges?

Human Rights

  • Define human rights and their importance in international relations.
  • Discuss the role of international organizations in promoting and protecting human rights.
  • Explain the concept of humanitarian intervention.

Migration and Refugee Crisis

  • What are the main causes of international migration?
  • Discuss the impact of the refugee crisis on global politics.
  • How do international organizations address the challenges of migration?

Regional Studies

  • Explain the significance of regional studies in international relations.
  • Discuss the key political and economic issues in South Asia.
  • Analyze the role of the African Union in promoting peace and development in Africa.
  • What are the major challenges facing the Middle East in contemporary international relations?


  • Define globalization and its key dimensions.
  • Discuss the positive and negative impacts of globalization on world politics.
  • How has globalization influenced cultural and social interactions among nations?


  • What is diplomacy? Discuss its main functions.
  • Explain the different types of diplomacy (e.g., bilateral, multilateral, public).
  • Discuss the role of diplomacy in conflict resolution.
  • How has digital diplomacy changed traditional diplomatic practices?

International Conflict and Cooperation

  • What are the main causes of international conflict?
  • Discuss the theories explaining international cooperation.
  • Explain the role of international organizations in conflict resolution.
  • How do economic interdependence and trade affect international cooperation?


  • Summarize the key points discussed in the article.
  • Highlight the importance of understanding international relations for students pursuing the IGNOU MPS program.
  • Provide a call to action for further study and exploration of international relations concepts.

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Content Writing


International relations is a vital field of study that helps us understand the interactions between countries, international organizations, and non-state actors on the global stage. IGNOU's MPS 002 course on International Relations: Theory and Problems offers a comprehensive introduction to these dynamics. This article will guide you through the important questions and topics you should focus on for thorough preparation, ensuring success in your exams and a strong foundation for advanced studies in international relations.

Theories of International Relations

Key Theories of International Relations

International relations theories provide frameworks for understanding how states interact, why conflicts arise, and how cooperation is achieved. The main theories include Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism, and Marxism.

Realism vs. Liberalism

  • Realism: Emphasizes the anarchic nature of the international system, the centrality of state power, and the inevitability of conflict.
  • Liberalism: Focuses on the potential for cooperation, the role of international institutions, and the importance of economic interdependence and democracy.


Constructivism argues that international relations are socially constructed through interactions and that the identities and interests of states are not fixed but shaped by social norms and ideologies.

Marxist Theory

Marxist theory views international relations through the lens of economic structures and class struggles, highlighting the impact of capitalism and imperialism on global politics.

Feminist Theory

Feminist theory in international relations examines how gender shapes global politics and how international relations affect men and women differently. It critiques traditional theories for overlooking gendered power dynamics.

Evolution of International Relations

Historical Development

The field of international relations has evolved significantly, influenced by major historical events and shifts in political thought.

Treaty of Westphalia

The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) marked the beginning of the modern state system by establishing the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs.

The Cold War

The Cold War was a pivotal period in international relations, characterized by ideological conflict between the US and the USSR, the formation of military alliances like NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and numerous proxy wars.

Post-Cold War Changes

The end of the Cold War led to a unipolar world dominated by the United States, the spread of democracy, and increased globalization. However, it also introduced new security challenges and regional conflicts.

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Foreign Policy Analysis

Definition and Objectives

Foreign policy is the strategy a state uses to achieve its international goals. Its main objectives include national security, economic prosperity, and the promotion of values and ideals.

Approaches to Foreign Policy Analysis

Approaches to foreign policy analysis include:

  • Rational Actor Model: Assumes states act rationally to maximize their interests.
  • Bureaucratic Politics Model: Focuses on internal government processes and the influence of different agencies.
  • Cognitive Psychology: Examines the role of leaders' perceptions and beliefs.

Factors Influencing Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is influenced by a variety of factors, including geographical location, economic conditions, military capabilities, domestic politics, and international alliances.

Impact of Domestic Politics

Domestic politics play a crucial role in shaping foreign policy. Political leaders, public opinion, interest groups, and media all influence foreign policy decisions.

International Security

Definition and Components

International security involves the measures taken by states and international organizations to ensure mutual survival and safety. It includes military security, economic security, environmental security, and human security.

Collective Security

Collective security is a system where states agree to take joint action against threats to peace, typically through international organizations like the United Nations.

21st Century Security Challenges

Modern security challenges include terrorism, cyber threats, nuclear proliferation, and climate change. These issues require collaborative international efforts to address effectively.

Role of International Organizations

International organizations such as the UN, NATO, and regional bodies play critical roles in maintaining global security through peacekeeping missions, conflict resolution, and fostering cooperation among states.

Impact of Terrorism

Terrorism has significantly affected international security by introducing asymmetrical warfare and requiring states to adapt their security strategies to address non-state actors and unconventional threats.

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International Political Economy

Definition of IPE

International political economy (IPE) studies the interaction between politics and economics on a global scale, focusing on trade, finance, and the impact of globalization.

Theories of IPE

Main theories of IPE include:

  • Mercantilism: Emphasizes state control over the economy and national wealth.
  • Liberalism: Advocates for free markets and minimal state intervention.
  • Structuralism: Highlights the impact of global economic structures on inequality and development.

