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Understanding International Relations



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Pub. Date:
Palgrave Macmillan
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This is the 4th edition with a publication date of 5/15/2009.

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The fourth edition of this well-established and popular text has been fully updated to take account of developments in the field of International Relations and recent world events. The authors provide systematic coverage of the classical concerns of International Relations theory - power, national interest, foreign policy and war - alongside analysis of the impact of globalization on security, governance and the world economy. A central concern throughout is to show how the theories the authors outline and assess can help make sense of the puzzle of current world events, from the rise of Russia and China, the downturn in the world economy and the changing role of America, to the challenges of identify politics and human rights.

Author Biography

CHRIS BROWN is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

KIRSTEN AINLEY is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Editionp. viii
List of Abbreviationsp. x
Introduction: Defining International Relationsp. 1
Perspectives and Theoriesp. 7
Conclusionp. 15
The Development of International Relations Theory in the Twentieth Centuryp. 18
Introductionp. 18
Liberal internationalism and the origins of the disciplinep. 19
The 'realist' critique of liberal internationalismp. 23
The post-war synthesisp. 27
International Relations and the behavioural sciencesp. 30
Challenges to the realist synthesisp. 32
Pluralism and complex interdependencep. 34
International Relations Theory Todayp. 40
Introduction: rational choice theory and its criticsp. 40
From realism to neorealismp. 41
From neorealism to liberal institutionalismp. 45
Constructivism and the 'English School'p. 48
Critical, poststructuralist and 'postmodern' international thoughtp. 52
Conclusionp. 58
Agency, Structure and the Statep. 65
Introductionp. 65
The agent-structure problem and levels of analysisp. 65
The state and International Relationsp. 70
Foreign and domestic policy: agency within the statep. 76
Conclusion: from foreign policy to powerp. 85
Power and Securityp. 90
Introduction: statecraft, influence and powerp. 90
Dimensions of powerp. 92
Power, fear and insecurityp. 101
Conclusion: managing insecurityp. 105
The Balance of Power and Warp. 107
Introductionp. 107
The balance of powerp. 108
The political conception of warp. 113
War in the twentieth centuryp. 116
Conclusion: the end of state-centric International Relations?p. 121
Global Governancep. 127
Introduction: sovereignty, anarchy and global governancep. 127
Functionalismp. 129
Integration theory, federalism and neofunctionalismp. 133
Global economic institutions: Bretton Woods and afterp. 137
International regimes and regime theoryp. 141
Global governance and (collective) securityp. 144
The Global Economyp. 153
Introductionp. 153
The growth of the world economyp. 155
Problems and perspectivesp. 158
Structuralismp. 163
The new global economyp. 168
The end of the South?p. 171
Globalizationp. 177
Introductionp. 177
A new economy?p. 178
Neoliberalism and its criticsp. 181
New global problems - 'Westfailure' and the environmentp. 185
Global civil society?p. 191
The International Politics of Identifyp. 199
Introductionp. 199
Politics in industrial societiesp. 200
Identity politics post-1989p. 204
Globalization and postindustrial societyp. 207
Democracy promotion, Asian values and the 'clash of civilizations'p. 211
Pluralism and international societyp. 215
Conclusionp. 217
International Relations and the Individual: Human Rights, Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Warp. 221
Introductionp. 221
Universal human rightsp. 222
Rights and international lawp. 227
Humanitarian interventionp. 235
Conclusionsp. 242
The Shape of Things to Comep. 247
Introductionp. 247
A return to multipolarity?p. 250
Crisis in the global economyp. 257
Bad times, good timesp. 262
Bibliographyp. 269
Indexp. 310
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