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International Politics

How History Tests Theory

First Edition

Professor Richard Rosecrance and Professor John Owen

Available: 01 January 2018

ISBN: 9780190216108

Online Resource

Narrative approach synthesizing History and IR tlteory by two notable scholars.


Presenting the development of International Relations and its theories in a historical narrative spanning 500 years, this text offers fresh and topical perspectives on ideological "convergence" and fragmentation in twenty-first century world politics. Richard Rosecrance and John Owen argue that as states decentralized and economics globalized, the foreign policies of major players on the world stage leveraged more liberal and constructivist IR approaches to solidify their position, and moved away from more realist "zero sum" sorts of policies. Rather than simply listing the many theories that the field of IR has devised to understand behavior in world politics, this text demonstrates that certain theories explain behavior better than others based on historical context. Offering a broader and deeper historical perspective than any other text on the market, this text demonstrates how history can explain and impact theory development in the field of International Relations.


  • A rigorous, lucid, and concise introduction to IR by two notable experts.
  • Offers a broader and deeper historical perspective than any other text on the market.
  • The authors present the development of International Relations and its theories in a historical narrative spanning 500 years.

About the Author(s)

Richard Rosecrance, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is also Research Professor of Political Science at the University of California and a Senior Fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was formerly the Director of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA. He is the author of several well-regarded books international topics, including: The Rise of the Trading State; The Rise of the Virtual State; America's Economic Resurgence; The Costs of Conflict; The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy; and The New Great Power Coalition. He served on the Policy Planning Council of the U.S. Department of State and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie foundations. Professor Rosecrance has held regular university posts at Cornell and Berkeley, and visiting positions at the IISS, Kings College (London), the London School of Economics, the European University Institute (Florence), and the Australian National University.

John M. Owen is the recipient of fellowships from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and the Center of International Studies at Princeton. His research has been funded by the MacArthur, Earhart, and Donchian foundations. He is the editor of Security Studies, a member of the editorial board of International Security, and a Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Professor Owen is the author of Liberal Peace, Liberal War: American Politics and International Security and The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change 1510 -2010.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Chapter 2 The Reformation and the Absolutist State

    Chapter 3 Trading Vocations and Domestic Liberties

    Chapter 4 Liberalization, Revolution, and Reaction

    Chapter 5 Liberalization, Backlash, and the World Crisis

    Chapter 6 The World Crisis Continues

    Chapter 7 The Cold War: The Liberal International Subsystem Is Institutionalized

    Chapter 8 The West's Overbalance of Power and the Globalization of Liberalism

    Chapter 9 World Politics Today

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