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Home » Pedagogy » Teaching Strategies » Conceptualizing Chapter 6 & 7

Conceptualizing Chapter 6 & 7

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Conceptualizing Chapter 6 & 7
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Managing International Relations


What is the purpose of the chapters?

How do Chapter 6 & 7 connect to other chapters?


What are the multi-faceted causes and impact of (international) conflicts?


Deepening understanding of causes and impact of conflicts - developed from chapters 4 & 5.  

Deepening appreciation of importance of maintaining peace and harmony - developed from chapters 4 & 5.


  • Application of understandings developed from intra-national dimensions to understanding international conflicts.
  • Similarities in terms of causes (similar categories of causes: political and economic competition, influence of belief systems, historical conflicts and always a combination of causes) and impact (wide-ranging and long term).
  • Differences in terms of causes (larger scale of ambitions and greed at work) and impact (larger scale of destruction and damage; may be harder/easier to resolve depending on nature of conflict and indicators used to assess effectiveness of resolution).


Differences over territory, resources and ideologies as causes of conflicts. Opportunity to connect with concept of nationalism, nationhood.

  • Sense of nationhood being threatened is often a cause for occurrence, aggravation of and difficulty in achieving resolutions to conflicts.
  • Avoiding general statements about countries when assessing nationalism as a cause for aggressive actions, for it is often the acts of a few people/groups.


Assessing how other countries respond to conflicts as a means of developing more insights about other countries.

  • Definition of resolution will differ according to context as there are different combinations of factors that contribute towards and aggravate conflicts.
  • Try to look at how these countries maintain harmony, and not just focus on the conflicts they are embroiled in.


Managing international relations in Singapore to demonstrate governance in action. How does it demonstrate?


How far are the principles of governance relevant to understanding Singapore’s approach to managing international relations?

  • Importance of leadership: clear directions steering foreign policy; in dealing with other countries, there is the adherence to protocol of respecting ‘hierarchy’ e.g. negotiating directly with leaders.
  • Importance of change for the purpose of staying relevant: permanent interests and pragmatism as guiding principles in foreign policies.
  • Opportunities for all: significant involvement in international organizations that uphold sovereignty of all member states, strong belief that small states like Singapore can punch above its own weight by playing useful roles in international affairs.


What does Singapore’s approach towards deterrence and diplomacy tell you about the way Singapore perceive security (perception of threats, challenges; best way to ensure security)?

  • Multi-faceted definition: total defense reflects a belief that various aspects of security need to be strengthened concurrently and cohesively.
  • Great efforts are devoted to making sure that we are given due recognition and respect in spite of our size as well as towards making as many friends in the international arena as possible.


What are the possibilities of deepening our understanding of Singapore’s national identity here?

  • The image that Singapore projects to the outside world emanates from the identity we have constructed for ourselves.
  • The perceptions other countries have of us also shape the continuous evolution of this identity.



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