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Global Politics

Applying Theory to a Complex World

Mark A. Boyer, Natalie F. Hudson, and Michael J. Butler

Publication Date - 15 October 2019

ISBN: 9780190655532

560 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

This renowned Introduction to International Relations text teaches students how to think about what's happening in the world


The world is becoming an ever smaller place--through globalization, finance and economics, technology, media, and the many global issues that transcend borders. As a result, undergraduates studying Global Politics and International Relations need a more integrated, applied, and practical approach for making sense of the world around them. In Global Politics: Applying Theory to a Complex World, authors Mark Boyer, Natalie Hudson, and Michael Butler have developed an approach to the subject that integrates historical context where necessary in the discussion of global issues and integrates the mainstream theoretical approaches within every chapter to provide students a rich and meaningful way to understand and critically analyze what is happening in the world today.

Global Politics covers all of the standard topics in the undergraduate level IR/Global Politics course, and also provides more robust coverage of global ecology; gender and race; the different security challenges of our day that go beyond armed conflict; IPE coverage that highlights the divergent paths of the Global North and South; and the growing reliance upon international law, international organizations, and global and regional governance. Utilizing a familiar organization and emphasis of topics, the authors have developed a compelling narrative and features to captivate students who are both "worldly" and "naïve" at the same time.


  • Challenge Your Assumptions scenarios disrupt conventional thinking on different global issues, prompting students to critically reflect on their own ideas and biases and thereby enabling them to analyze, evaluate, and apply course content to their everyday lives
  • Thinking Theoretically features highlight and apply significant international relations theories beyond the chapter content and allow students to interpret real-world cases from various lenses
  • Personal Narrative features allows students to take a closer look at diverse individuals from all walks of life--what motivates them and how they are engaging in global politics in powerful and inspiring ways
  • Critical Thinking Questions at the end of each chapter reinforce the concepts from each chapter and promote problem solving skills

About the Author(s)

Mark A. Boyer is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut. He is also the Executive Director of the International Studies Association.

Natalie F. Hudson is Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Human Rights Studies Program at the University of Dayton.

Michael J. Butler is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Luxembourg Program at Clark University.


"Global Politics does an excellent job of bridging the gap between theory and reality--and therefore applied global affairs--and makes the complexities of international relations understandable to the beginning student."--Robert Weiner, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"I am for a 'less is more' approach to an introductory textbook because today's digital student does not have the time, patience, attention span, or the desire to spend countless hours reading through text. I like the simplicity and straightforward logic that is applied to the text."--Gigi Gokcek, Dominican University of California

"I very much appreciate the goals that the authors lay out--in particular, challenging your assumptions and thinking critically."--Angela Nichols, Florida Atlantic University

"Global Politics is offered at the appropriate depth and level of complexity for undergraduate students. This book should easily find a place at the top of the market--it is factual without giving away a specific bias in terms of methodology. I like it and others will, too."--Robert Denemark, University of Delaware

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Global Politics Matter
    Why Global Politics Matter
    Grappling with Global Complexity
    - The Study of IR
    - The Role of Global Actors
    - Value of IR Theory

    Chapter 2. Theory Is Everywhere
    Realist Theory
    Liberal Theory
    World Systems Theory
    Feminist Theory

    Chapter 3. Interpreting Power: A Levels of Analysis Approach
    Defining Power in Global Politics
    The Levels-of-Analysis Approach
    Individual-Level of Analysis
    State-Level of Analysis
    System-Level of Analysis

    Chapter 4. The Nation-State Past and Present
    Nations, Nationalism and the Nation-State Defined
    The Historical Evolution of Nations and Nationalism
    Nationalism Reconsidered
    The Sovereign State

    Chapter 5. Re-Imagining Globalization--Forces That Divide and Forces That Unite
    Causes and Conceptions of Globalization
    Analyzing the Impact of Globalization
    Transnationalism: Actors and Movements

    Chapter 6. International Organizations: Global and Regional Governance
    Why States Organize As Collectives
    Trends in IGO Formation and Function
    A Closer Look at the UN System
    Regional IGOs

    Chapter 7. War and Terrorism
    War as a Concept
    Armed Conflict: Causes and Objectives
    Global Trends in Armed Conflict
    The Changing Context of War
    Asymmetrical Warfare: Terrorism

    Chapter 8. Pursuing Security
    The Traditional Approach
    Security Re-Envisioned
    Seeking Security, Illustrations
    The New Security Environment
    Threat Assessment: Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Chapter 9. International Law and Transitional Justice
    Fundamentals and History of International Law
    International Law in Theory and Practice
    Law and Justice in a Multicultural World
    Justice after War and Mass Atrocity

    Chapter 10. Global Political Economy: Protecting Wealth in the Global North
    Theories of Global Political Economy
    The World Economy: Globalization and Interdependence
    The Dominant Economic Institutions
    Regional and Bilateral Economic Cooperation

    Chapter 11. Global Political Economy: A Search for Equity in a Dependent System
    The Diverse Circumstances of the World Economy
    Dependency, Institutions and North-South Economic Relations
    Applied Economic Policy
    IR Thoery and the Future of Economic Development

    Chapter 12. Human Rights: A Tool for Preserving and Enhancing Human Dignity
    The Emergence of Human Rights Language, Laws and Norms
    Human Rights Enforcement
    Human Rights Issues and Advocacy

    Chapter 13. Global Political Ecology
    An Ecological State of the World
    Global Carrying Capacity
    Global Climate Change

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