We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

International Relations

Third Edition

Eric Shiraev and Vladislav Zubok

Publication Date - 17 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190648589

464 pages

This highly praised and widely adopted text uses a consistent analytical framework to teach students how to think critically about issues in world politics, helping them better understand the political world they live in


Using a three-part framework of Ideas, Arguments, and Contexts and Applications, International Relations, Third Edition, shows students how to think critically about issues and current events in world politics. Each chapter first describes key concepts and developments in the field (Ideas), then presents the main theoretical and analytical approaches (Arguments), and finally applies the main theories and approaches within the individual, state, and global contexts (Contexts and Applications). In additional to historical information woven throughout the text, the book also includes a new separate chapter on history (Chapter 2) that summarizes key events and includes an illustrated timeline. A new Chapter 11 focuses on the future of International Relations and Chapter 8 has been updated and expanded to cover non-state threats and international security. Theory is now covered in two chapters--one focused on classical theories (realism and liberalism)--and the other on contemporary theories and perspectives (constructivism, Marxism, feminism, rational choice). Visual Reviews at the end of each chapter not only recap key points but include Critical Thinking questions that reflect the chapter learning objectives.

New to this Edition

  • Now covers theory in two chapters: Chapter 3 (realism and liberalism) and Chapter 4 (constructivism, Marxism, feminism, rational choice perspectives)
  • A new, separate chapter on history (Chapter 2) summarizes key events and includes an illustrated timeline. History is also incorporated in "Case Study" applications and the "History Lab" feature throughout.
  • A new feature called "History Lab" replaces "A Case in Point" boxes. "History Lab" points students to online activities or simulations focusing on key historical issues and events. This feature presents current or historical events and issues, and contains Critical Thinking questions for class discussions or written assignments.
  • Includes new, expanded discussions of globalization and anti-globalization (Chapter 1)
  • Offers significantly expanded and updated coverage of contemporary asymmetric threats, including insurgency, cyberwarfare, and new forms of terrorism (Chapter 8)
  • In response to students often asking "What Can I Do?," a new concluding chapter focuses on steps toward a better political world, discussing how different career paths and volunteer work address specific issues. New tables show how theories and levels of analysis could be applied .
  • Updated "Debate" features and chapter reviews
  • Chapter-ending sections previously titled "Uses of History" have been reworked as Case Studies

About the Author(s)

Eric Shiraev is Professor and Head of CARP (Character Assassination and Reputation Politics Research Lab) at George Mason University.

Vladislav Zubok is Professor of History at the London School of Economics.


"The overall structure of International Relations is original, based on ideas, arguments, context, and applications. The text is carefully written and very solid in terms of scholarship; its greatest strength is the bridging between theory and policy."--Robert Weiner, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"International Relations has a logical progression, starting with sovereignty, definition of theory, and then concepts, before moving to international security, law, IPE, and current challenges. This makes it relatively easy for students to grasp essential concepts and engage in critical thinking."--Thomas Lefebvre, Trinity College

"I like that the authors apply levels of analysis across the chapters--this introduces students early on to the idea that IR is complicated and multi-faceted--providing them with a consistent framework as they begin their study of IR."--Theresa Schroeder, Radford University

"The writing and analyses are easy for students to follow and understand. At the same time, the authors cover the major theoretical and history material at the core of international relations."--Edward Kannyo, Rochester Institute of Technology

