International Relations Theory

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-14
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Combining extensive commentary by the authors and excerpts from original scholarship, International Relations Theoryevaluates all the major theoretical perspectives that political scientists use to analyze world politics. #xA0; This unique survey/reader not only looks at classic international relations theory but takes into account changes in the world and important developments in the field. Highly regarded for its lucid and comprehensive coverage, International Relations Theoryexplains the role of theory in studying world politics and invites readers to critically engage the field#x19;s many controversies.

Author Biography

Paul R. Viotti is Associate Professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.


Mark V. Kauppi is Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Table of Contents

*Readings new to the fifth edition.


Chapter 1. Thinking About IR Theory

            The IR Field in An Age of Globalization

            Epistemology, Methodology, and Ontology

            What is Theory?


            Interpretive Understandings

            Normative Theory

            A Look Ahead

            Selected Readings

                        James Rosenau, “Thinking Theory Thoroughly”

                        *Thomas C. Walker, “The Perils of Paradigm Mentalities: Revisiting Kuhn, Lakatos, and Popper”





Chapter 2. Realism: The State and Balance of Power

         Major Actors and Assumptions

            Intellectual Precursors and Influences




            Power Transition

            Long Cycles     

            Globalization and Interdependence

            Realists and Their Critics

            Selected Readings

                        Thucydides, “The Melian Dialogue”

                        Niccolò Machiavelli, “On Princes and the Security of Their States”

                        Thomas Hobbes, “Of the Natural Condition of Mankind”

                        Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “The State of War: Confederation as Means to Peace in Europe”

                        Kenneth N. Waltz, “Explaining War: The Levels of Analysis”

                        Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Hard and Soft Power in American Foreign Policy”

            Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 3. Liberalism: Interdependence and Global Governance

         Major Actors and Assumptions

            Intellectual Precursors and Influences




            International Regimes

            Neoliberal Institutionalism

            Global Governance

            Economic Interdependence and Peace

            The Democratic Peace

            Decision Making

            Change and Globalization

            Liberals and Their Critics

            Selected Readings

                        Stephen G. Brooks, “Producing Security”

                        *Robert O. Keohane, “Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons”

            Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 4. Economic Structuralism: Global Capitalism and Postcolonialism

         Major Actors and Assumptions

            Intellectual Precursors and Influences

            Dependency Theorists

            The Capitalist World-System

            Change and Globalization


            Economic Structuralists and Their Critics

            Selected Readings

                        J.A. Hobson, “The Economic Taproot of Imperialism”

                        *Barbara Bush, “Culture and Imperialism”

                        Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Modern World System as a Capitalist World Economy”

            Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 5. The English School: International Society and Grotian Rationalism

         Major Actors and Assumptions

            Intellectual Precursors and Influences

            The Divergence of British and American Scholarship

            The Genesis of the English School

            Levels of Analysis and Theory


            The English School, Liberals, and Social Constructivists

            The English School and Its Critics

            Selected Readings

                        Hugo Grotius, “The Law of Nations on War, Peace, and Freedom of the Seas”

                        Tim Dunne, “Inventing International Society”

                        Hedley Bull, “Does Order Exist in World Politics?”

            Suggestions for Further Reading





Chapter 6. Constructivist Understandings

         Major Actors and Assumptions

            Intellectual Precursors and Influences


            Structure, Rules, and Norms



            Logic of Appropriateness


            The Diversity of Social Constructivist Thought

            Wendt’s “Naturalist Constructivism”

            Constructivist Affinities in the Broader IR Field

            Constructivists and Their Critics

            Selected Readings

                        Alexander Wendt, “Constructing International Politics”

                        Martha Finnemore, “Constructing Norms of Humanitarian Intervention”

            Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 7. Positivism, Critical Theory, and Postmodern Understandings


            Intellectual Precursors: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics

            Critical Theory: Major Assumptions

            Postmodernism: Major Assumptions

            Critical Theorists, Postmodernists, and Their Critics



                        Ken Booth, “Critical Explorations and the Highway of Critical Security Theory”

                        David Campbell, “Writing Security”

            Suggestions for Further Reading


Chapter 8. Feminist Understandings in IR Theory

         Intellectual Precursors and Influences

            Major Assumptions

            Strands of Feminism in IR

            Gender, War, and Security Studies

            Gender and International Organizations

            Gendered Understandings and IR Theory

            Feminists and Their Critics

            Selected Readings

                        Iris Marion Young, “The Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security State”

                        J. Ann Tickner, “Why Women Can’t Rule the World: International Politics According to Francis Fukuyama”

            Suggestions for Further Reading





Chapter 9. Normative IR Theory: Ethics and Morality

         Norms, Ethics, and Morality

            Normative Theory: Alternative Perspectives

            Justice and War

            Justice and Human Rights

            Armed Intervention and State Sovereignty

            Alternative Images and Foreign Policy Choice

            Rationality and Foreign Policy Choice

            Values, Choices, and Theor

            Selected Readings

                        Immanuel Kant, “Morality, Politics, and Perpetual Peace”

                        E.H. Carr, “The Nature of Politics”

                        *John Rawls, “The Law of Peoples”

                        *Barack Obama, “On War and Peace” (The Nobel Peace Prize Speech)

            Suggestions for Further Reading

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