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International Relations

Eric B. Shiraev and Vladislav M. Zubok

Publication Date - December 2012

ISBN: 9780199746514

528 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $97.95

Uses a consistent analytical framework to teach students how to think critically about issues in world politics


What do we study in international relations? How do we study it? And how do we apply it?

Using these guiding questions as a framework, International Relations shows students how to think critically about issues in world politics. In each chapter, a brief opening case is followed by a description of key developments, an explanation of the main approaches to analyze them, and applications of those approaches in individual, state, and global contexts. The authors provide extensive historical information throughout, giving students a holistic frame of reference from which to understand current events.


* A consistent analytical framework organized around three questions encourages critical thinking

* Three full chapters on key approaches--realism (Ch. 2), liberalism (Ch. 3), and constructivist and other modern perspectives (Ch. 4)--along with coverage of relevant theories and levels of analysis in each chapter introduce students to a broad spectrum of approaches

* Two chapters give unique emphasis to cultural and identity factors (Ch. 8) and predictions for the future (Ch. 12)

* "Visual Review" summaries enable students to visualize how all the material fits together

* Concluding "Past, Present, and Future" sections apply each chapter's material to both classic and contemporary challenges

* "Debate" boxes focus on controversial questions and issues and ask students to consider their own views

* "Case in Point" features provide in-depth examinations of current or historical events and include critical-thinking questions that ask students to think about these events, using the approaches they have learned

* An Instructor's Resource Manual, a Computerized Test Bank, Videos, and a Companion Website www.oup.com/us/shiraev provide additional resources for students and instructors

About the Author(s)

Eric Shiraev is a researcher and professor at George Mason University. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of twelve books and numerous publications, including Russian Government and Politics (2010) and Counting Every Vote: The Most Contentious Elections in American History (2008).

Vladislav Zubok is a professor at the London School of Economics. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the prize-winning Inside the Kremlin's Cold War (1996) and A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War (2007).


"The framework of International Relations is very direct. Students will surely appreciate this easily grasped approach. Shiraev and Zubok impressively take students through a tour of the grand problems that preoccupy heads of state and government and inspire students to think through their own solutions."--Ross E. Burkhart, Boise State University

"Clearly written, timely, and informed by debates among scholars while relevant and engaging for the average student. Its comparative advantage is an approachable integration of theoretical debates with engaging applications of concepts."--David Goldberg, College of DuPage

"I applaud the authors' focus on critical thinking, structured discussion, attention to historical information, cultural and identity factors, and pedagogical devices."--Binnur Ozkececi-Taner, Hamline University