Impact of Globalization

Globalization has led to increased economic interdependence, the growth of multinational corporations, and significant changes in trade and investment patterns. It has both positive and negative impacts, including economic growth and increased inequality.

Role of International Economic Institutions

Institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO play crucial roles in regulating international trade and finance, providing financial assistance, and promoting economic stability and development.

North-South Divide

The North-South divide refers to the socio-economic and political disparity between developed countries (Global North) and developing countries (Global South). Addressing this divide is a central concern in IPE.

International Law and Organizations

Definition and Significance

International law comprises the rules and principles that govern relations between states and other international actors. It is essential for maintaining order and justice in the international system.

Sources of International Law

The main sources of international law include treaties, customary international law, general principles of law, and judicial decisions and writings.

Role of the United Nations

The UN plays a pivotal role in global governance, promoting peace and security, protecting human rights, fostering social and economic development, and providing humanitarian aid.

Regional Organizations

Regional organizations like the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) facilitate regional cooperation, economic integration, and conflict resolution.

Challenges for International Organizations

International organizations face challenges such as funding constraints, political conflicts among member states, and the need to adapt to changing global dynamics.

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Global Issues

Environmental Issues

Environmental issues, including climate change, pollution, and resource depletion, pose significant challenges to global stability and require coordinated international efforts to address.

Impact of Climate Change

Climate change affects international relations by exacerbating resource conflicts, increasing migration pressures, and challenging global economic stability. International agreements like the Paris Agreement aim to mitigate these impacts.

Role of International Agreements

International environmental agreements seek to coordinate global efforts to protect the environment, promote sustainable development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Human Rights

Human rights are fundamental to international relations, ensuring the protection of individual freedoms and dignity. International organizations and treaties work to uphold and promote these rights globally.

Humanitarian Intervention

Humanitarian intervention involves the use of force by states or international organizations to protect human rights and prevent atrocities. It raises complex ethical and legal questions in international relations.

Migration and Refugee Crisis

Migration and refugee crises are driven by conflict, persecution, and economic hardship. These issues impact global politics by straining resources, altering demographics, and influencing international policies.

Addressing Migration Challenges

International organizations, including the UNHCR and IOM, work to protect migrants' rights, provide humanitarian assistance, and promote safe and orderly migration.

Regional Studies

Importance of Regional Studies

Regional studies provide insights into specific areas of the world, helping to understand regional dynamics, conflicts, and cooperation.

South Asia

South Asia faces significant political and economic challenges, including regional conflicts, economic development issues, and the impact of major powers like India and Pakistan.

African Union

The African Union plays a crucial role in promoting peace, security, and development in Africa, addressing issues like armed conflict, poverty, and health crises.

Middle East Challenges

The Middle East is a region of strategic importance and faces numerous challenges, including political instability, sectarian conflicts, and the impact of external powers.


Definition and Dimensions

Globalization involves the increasing interconnectedness of the world through economic, political, cultural, and technological exchanges.

Positive and Negative Impacts

Globalization has led to economic growth, cultural exchange, and technological advancements. However, it also contributes to inequality, cultural homogenization, and environmental degradation.

Cultural and Social Interactions

Globalization influences cultural and social interactions by spreading ideas, values, and lifestyles across borders, creating both opportunities and tensions.

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Definition and Functions

Diplomacy is the practice of managing international relations through negotiation and dialogue. It aims to resolve conflicts, build alliances, and promote national interests.

Types of Diplomacy

  • Bilateral Diplomacy: Conducted between two states.
  • Multilateral Diplomacy: Involves multiple states, typically within international organizations.
  • Public Diplomacy: Engages foreign publics to influence international opinion and promote national interests.

Conflict Resolution

Diplomacy plays a critical role in conflict resolution by facilitating dialogue, negotiation, and mediation between conflicting parties.

Digital Diplomacy

Digital diplomacy uses digital technologies and social media to enhance traditional diplomatic practices, increase engagement, and reach wider audiences.

International Conflict and Cooperation

Causes of International Conflict

International conflicts arise from various causes, including territorial disputes, resource competition, ideological differences, and power imbalances.

Theories of International Cooperation

Theories explaining international cooperation include:

  • Liberal Institutionalism: Emphasizes the role of international institutions in facilitating cooperation.
  • Realist Theory: Suggests cooperation is driven by the pursuit of relative gains and power balancing.
  • Constructivist Theory: Highlights the role of shared norms and identities in promoting cooperation.

Role of International Organizations

International organizations facilitate conflict resolution and cooperation through diplomacy, peacekeeping, and the establishment of norms and rules.

Economic Interdependence

Economic interdependence through trade and investment promotes cooperation by creating mutual benefits and reducing the likelihood of conflict.

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Understanding international relations is essential for comprehending the complexities of global politics and the challenges facing the world today. The IGNOU MPS 002 course provides a solid foundation in international relations theory and practice. By focusing on the important questions outlined in this article, students can ensure thorough preparation for their exams and a deeper understanding of international relations concepts. Continued study and engagement with global issues will enhance students' knowledge and contribute to their academic and professional success.