Continuity and Change in World Politics: Competing Perspectives (4th Edition)

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9780130835789: Continuity and Change in World Politics: Competing Perspectives (4th Edition)

For International Politics, International Relations, World Politics, and Global Issues courses at the undergraduate level.An indispensable "toolkit" for organizing and processing information, this practical text provides students with a mental framework for understanding the historic, contemporary, and future developments of world politics. Using general perspectives and enduring worldviews as a foundation for discussions on more specific theories and concepts, it builds on the premise that a meaningful understanding of world politics consists of four principal elements --1) knowledge of the current world 2) familiarity with its history 3) analysis and interpretation 4) insight into dynamics. It provides a unique and balanced treatment of the competing perspectives on historical and contemporary global issues; consistently and systematically addresses the change--and continuity--that so strongly characterize the field today; and includes a substantial amount of information on global trends, economics, environmental issues, and possible directions of global development.

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From the Publisher:

This text provides a comprehensive, theoretically coherent and integrated introduction to the world politics of security, international economics, and global public policy issues. It also provides a strong framework for analyzing and understanding ongoing global change and continuity in the modern era.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

Welcome to new readers and to professors who have used previous editions! This fourth edition continues to emphasize provision of a solid and substantial kit of analytic tools for long-term use. And it continues to use those tools to convey an understanding of continuity and change in the tumultuous contemporary era. This edition also, however, completely updates all material arid significantly improves its presentation. My goal is to help students of the early twenty-first century (for whom the Cold War is nearly "ancient" history) not just survey, but understand their world.

The presentation builds on the premise that an understanding of world politics has four principal elements. The first is an extensive foundation of information including knowledge of the current world and some familiarity with its history. The book provides a significant base of factual knowledge—not abstractly, but as needed to give flesh to a broader framework of understanding.

The second element is analysis. Large numbers of important concepts and theories allow a serious student of world politics to move from particularistic description to generalization, from knowledge to analysis. This book extensively and systematically introduces those concepts and theories (bold or bold italic type emphasizes their use and a glossary elaborates textual definitions). At the end of each chapter you will find the items in bold repeated within a listing of selected key terms; those will be the terms for which most instructors will assign students responsibility prior to examinations. Some instructors may wish to extend that list by assigning responsibility also for the additional terms in bold italic type. Terms in bold italic are generally defined and used more extensively in other chapters.

The third element is interpretation. In world politics we can never say "these are the facts and here is how to interpret them." Anyone who reads the opinion page of a daily newspaper or who watches the debates on issues of world politics knows that analysts choose facts selectively and that their interpretations of even the seemingly most basic ones vary. All students of world politics need to understand that the field combines science and controversy, insight and competing interpretations. This text maps the primary competing worldviews on the "big questions" and helps the reader understand that the contributions of scientific analysis have often been within, not across, those worldviews.

The fourth and final element of understanding is insight into dynamics. Perhaps because the Cold War froze global politics into a fairly rigid pattern for more than four decades, analysis and interpretation of world politics have frequently failed to emphasize how rapidly the global system can change and have neglected to consider the bases of change. This book seeks to convey an understanding of the forces that transform our world.

There is much continuity in this edition with previous ones. There is also much change. The last edition broke free of the straitjacket that "idealism" had imposed on the discussion of what the book (and broader scholarship) now elaborates more fully and analytically as the "liberal" worldview. The change allows much more coherent discussion of global developments in democracy, human rights, and institutional development.

This edition takes another large step by introducing the "constructivist" worldview (as a replacement for what the last edition rather clumsily called "communitarian"). This makes it possible to give gender, race, class, ethnic/nationalist, and religious issues and perspectives more of the attention they deserve. The study of world politics increasingly recognizes the importance of identity, culture, and other ideas (or social constructions) and is finally bringing those elements into its understanding of continuity and change in the global system. Scholarship in the field has fastened with remarkable speed in recent years on the "constructivist" label and has begun to elaborate the content of this "third" worldview.

Readers of past editions will note a variety of other important changes, including much more extensive treatment of that key phenomenon, globalism. I have also consolidated the three brief "reprise" chapters on change into a single more integrated treatment. Throughout the book I have tried to make what needs to remain a challengingly analytic treatment of world politics as accessible as possible to students. I have cut back footnotes considerably, more carefully defined key concepts when the text introduces them, added a glossary, and otherwise rewritten material to help students understand.

With respect to our understanding of world politics, I firmly remain one of the optimists—we have made great intellectual progress during the last few decades. I have always tried to write a text that not only collects and synthesizes our growing understandings of the world, but also contributes to them.

The Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) was an exceptional environment in which to undertake a work that covers as much ground as this one does. The GSIS brings together congenial, intellectually stimulating colleagues from a mixture of disciplines, and it attracts first-class students with whom to develop ideas interactively. My intellectual debts in the preparation of this book are, of course, much broader. It is only really possible to thank specifically some of those who saved me from some of my errors and confusions, by commenting on substantial parts or all of this or previous editions: Carina A. Black, University of Nevada, Reno; Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut; Patrick Boyle, Loyola University, Chicago; Stuart A. Bremer, Pennsylvania State University; Emily Copeland, Florida International University; James A. Caporaso, University of Washington; Harold Damerow, Union County College; Richard C. Eichenberg, Tufts University; Peter M. Haas, University of Massachusetts; William Hazleton, Miami University, Ohio; W. Ladd Hollist, Brigham Young University; David P Levine, University of Denver; Michael McGinnis, Indiana University; Brian M. Pollins, Ohio State University; Michael Niemann, Trinity College; Susan Northcutt, University of South Florida; James Lee Ray, Vanderbilt University; Neil Richardson, University of Wisconsin; Peter J. Schraeder, Loyola University, Chicago; Dale L. Smith, Florida State University; Marvin S. Soroos, North Carolina State University; and Roland Stephen, North Carolina State University. In addition, James Chung, Steven Durand, Shannon Brady, and Michael Ferrier provided invaluable research assistance.

With more time and additional advice, I hope in future editions to enhance still further the understanding that students obtain from this book; I welcome suggestions. Finally, I offer my thanks for the time you spend in reading and thinking about this book and convey my hopes that it will reward you.

Barry B. Hughes
University of Denver

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