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

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Strategy in the Contemporary World

Seventh Edition

Edited by John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson

Publication Date - June 2022

ISBN: 9780192845719

488 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


Bringing together experts from across the globe to provide a comprehensive introduction to strategic studies, this is the only overview to critically engage with both enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy. Throughout the chapters, readers are encouraged to explore key debates and alternative perspectives. A debates feature considers key controversies and presents opposing arguments, helping students to build critical thinking skills and reflect upon a wide range of perspectives.

The new edition has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the latest developments in the field of strategic studies. Four new chapters feature in-depth coverage of cyber power and conflict, strategic culture, the evolution of grand strategy in China, and the relationship between military technology and warfare.

Digital formats and resources

The seventh edition is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources

- The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
- Online resources for students include: case studies that help to contextualise and deepen understanding of key issues; web links and further reading that provide students with opportunities to deepen their understanding of main topics and explore further areas of research interest; and multiple choice questions that test students' knowledge of the chapters and provide instant feedback.
- Online resources for lecturers include: customisable PowerPoint slides to ensure clarity of explanation of key concepts and debates; and a test-bank of questions to reinforce key concepts and test students' understanding.

New to this Edition

  • Jeannie L. Johnson, Assistant Professor, Utah State University, joins the editor team to bring new expertise and insight to the seventh edition.
  • New chapter 18 on Chinese grand strategy by Oriana Skylar Mastro examines the evolution of Chinese grand strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, its drivers, and its implications.
  • Fully revised chapter on strategic culture explores the concept of strategic culture as a framework of analysis used by scholars and policymakers to explain the international behaviour of states.
  • Fully revised chapters on cyber conflict and technology and warfare focus on how digital and technological developments affect strategic decisions.


  • 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
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

About the Author(s)

John Baylis, Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations, Swansea University,James J. Wirtz, Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California,Jeannie L. Johnson, Director of Center for Anticipatory Intelligence and Associate Professor, Utah State University

John Baylis is Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations and a former Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University. Prior to that he was Professor of International Politics and Dean of Social Sciences at Aberystwyth University. He has published more than 20 books and over a hundred chapters and articles. His books include The Makers of Nuclear Strategy, with John Garnett (Pinter, 1991); The Globalization of World Politics, with Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (8th edn, Oxford University Press, 2020); An Introduction to Global Politics, with Steven Lamy, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens (4th edn, Oxford University Press, 2016); and The British Nuclear Experience: The Role of Beliefs, Culture and Identity, with Kristan Stoddart (Oxford University Press, 2015). He has a BA, MSc (Econ), PhD, and DLitt from Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities.

James J. Wirtz is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is the author of Understanding Intelligence Failure (Routledge, 2017). Along with Loch Johnson, he is the editor of Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies (5th edn, Oxford University Press, 2019). He received his PhD from Columbia University.

Jeannie L. Johnson is the Founding Director of the Center for Anticipatory Intelligence at Utah State University and an Associate Professor in the Political Science department. She is the author of The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America's Wars (Georgetown University Press, 2018) and the co-editor of Crossing Nuclear Thresholds: Leveraging Socio-Cultural Insights into Nuclear Decisionmaking (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Dr Johnson previously worked for the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence and the US State Department. She received her doctorate from the University of Reading in 2013.

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 2018
December 2015
December 2012

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Strategy in the Contemporary World, John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson
    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, John Garnett and John Baylis
    6. Strategic Culture, Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky
    7. Law, Politics, and the Use of Force, Justin Morris
    8. Technology and Warfare, Ryan Grauer
    9. Intelligence and Strategy, Roger Z. George
    10. Geography and Strategy, Daniel Moran
    Part II: Contemporary Problems
    11. Irregular Warfare: Terrorism and Insurgency, James D. Kiras
    12. 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. Humanitarian Intervention and Peace Operations, Sheena Chestnut Greitens
    16. Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competition, Ryan C. Maness, Rebecca Lorentz, and Brandon Valeriano
    17. Geopolitics and Grand Strategy, Stephanie Ortmann and Nicholas Whittaker
    18. Chinese Grand Strategy, Oriana Skylar Mastro
    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?, Sir Lawrence Freedman