Table of Contents

    Each chapter ends with a Conclusion.
    Maps of the World
    Chapter 1. Introducing International Relations
    What Do We Study? The Field of International Relations
    What Is International Relations?
    Key Concepts
    Nations and states
    Key Actors
    State government and foreign policy
    Intergovernmental organizations
    Nongovernment organizations
    Global Issues
    Instability, violence, and war
    Nuclear proliferation
    Environmental problems
    Human rights
    Population and migration
    Finding a path to peace and economic improvement
    How Do We Study It?
    Gathering Information
    Government and nongovernment reports
    Eyewitness sources
    Experimental methods
    Analyzing Information
    Critical thinking in international relations
    Distinguishing facts from opinions
    Looking for multiple causes
    Being aware of bias
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual context
    The State context
    The Global context
    Past, Present, and Future: Can Democracy Be Exported?
    Chapter 2. The Realist Perspective
    What Do We Study?
    Understanding Power in International Relations
    The Development of Realism
    Theoretical roots
    Realism prevails in Europe
    Realism becomes a theory
    International Order
    Polarity and international order
    International order and policies
    The Rise and Fall of Three Great Realist Powers
    The Ottoman Empire
    The British Empire
    The United States: An "empire of freedom and the dollar"?
    How great powers evolve
    How Do We Study It?
    Rules of engagement
    Predator states
    Power shifts
    International Order and War
    Types of responses to the use of force
    Neorealist strategies
    Nonmilitary Responses
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    The State Context
    The Global Context
    Putting the Contexts Together
    Past, Present, and Future: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    Chapter 3. The Liberal Perspective
    What Do We Study?
    The Development of Liberalism
    Intellectual roots
    Early attempts to implement liberal principles
    1945: A new beginning for liberal principles
    The Many Faces of Liberalism
    How Do We Study It?
    Comparing Liberalism and Realism
    The obsolescence of big wars
    Lessons of diplomacy
    Democratic peace
    Soft power
    International and Nongovernment Institutions
    Cross-national networks
    Nongovernment organizations
    The Spectrum of Liberalism
    Multilateralism, interventionism, and isolationism
    Illiberal views: From anarchism to religious fundamentalism
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    The State Context
    Public support for foreign policy
    Policy climate
    The Global Context
    Past, Present, and Future: The European Community and the Limits of the Liberal Project
    Chapter 4. Alternative Views
    What Do We Study?
    How Do We Study It?
    The Constructivist View
    Socially constructed meanings
    Three types of international environments
    History lessons
    Conflict Approaches
    Marxism and Leninism
    Other Marxist concepts
    Dependency and world-systems theory
    The politics of gender
    Race and ethnic conflict
    Political Psychology
    Rational decision-making
    Biased decision-making
    Group pressure
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Rational and biased choices
    Analogies and individuals
    Irrational decision-making
    Early and late socialization
    Conflict theories tested
    The State Context
    Constructivism in the bureaucratic and group context
    Access to information and statesmanship
    Two-level games
    The democratic-authoritarian continuum
    Whose state interests?
    The Global Context
    International factors and state interests
    Gender and social conflict perspectives
    Past, Present, and Future: The Cuban Missile Crisis
    Chapter 5. International Security
    What Do We Study?
    Types of War
    Security Policies
    How Do We Study It?
    Realism and security
    The security dilemma
    Nuclear deterrence
    The domino theory
    Security regimes
    International Liberalism
    Liberalism and security
    International organizations and the security community
    Perceptions, identities, and attitudes
    Militarism and pacifism
    Alternative and Conflict Theories
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Leaders and advisers
    The State Context
    Public opinion
    The Global Context
    Regional security
    Energy, resources, and security
    Past, Present, and Future: Ending the Cold War
    Chapter 6. International Law
    What Do We Study?
    Law, the Role of IGOs, and International Relations
    Principles of International Law
    Sources of International Law
    The Development of International Law
    Laws of the sea
    Laws of war
    Humanitarian issues
    Early legal institutions
    From the League of Nations to the United Nations
    How Do We Study It?
    The Realist View of International Law
    State interest
    Law enforcement
    The Liberal View of International Law
    Law and reason
    Supranationalism and human rights
    The legality of war
    Constructivism and other views
    Ideology and law
    Perceptions of international law
    Conflict theories
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Political authority
    The State Context
    International law and the United States
    The Global Context
    From nationalism to supranationalism
    Back to reality
    Past, Present, and Future: War Crimes, Genocide, and the Legacy of Nuremberg
    Chapter 7. International Political Economy
    What Do We Study?
    The Major Factors of International Political Economy