Table of Contents

    Maps of the World


    Chapter 1. Introducing International Relations
    1.1 Key Concepts in International Relations
    Facets of IR: Security, Law, and Political Economy
    States and Sovereignty
    History Lab: Alsace-Lorraine
    Nations and Nation-States
    Globalization and Anti-globalization
    1.2 Key Actors in International Relations
    State Government and Foreign Policy
    Intergovernmental Organizations
    Nongovernmental Organizations
    1.3 Facing Global Challenges
    Violence, War, and Weapons of Mass Destruction
    Environmental Problems
    Basic Rights Violations
    Overpopulation and Migration
    A Path to Peace and Economic Improvement
    1.4 Studying International Relations
    Gathering Information
    History Lab: Facts and Lies: The Katyn Massacre
    Debate: The Corruption Perceptions Index
    Analyzing Information
    The Importance of Theory and Its Applications
    Content Analysis
    Applications at Three Levels of Analysis
    Thinking Critically
    Distinguishing Facts from Opinions
    Looking for Multiple Causes
    Being Aware of Bias
    Case Study: Can Democracy Be "Exported"?
    Chapter 1 Review

    Chapter 2. The Evolution of International Relations
    2.1 The Origins of the Modern International System
    The Peace of Westphalia
    Military Growth and the Rise of Capitalism
    2.2 Revolution, Industrialization, and Conquest in Nineteenth-Century Europe
    Revolutionary Thinking
    The Concert of Europe
    Imperialism and Colonialism
    The Rise of Nationalism
    A New Global System in the Age of Imperialism
    2.3 The Great War and the Flawed Peace
    The Collapse of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary
    The League of Nations and the Interwar Years
    2.4 The Second World War
    The Rise of Fascism
    The Aftermath of Economic Crises
    The Return to Militarism
    A World Again at War
    Turning the Tide
    History Lab: The United Nations Security Council
    The End of World War II
    2.5 The Cold War
    The Origins of the Cold War
    The Cold War as a Series of Confrontations
    How the Cold War Shaped Decolonization
    The Rise and Fall of Détente
    Cold War in Asia
    Globalization and the Cold War
    The End of the Cold War
    2.6 The Post-Cold War Era
    Changing Transnational Trends
    The Twenty-First Century
    CASE STUDY: The What-Ifs of History
    Chapter 2 Review

    Chapter 3. Realism and Liberalism
    3.1 Realism
    The Roots of Realism
    The Rise and Influence of Realpolitik
    3.2 Realist Arguments
    Power Distribution
    Sovereignty in Realist Thinking
    The Security Dilemma
    Debate: Will the Global Power Struggle Ever End?
    Offensive Realism and Defensive Realism
    Non-military Responses in Realism
    3.3 Liberalism
    The Roots of Liberalism
    Debate: Are Humans Inherently Selfish and Violent?
    3.4 Liberal Arguments
    Democratic Peace Theory
    Soft Power
    Unilateralism and Multilateralism
    3.5 Comparing Realism and Liberalism
    3.6 Critical Applications of Realism and Liberalism
    Realism Applied
    History Lab: NATO
    Liberalism Applied
    Case Study: The European Union as a Liberal Empire
    Chapter 3 Review

    Chapter 4. Alternative Views
    4.1 Why Alternative Interpretations?
    4.2 Constructivism
    Socially Constructed Meanings
    Three Types of International Environments
    Historical Lessons
    4.3 Marxism, Postcolonial Studies, and Feminism
    Marxism (and Leninism)
    Neo-Marxism and Dependency Theory
    Postcolonial Studies
    4.4 Political Culture and Identity Factors
    Political Culture
    Identity Factors
    Debate Who Are Patriots and Nationalists?
    4.5 Political Psychology
    Rational Decision-Making
    Biased Decision-Making
    Life Experiences
    4.6 Critical Applications of Alternative Views
    Alternative Views at the Individual Level
    Alternative Views at the State Level
    Alternative Views at the Global Level
    CASE STUDY: The Cuban Missile Crisis
    Chapter 4 Review


    Chapter 5. International Security
    5.1 Security Principles
    National and International Security
    Conflict and War
    Types of War
    History Lab: War in Angola
    5.2 Security Policies
    Unilateral versus Multilateral Foreign Policy
    5.3 Realist, Liberal, and Alternative Approaches to Security
    Realist Approaches to Security
    Liberal Approaches to Security
    Alternative Approaches to Security
    5.4 Critical Applications of Security Strategies
    Individual Decisions
    State Policies
    Global Factors
    CASE STUDY: Ending the Cold War
    Chapter 5 Review

