Dr. Mark Peceny’s Comments On My Paper Combining The 4 Major Schools Of Thought on Political Science & International Relations


The second half of this paper was much more interesting than the first half.  You certainly needed to do some of that table setting in Part I in order to make the interesting observations you make in part II.  You probably could have spent half the number of pages on the broad approaches, which would have given you more time to develop the synthetic arguments you present in the second part of the essay.  What was most missing was an effort to link all three debates together.  In the end, you make interesting arguments about how liberalism and realism fit together, how Allison and Zelikow’s three models fit together, and how rationalism and constructivism often cover the same ground with different language.  What you were not able to do as effectively is tell us how the rationalism-constructivism debate speaks to realism-liberalism, etc.. There are elements of this built into the summaries of the debates in Part I, like Risse’s discussion of the democratic peace, but these insights were not fully carried over to Part II.  That said, this essay covers a lot of ground and covers it well.  You demonstrate an excellent understanding of the relevant theories and make a very serious attempt at grand syntheis in ten pages.  Well done!

Mark Peceny

Grade: A


There are at least twenty things cited in the paper that are not included in the references.

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