    Production and Consumption
    How Do We Study It?
    Mercantilism: An economic realism?
    Principles of mercantilism
    Mercantilism and mealism
    Economic Liberalism
    The roots of economic liberalism
    Principles of economic liberalism
    The Keynesian challenge
    International organizations
    Regional trade agreements
    National purpose
    Economic climate
    Conflict Theories
    Economic dependency
    Fair trade
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Political leadership
    The State Context
    Domestic politics
    Surplus or manageable deficit?
    The Global Context
    Which economic policy?
    Global interdependence
    Global poverty
    International institutions and the global economy
    Culture and conflict
    Past, Present, and Future: "The Beijing Miracle"
    Chapter 8. International Terrorism
    What Do We Study?
    Terrorism and Counterterrorism
    Why Definitions Are Important
    Legitimization of military actions
    Mobilization of international law
    Justification of other policies
    How Terrorism Works
    Assumptions and methods
    The "logic" of terrorism
    Terrorism: In the Name of What?
    Extreme nationalists
    Radical Socialists
    Religious fundamentalists
    How Do We Study It?
    The Realist view of Terrorism
    Power balance
    Asymmetrical threats
    The Liberal View of Terrorism
    Understanding causes of terrorism
    Criminalizing terrorism
    Liberalism and counterterrorism
    The Constructivist View of Terrorism
    Three pillars of terrorism
    Ideology and Identity
    Conflict theories
    Political socialization
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    The terrorist's profile
    Bush and Obama on terrorism
    Rehabilitation as counterterrorism
    The State Context
    Domestic costs of counterterrorism
    Terrorism as a means to gain state power
    Democratic governance and terrorism
    The Global Context
    Global waves
    Global counterterrorism
    Past, Present, and Future: Al-Qaeda
    Chapter 9. Environmental Problems and International Politics
    What Do We Study?
    Environmental Problems
    Acid rain
    Air pollution
    Ozone depletion
    Climate change
    Loss of wildlife
    Loss of clean water
    Disasters and Accidents
    Natural disasters
    Human-created disasters
    Environmental Policies Today
    Restriction and regulation
    Green investments
    Comprehensive policies
    Policy implementation
    How Do We Study It?
    Environmental disasters and security
    The global commons
    Environment and sovereignty
    International treaties and organizations
    Nongovernment organizations
    Public awareness
    Environmental values
    Alternative and critical views
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Environmentalism and skepticism
    A sense of mission and leadership
    The State Context
    National purpose and partisan politics
    The democratic context
    The Global Context
    The environment and business
    The need for global efforts
    Global policy and climate change
    Past, Present, and Future: Greenpeace
    Chapter 10. Humanitarian Problems
    What Do We Study?
    Humanitarian Problems
    Pandemics and infectious diseases
    Chronic starvation and malnutrition
    Acute suffering
    Causes of Humanitarian Problems
    Natural disasters
    Mass violence
    Extreme poverty
    Involuntary migration
    Interconnected problems
    Humanitarian Policies
    Humanitarian intervention
    Relief efforts
    Crisis prevention
    Population policies
    Anti-poverty policies
    Refugee policies
    How Do We Study It?
    Theoretical principles
    Global governance
    Conflict Theories
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Leaders' choices
    Denying or hiding problems
    The State Context
    Political climate
    Favorable conditions
    The Global Context
    New and evolving concerns
    Policy arguments
    Efficiency of aid
    Sustainability of success
    Past, Present, and Future: Celebrity Activism
    Chapter 11. Hearts and Minds: Identity and Political Culture
    What Do We Study?
    Values and Identities
    Political Culture
    Types of political culture
    Views of political authority
    Cultures as Civilizations
    Cultural identities
    A clash of civilizations?
    Political Attitudes
    How Do We Study It?
    Conflict Theories
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    Visionaries and fanatics
    Political mobilization
    The State Context
    Collective Experiences
    Political culture and state unity
    Economic leverage
    Democratic norms
    The Global Context
    Toward a global political culture
    Resistance to globalization
    Do cultures clash?
    Hybrid political cultures
    Past, Present, and Future: China's Changing Identity
    Chapter 12. Forecasting the World of 2025
    What Do We Study?
    From Prophesies to Predictions: The International System
    Sovereign States
    Strong and weak states
    Territorial claims
    IGOs and NGOs
    Multipolarity and Alliances
    Latin America and Bolivarianism
    South and East Asia
    Russia and the post-Soviet space
    How Do We Study It?
    Conflict Theories
    How Do We Apply It?
    The Individual Context
    The State Context
    The United States
    The European Union
    The Global Context
    Modernization theories
    Democratic transition
    Theories of scarcity
    The clash of civilizations
    "Rise and Fall" theories
    Historical Perspective: A Glimpse into the Future

Teaching Resources

  • Instructor's Resource Manual
  • Computerized Test Bank
  • Videos
  • Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/shiraev

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