    Chapter 6. International Law and International Organizations
    6.1 International Law and the Role of IGOs
    Principles of International Law
    Sources of International Law
    6.2 Development of International Law
    Laws of the Sea
    Laws of War
    Humanitarian Issues
    Human Rights
    Early International Legal Institutions
    From the League of Nations to the United Nations
    6.3 Approaches to International Law
    The Realist View of International Law
    The Liberal View of International Law
    Alternative Views of International Law
    6.4 Applications of International Law
    Individual Choices
    State Policies
    Global Factors
    Case Study: War Crimes, Genocide, and the Legacy of Nuremberg
    Chapter 6 Review

    Chapter 7. International Political Economy and Development
    7.1 Elements of International Political Economy
    Production and Consumption
    Financial Globalization
    Debate: Global Interdependence, Prices, and Jobs
    Economic Development
    Main Economic Actors
    7.2 Principles of Mercantilism
    Economic Sanctions
    7.3 Economic Liberalism and the Formation of IPE
    Keynesian Economics
    Economic Liberalism: The Origins
    Debate: National Pride and Foreign Ownership
    International Economic Organizations
    Regional Trade Agreements
    7.4 Constructivism and IPE
    Nationalism and Economic Politics
    Economic Climate
    7.5 Marxism and Conflict Theories: Radical Criticisms of IPE
    Marxist Views
    Economic Dependency
    7.6 Critical Applications
    Individual Decisions
    History Lab: Discoveries and Innovation
    State Policies
    The Global Level
    Case Study: China and Liberal Globalization
    Chapter 7 Review


    Chapter 8. Terrorism and Evolving Security Challenges
    8.1 Terrorism and Counterterrorism
    Defining Terrorism
    History Lab: Misuse of the Terrorism Label
    How Terrorism Works
    Terrorism: In the Name of What?
    Debate: Do Violent Groups Change?
    Cyberwarfare and the Threat of Cyberterrorism
    Artificial Intelligence and Warfare
    8.2 Traditional Views of Evolving Security Threats
    8.3 Alternative Views of Evolving Security Threats
    History Lab: Northern Ireland
    Debate: On Moral Relativism and Terrorism
    Marxism and Conflict Theories
    8.4 Contexts and Applications
    The Individual Context
    The State Context
    The Global Context
    Case Study: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State
    Chapter 8 Review

    Chapter 9. Environmental Issues
    9.1 Environmental Problems, Disasters, and Policies
    History Lab A Disappearing Sea
    Environmental Problems
    Disasters and Accidents
    Environmental Policies Today
    9.2 Approaches to Environmental Issues
    Realist Approaches to the Environment
    Liberal Approaches to the Environment
    Values and Interests> Alternative and Critical Views
    9.3 Environmental Issues at Three Levels of Analysis
    The Individual Level
    Debate Alarming and Skeptical Voices
    The State Level
    The Global Level
    Case Study: A Greenpeace Story
    Chapter 9 Review

    Chapter 10. Humanitarian Concerns
    10.1 Humanitarian Challenges
    Types of Humanitarian Challenges
    History Lab: Rwanda: A Massacre as the World Watched
    Causes of Humanitarian Crises
    10.2 Humanitarian Policies
    Humanitarian Intervention
    Relief Efforts
    Crisis Prevention
    Population and Migration Policies
    Debate: Regulating Migration
    10.3 Traditional Humanitarian Policies
    Realist Humanitarian Policies
    Liberal Humanitarian Policies
    Debate: The UN Global Compact
    10.4 Alternative Views of Humanitarian Policies
    10.5 Critical Applications
    Individual Decisions
    State Policies
    The Global Context
    Case Study: Celebrities in Action
    Chapter 10 Review

Related Titles