Term of Award

Summer 2004

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Political Science

Committee Chair

G. Lane Van Tassell

Committee Member 1

Barry J. Balleck

Committee Member 2

Darin Van Tassell


The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States have changed everything, and students of International Relations are faced with explaining these events. Although explanations in the field have long been dominated by the theory of Realism, this thesis contends that these events are ill-suited for the Realist's framework, primarily due to Realism's inability to capture the realities brought on by twenty-first century globalization. In the course of my thesis, I attempted to answer the following question: Do the factors that shaped the events of the terrorist attacks reveal an ascending International Relations paradigm that challenges Realism? To answer this question, I first described the theory of Realism. I then used the attacks as a case study to explicate the interplay of all variables in order to provide an understanding of these events. The phenomenon of globalization was then addressed, and I reviewed the shortcomings of Realism's analysis of the attacks, which are countered by globalization. In the final analysis, I assessed the potential of the emerging paradigm of globalization.


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