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Strategy in the Contemporary World

Sixth Edition

Edited by John Baylis, James Wirtz, and Colin Gray

November 2018

ISBN: 9780198807100

480 pages

In Stock

Price: £34.99

A complete introduction to strategy in the contemporary world, which critically explores the enduring, present and emerging issues dominating the field of strategy.



A complete introduction to strategy in the contemporary world, which critically explores the enduring, present and emerging issues dominating strategic debate.

  • Leading international scholars provide complete coverage of key enduring, contemporary and emerging issues in strategic studies
  • Tailored learning features encourage students to develop critical thinking skills and encourage readers to reflect upon and evaluate a wide range of perspectives
  • Updated student and lecturer online resources ensure lively engagement with content during teaching activities

New to this edition

  • New chapter 19 on non-Western perspectives broadens students' understanding of key global approaches to strategy, and facilitates critical reflection on the limitations inherent within Western-dominated approaches to issues in strategic studies.
  • New chapter 15 on geography and strategy provides fully updated coverage of key developments in strategic warfare. Includes comprehensive treatment of air power and maritime strategy and engages fully with the rapid expansion of space and cyber warfare.

About the Author(s)

Edited by John Baylis, Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations, Swansea University, James Wirtz, Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, and Colin Gray, Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies, University of Reading

John Baylis is Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations and a former Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University. His books include Anglo-American Defence Relations 1939-1984 (Macmillan, 1984); Alternative Nuclear Futures: The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Post-Cold War World, with Robert O'Neill (OUP, 2000); The Makers of Nuclear Strategy, with John Garnett (Pinter,1991); The Globalization of World Politics, with Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (7th Edition, OUP, 2017); An Introduction to Global Politics, with Steven Lamy, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (4th. Edition, OUP, 2016); and The British Nuclear Experience: The Role of Beliefs, Culture and Identity, with Kristan Stoddart (OUP, 2015). He is currently working on Wales and the Bomb: The Role of Welsh Scientists and Engineers in the Development of British Nuclear Weapons to be published by the University of Wales Press in 2018.

James J. Wirtz is the Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is the co-editor of Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies 5th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2018) and the author of Understanding Intelligence Failure: Warning response and deterrence (Routledge 2017).

Colin S. Gray is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Reading. He has advised the American and British Governments for many years. Among his books are a trilogy on strategy with Oxford University Press: The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice 2010); Perspectives on Strategy (2013); and Strategy and Defence Planning: Meeting the Challenge of Uncertainty (2014).

Table of Contents

    1:Introduction: Strategy in the Contemporary World: Strategy after 9/11, John Baylis and James J. Wirtz
    Part I: Enduring Issues of Strategy
    2:The History of the Practice of Strategy from Antiquity to Napoleon, Beatrice Heuser
    3:The Evolution of Modern Warfare, Michael Sheehan
    4:Strategic Theory, Thomas G. Mahnken
    5:The Causes of War and the Conditions of Peace, John Garnett and John Baylis
    6:Strategic Culture, Jeffrey S. Lantis and Darryl Howlett
    7:Law, Politics, and the Use of Force, Justin Morris
    8:Technology and Warfare, Eliot A. Cohen
    9:Intelligence and Strategy, Roger Z. George
    10:Strategy and Defence Planning, Colin S. Gray
    Part II: Contemporary Problems
    11:Irregular Warfare: Terrorism and Insurgency, James D. Kiras
    12:The Second Nuclear Age: Nuclear Weapons in the Twenty-first Century, C. Dale Walton
    13:The Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction, John Baylis
    14:Conventional Power and Contemporary Warfare, John Ferris
    15:Geography and Strategy, Daniel Moran
    16:Humanitarian Intervention and Peace Operations, Sheena Chestnut Greitens
    17:The Rise of Cyberpower, John B. Sheldon
    18:Geopolitics and Grand Strategy, Stefanie Ortmann and Nick Whittaker
    Part III: The Future of Strategy
    19:Strategic Studies: The West and the Rest, Amitav Acharya and Jiajie He
    20:Strategic Studies and its Critics, Columba Peoples
    21:A New Agenda for Security and Strategy?, James J. Wirtz
    22:The Practice of Strategy, Colin S. Gray and Jeannie L. Johnson
    23:Does Strategic Studies Have a Future?, Lawrence Freedman


"The new chapter on non-Western perspectives provides a much-needed critique of the western centricity of strategic studies, [...] whilst also reflecting on the implications of deepening and broadening strategic studies in a clear and convincing way. A welcome addition to the textbook." - Dr Rhys Crilley, The Open University

Additional Resources

This text is supported by a range of online resources, to encourage deeper, critical engagement with content.

For students:

Case studies help to contextualise and deepen understanding of key issues

Web links and further reading provide students with opportunities to deepen their understanding of main topics and explore further areas of research interest

Fully updated lecturer resources help to engage students effectively with course material:

Customisable PowerPoint slides to help ensure clarity of explanation of key concepts and debates

Test Bank to reinforce key concepts and test students' understanding

Seminar activities to ensure effective and engaging class discussion