This comprehensive introduction to international relations focuses on what has changed and what has remained the same since the end of the cold war. Providing a strong conceptual, historical, and theoretical foundation, it identifies key perspectives and the actors in world politics, explains the concepts, tracks the trends (global interdependence and crises of authority), and examines current and future global concerns. KEY TOPICS: The volume provides an introduction to trends, perspectives and concepts, and examines security and statecraft, international security, civil society and the global economy, religion, nationalism and conflicting identities and civil society. For political science and international relations professionals and others interested in the global agenda.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
This introduction to contemporary international relations focuses on what has changed and what has remained the same since the end of the Cold War. Providing a strong conceptual, historical, and philosophical foundation, it identifies key perspectives (realism and pluralism) and the actors in world politics, explains the concepts, tracks the trends (global interdependence and crises of authority), and examines current and future global concerns.From the Inside Flap:
This book is designed for use in courses on international relations or world politics. Unlike a number of such textbooks, we believe it is necessary and possible to introduce students to the literature on international relations (IR) theory. It is necessary because theory takes us beyond mere description of current events and into the realm of explanation and prediction of important trends. Theory helps us to focus on what is critical in making sense of the world around us. It is also possible, we believe, to introduce the student to IR works in such a manner that the literature is accessible and understandable yet does justice to the complexity and sophistication of the original works.
Further structure for this book is provided by emphasizing
Two trends—interdependence and crises of authority—that characterize the international system Key concepts—in particular, security, economy, and identity Key actors—states, international organizations, and transnational organizations and movements (such as nongovernmental organizations, multinational corporations, and terrorist groups) Two basic images or perspectives on world politics—realism and pluralism (or liberalism, as pluralist thinking is frequently called). These images are reflected in the title of this volume—realism focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on security in international (or interstate) relations and pluralism tending to take the broader view that goes well beyond the state and relations among states to encompass a wide array of nonstate actors interacting transnationally on a greater diversity of issues
Our goal, therefore, is to provide the basic theoretical and conceptual tools required to make some sense out of the often confusing realm of world politics.
In discussing contemporary international relations and world politics, however, we agree with P G. Wodehouse's character Bertie Wooster that in telling a tangled story it is fatal to assume the reader knows how matters got to where they are. Hence, compared to many other textbooks, we devote a significant amount of space to the historical development of various international systems and some of the great thinkers associated with world politics. We operate under the assumption that it is difficult to determine what is new about the current world system unless we know what it has in common with the past. We also believe that in order to understand the functioning and future development of the international system, a basic understanding of economics and international political economy is an imperative.
We are grateful to our colleagues for their careful reading of the manuscript and for their insightful suggestions: Charles Bukowski (Bradley University), William O. Chittick (University of Georgia), Larry Elowitz (Georgia College), Harvey Nelsen (University of South Florida), John E L. Ross (Northeastern University), David E. Schmitt (Northeastern University), Stafford T Thomas (California State Universitry, Chico), Richard R. Weiner (Rhode Island College), George DeMartino, David Goldfischer, and Micheline Ishay (all of the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver), Pauletta Otis (University of Southern Colorado), and Christopher Carr (Air University). Warren Miller's inputs on the globalization and economics chapters were particularly helpful. We wish to thank the following reviewers for their suggestions: Roxanne L. Doty, Arizona State University; Dr. Larry Elowitz, Georgia College and State University; Steven W Hook, Kent State University; Larry E Martinez, California State University, Long Beach; and Dr. Bob Switky, SUNY Brockport.
We would also like to thank our friends at Prentice Hall for their support throughout the writing and production process, especially Beth Gillett Mejia, Brian Prybella, and Linda Pawelchak for this edition and Jennie Katsaros, Barbara Reilly, Karen Horton, and Tom Kubiak for the first edition.
Finally, we wish to thank our immediate families for the many animated discussions of world politics down through the years, whether the venue be Europe, Asia, the dining room table, or more recently Internet e-mail. Beyond moral support, we are also indebted to them for substantive contributions, in particular Kathleen's insights on diplomacy, Linda's comments on the flow and pace of the manuscript, Michelle's and Paul's inputs on economics, and David's perspectives on just war and questions of international law.
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