From Theory of International Politics . . . National politics is the realm of authority, of administration, and of law. International politics is the realm of power, of struggle, and of accommodation. . . . States, like people, are insecure in proportion to the extent of their freedom. If freedom is wanted, insecurity must be accepted. Organizations that establish relations of authority and control may increase security as they decrease freedom. If might does not make right, whether among people or states, then some institution or agency has intervened to lift them out of natures realm. The more influential the agency, the stronger the desire to control it becomes. In contrast, units in an anarchic order act for their own sakes and not for the sake of preserving an organization and furthering their fortunes within it. Force is used for ones own interest. In the absence of organization, people or states are free to leave one another alone. Even when they do not do so, they are better able, in the absence of the politics of the organization, to concentrate on the politics of the problem and to aim for a minimum agreement that will permit their separate existence rather than a maximum agreement for the sake of maintaining unity. If might decides, then bloody struggles over right can more easily be avoided.
Within the realist school of international relations, a prevailing view holds that the anarchic structure of the international system invariably forces the great powers to seek security at one another's expense, dooming even peaceful nations to an unrelenting struggle for power and dominance. Rational Theory of International Politics offers a more nuanced alternative to this view, one that provides answers to the most fundamental and pressing questions of international relations. Why do states sometimes compete and wage war while at other times they cooperate and pursue peace? Does competition reflect pressures generated by the anarchic international system or rather states' own expansionist goals? Are the United States and China on a collision course to war, or is continued coexistence possible? Is peace in the Middle East even feasible? Charles Glaser puts forward a major new theory of international politics that identifies three kinds of variables that influence a state's strategy: the state's motives, specifically whether it is motivated by security concerns or "greed"; material variables, which determine its military capabilities; and information variables, most importantly what the state knows about its adversary's motives. Rational Theory of International Politics demonstrates that variation in motives can be key to the choice of strategy; that the international environment sometimes favors cooperation over competition; and that information variables can be as important as material variables in determining the strategy a state should choose.
A Theory of International Politics and Foreign Policy
Author: R. H. Lieshout
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Category: Political Science
'When the epistemology is sound, intelligence and hard work are sure to bring progress, as they have in this ambitious book by Robert Lieshout. Even some people, like me, who are not specialists in international relations, will find it useful.' - Mancur Olson, formerly of University of Maryland, US Between Anarchy and Hierarchy offers a stimulating new perspective on conflict and collaboration in international politics. Robert Lieshout's new book shows how decision-making within individual states influences foreign policy and, in turn, international politics. Using a sliding scale between anarchy and hierarchy, he shows how each political system can be defined, including the distinctly anarchic international system itself. By showing the impact which internal decision-making processes have on the structure of the international system, Professor Lieshout integrates a theory of foreign policy making into a theory of international politics.
Table of Contents - 1. Laws and Theories; 2. Reductionist Theories; 3. Systemic Approaches and Theories; 4. Reductionist and Systemic Theories; 5. Political Structures; 6. Anarchic Orders and Balances of Power; 7. Structural Causes and Economic Effects; 8. Structural Causes and Military Effects; 9. The Management of International Affairs.
War and the State exposes the invalid arguments employed in the unproductive debate about Realism among international relations scholars, as well as the common fallacy of sharply distinguishing between conflict among states and conflict within them. As R. Harrison Wagner demonstrates, any understanding of international politics must be part of a more general study of the relationship between political order and organized violence everywhere--as it was in the intellectual tradition from which modern-day Realism was derived. War and the State draws on the insights from Wagner's distinguished career to create an elegantly crafted essay accessible to both students and scholars. "Possibly the most important book on international relations theory since Kenneth Waltz's Theory of International Politics." ---James Fearon, Stanford University "This is one of the best books on international relations theory I have read in a very long time. It is required reading for any student of modern IR theory. Once again, Wagner has shown himself to be one of the clearest thinkers in the field today." ---Robert Powell, Robson Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley "Painting on a vast canvas, and tackling and integrating topics such as state formation, domestic politics, and international conflict, R. Harrison Wagner's War and the State offers many brilliant insights into the nature of international relations and international conflict. War and the State compellingly highlights the importance of constructing rigorous and valid theorizing and sets a high standard for all students of international relations. The field has much to gain if scholars follow the trail blazed by Wagner in this book." ---Hein Goemans, University of Rochester R. Harrison Wagner is Professor of Government at the University of Texas.
A study of international politics, with the view that states are ultimately non-mobile and chiefly interact with other states in their geographical area. The book criticizes international political theory on the basis of the non-mobility argument and uses the Nordic countries as an example.
What would happen to international politics if the dead rose from the grave and started to eat the living? Daniel Drezner's groundbreaking book answers the question that other international relations scholars have been too scared to ask. Addressing timely issues with analytical bite, Drezner looks at how well-known theories from international relations might be applied to a war with zombies. Exploring the plots of popular zombie films, songs, and books, Theories of International Politics and Zombies predicts realistic scenarios for the political stage in the face of a zombie threat and considers how valid—or how rotten—such scenarios might be. This newly revived edition includes substantial updates throughout as well as a new epilogue assessing the role of the zombie analogy in the public sphere.
Kenneth Waltz's 1979 Theory of International Politics is credited with bringing about a "scientific revolution" in the study of international relations - bringing the field into a new era of systematic study. The book is also a lesson in reasoning carefully and critically. Good reasoning is exemplified by arguments that move systematically, through carefully organised stages, taking into account opposing stances and ideas as they move towards a logical conclusion. Theory of International Politics might be a textbook example of how to go about structuring an argument in this way to produce a watertight case for a particular point of view. Waltz's book begins by testing and critiquing earlier theories of international relations, showing their strengths and weaknesses, before moving on to argue for his own stance - what has since become known as "neorealism." His aim was "to construct a theory of international politics that remedies the defects of present theories." And this is precisely what he did; by showing the shortcomings of the prevalent theories of international relations, Waltz was then able to import insights from sociology to create a more comprehensive and realistic theory that took full account of the strengths of old schemas while also remedying their weaknesses - reasoning out a new theory in the process.
Critical international theory encompasses several distinct, radical approaches that focus on identity, difference, hegemonic power, and order. As an applied theory, critical international theory draws on critical social theories to shed light on international processes and global transformations. While this approach has led to increasing interest in formulating an empirically relevant critical international theory, it has also revealed the difficulties of applying critical theory to international politics. What are these difficulties and problems? And how can we move beyond them? This book addresses these questions by investigating the intellectual currents and key debates of critical theory, from Kant and Hegel to Habermas and Derrida, and the recent work of critical international theory, including Robert Cox and Andrew Linklater. By drawing on these debates, the book formulates an original theory of complementarity that brings together critical theory and critical international theory. It argues that complementarity—a governing principle in international law and politics—offers a conceptual framework for working toward two goals: engaging the changing contexts and forms of resistance and redressing some of the difficulties of applying critical theory to international relations. In adopting three critical perspectives on complementarity to analyze the evolving social and political contexts of global justice, this book provides an essential resource for undergraduate and graduate students and scholars interested in the application of critical theory to international relations.