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Tutor profile: Megan H.

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Megan H.
Human Rights Advocate and Social Worker
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

Translate the following: I studied Spanish in college. I am able to translate, interpret, and communicate efficiently with others as if I were a native speaker. I have lived and worked in Latin America and have worked with Spanish speakers in the United States. I am trained in Spanish grammar and literature but also have an expansive understanding of different regional dialects and accents.

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Megan H.
Answer:

Yo estudié Español en la universidad. Yo puedo traducir, interpretar, y comunicarme con eficaz como su fuera nativo hablante. Yo he vivido y trabajado en América Latina y he trabajado con hispanohablantes en los Estados Unidos. Estoy entrenada en la gramática y literatura española y ademas tengo una comprensión expansiva de los dialectos regionales y acentos.

Subject: Social Work

TutorMe
Question:

In what instance(s) may a confidentiality agreement be broken between a social worker and their client?

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Megan H.
Answer:

When an individual has threatened to hurt themselves or others and when child abuse or sexual exploitation of a child is revealed or suspected.

Subject: International Studies

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Question:

What is the international system made up of? What are the key units/components, points of interaction, and emergent properties?

Inactive
Megan H.
Answer:

The international system is a composition of actors which together create an outcome that cannot be reduced to one specific entity. The international system is additionally not reliant on one particular actor. It is composed of units, which may vary depending on the specific theory of international relations. In this instance, I will draw from Waltz and argue that states are the key units that make up the international system as they are legitimate, sovereign actors who together may interact with their counterparts via selective interdependence through units such as international organizations, treaties, or alignments. With this definition of the international system, power is the ultimate explanation for why states (units) act the way that they do. Emergent properties of the international system, according to Waltz, are self-help and balance of power in order to prevent war. In addition to Waltz’ emerging properties, there are other outcomes of the international system which still agree with his interpretations and additionally explain certain instances where self-help is inadequate, namely the selective interdependence of states as a means to right power imbalances within the system. Therefore, in addition to the arguments of Waltz, I will also incorporate the viewpoint of Milner who states that the international system may be better explained as a combination of anarchy and interdependence. As previously stated, an emergent property of the interaction between states as units is the continued effort for the balance of power and self-help. According to Waltz, the ordering principles of the international system are anarchy and functional differentiation between units. Anarchy “leads to the recurrence of war through the absence of exogenous authority [with the] resulting need for units to rely on ‘self-help’ and the corresponding differentiation of ‘like-unit’ states on the basis of capabilities.” Anarchy in this context refers to the absence of global governance. Whereas some theorists have argued that anarchy as a lack of order or central government is a weak interpretation of the international system due to the order and norms that can be provided by international institutions (institutionalists), international institutions function only to the extent of the participation of state parties and do not hold ultimate authority over decisions within the international system. Interactions of states within the structure of international institutions do not equate to global governance or authority, but rather can be attributed to strategic interdependence as a means to maintain balance within the system and adhere to the necessity for self-help. Therefore, anarchy acts as an ordering principle by pressuring states to constantly “check-in” on their position in reference to other states as there is no central government or authority to maintain order within the system by ensuring safety and security for all of its constituents (in this case, states). States must look out for themselves in the absence of centralized global authority. Effectively, the position of states within the international system is a macro version of the reality of humankind as described by Hobbes, where the human condition is one of competition, diffidence, and glory. Hobbes theorizes that all humans are relatively equal, and because of this fundamental equality, there is no good explanation for resource inequality. However, conflict arises due to a fear of resource scarcity (although perhaps unfounded), where one believes they must obtain a monopoly over resources as a preemptive measure to prevent another from gaining control of these resources before they can. An example of such actions can be drawn from the two great powers of the Cold War, the United States and the USSR. Fearing that the accruement of arms of the other would destabilize the international power balances between the two, each state focused their efforts on surpassing the other, leading to an arms race and the foreign policies based on the theory of mutually assured destruction. Just as the example of the Cold War powers, Hobbes concludes that the drivers of humanity are competition and fear where people are concerned about their own safety and the relative power gain in comparison to another. This competition and fear can eventually lead to a “hot” war unless there is a central authoritative figure that can prevent such conflict. Unfortunately, within the international system, there is no such authoritative figure with the power and autonomy to maintain order within the system meaning states must resort to self-help, sometimes resulting in war. In the case of the Cold War, no central authority existed to prevent conflict, but “hot” war was avoided through the “tit for tat” game of arms accrual and the fear of nuclear destruction. Just as described by Hobbes on the individual level, the functional differentiation of states and divergence of capabilities infer that all states are considered equal. States are equal in their functions as providers of safety, security, and services to their constituents. Yet, depending on the specific states, the effectiveness of these functions varies. Essentially, states replicate each other’s functions but do so to varying degrees. This component of the international system also contributes to its emergent properties; states must compete against one another in order to improve their capabilities to balance against more capable states, an example of the balance of power and self-help. One way in which a state may correct power imbalances is through selective interdependence. An emergent property of the anarchic, self-help system, states may choose to interact with each other as an effort to balance power within the international system. For example, states may align with each other in times of conflict for protection. This alignment occurs, “when a state brings its policies into close cooperation with another state in order to achieve mutual security goals”. For instance, small states or poor states may align with large, powerful states or band together as a means of protection. Such instances have occurred during “hot” conflicts such as the World Wars, where states organized together to balance against the rise of Germany. States may also enter into international organizations or trade agreements which provide them with some benefit they may have been unable to access without such institutions, ultimately serving the self-interest of the state. Selective interdependence explains why states sometimes cooperate with one another while still practicing self-help and power balance within the anarchic international system. In sum, the international system is one of anarchy that is comprised of states (units) where the emerging properties of the international system are conflict and balance of power.

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