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Strategy in the Contemporary World

Sixth Edition

Edited by John Baylis, James Wirtz, and Colin Gray

Publication Date - October 2018

ISBN: 9780198807100

480 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99

The only introduction to strategic studies to cover both the enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy


Bringing together international experts to provide a comprehensive introduction to strategic studies, Strategy in the Contemporary World, Sixth Edition, is the only overview to critically engage with both enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy. Readers are encouraged to explore key debates and alternative perspectives throughout the chapters. A boxed "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. A new Chapter 19, "The West and the Rest," explores the limitations and problems strategic studies face when dealing with security challenges in the Global South, stressing the importance of diversity in the field and the important contributions the non-Western world has made to international relations theories and concepts. Chapter 14, "Geography and Strategy" considers important developments in air power, maritime strategy and the rapid expansion of space and cyber warfare.

This text is supported by fully updated online resources, to encourage deeper 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

For instructors:

Customizable PowerPoint slides to 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

New to this Edition

  • A new chapter on non-Western perspectives broadens students' understanding of key global approaches to strategy, facilitating critical reflection on the limitations inherent within Western-dominated approaches
  • A new chapter on geography and strategy provides fully updated coverage of key developments in strategic warfare, including a comprehensive treatment of air power and maritime strategy that engages with the rapid expansion of space- and cyber-warfare


  • 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

About the Author(s)

John Baylis is Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations and a former Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University.

James J. Wirtz is the Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.

Colin S. Gray is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Reading.

Table of Contents

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