International Politics on the World Stage, Brief / Edition 8

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This concise text provides students and instructors with a comprehensive overview of world politics, inviting them in a straightforward and accessible way to explore international relations and its new challenges. A hallmark of the text is the authors' position that politics affect the lives of all of us, and that the individual can have an impact, whether small or large, by being politically aware and by taking action. The eighth edition includes an enhanced art program with 7 more charts and analyses and updates of currents including economic trends, possibilities of a new direction in U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration, global environment issues and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073378992
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 764,646
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John T. Rourke, Ph.D., professor emeritus, is former head of the Department of Political Science at The University of Connecticut. He is author of International Politics on the World Stage, Eleventh Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2007); the author of Presidential Wars and American Democracy: Rally ‘Round the Chief (Paragon House, 1993); a coauthor of Direct Democracy and International Politics: Deciding International Issues through Referendums (Lynn Rienner, 1992); the editor of Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics, Twelfth Edition, expanded (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and You Decide: Current Debates in American Politics (Longman, 2005); the author of Making Foreign Policy: United States, Soviet Union, China (Brooks Cole, 1990), Congress and the Presidency in U.S. Foreign Policymaking (Westview, 1985), and numerous articles and papers. He continues to teach and especially enjoys introductory classes. His regard for the students has molded his approach to writing—he conveys scholarship in a language and within a frame of reference that undergraduates can appreciate. Rourke believes, as the theme of this book reflects, that politics affect us all and we can affect politics. Rourke practices what he propounds; his career long involved the university’s internship program and advising one of its political clubs. Additionally, he has served as a staff member of Connecticut’s legislature, and has been involved in political campaigns on the local, state, and national levels.

Mark A. Boyer, Ph.D. is a professor of political science at The University of Connecticut. He received the 2004 UConn Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level, the American Political Science Association’s 2000 Rowman & Littlefield Award for Innovation in the Teaching of Political Science, and the 2001 UConn Chancellor’s Information Technology Award. He is coauthor with Davis B. Bobrow of Defensive Internationalism (University of Michigan Press, 2005), coauthor with Brigid Starkey and Jonathan Wilkenfeld of Negotiating a Complex World (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), and author of International Cooperation and Public Goods (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993). He has also published numerous articles in such journals as the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Simulation and Games, Journal of Peace Research, Review of International Political Economy, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Instructional Science, and others. Boyer is co-director of the GlobalEd Project (, which conducts computer-assisted international studies simulations for middle school and high school students throughout the United States. In 1992–93 he was a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs, and from 1986 to 1988, an SSRC-MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security Studies. A strong proponent of active forms of learning, Boyer applies a wide mix of teaching approaches, ranging from case teaching to various types of simulations. His emphasis on active learning is reflected throughout this book and also in the Web site that accompanies the book.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Thinking and Caring About World Politics

Previewing the Global Drama

Global Actors: Meet the Cast

Alternative Approaches to World Politics

The Importance of World Politics to Each of Us

World Politics and Your Finances

International Trade and Your Finances

The Flow of International Capital and Your Finances

Defense Spending and Your Finances

World Politics and Your Living Space

World Politics and Your Life

Transmational Diseases

Transnational Political Violence

You Can Make a Difference

Taking Direct Action


Becoming a Policy Maker

Thinking Theoretically: Putting World Events in Context

Realist Theory

Classic Realism and Neorealism

Realism: An Emphasis on Power

Realism and the Competitive Future

Liberal Theory

Classic Liberalism and Neoliberalism

Liberalism: An Emphasis on Cooperation

Liberalism and the Cooperative Future

Postmodernist, Feminist, and Economic Theories

Postmodernist Theory

Feminist Theory

Economic Theories

Constructivist Theory

Constructivism and the Nature of Politics

Constructivism and the Course of World Politics

Assessing Theories

Chapter Summary

Chapter 2 - The Evolution of World Politics

The Evolving World System: Early Development

Ancient Greece and Rome

After the Fall of Rome, A.D. 476 to 1700

Universal Authority in the Middle Ages

Local Authority in the Middle Ages

The Decline of the Feudal System

The Decline of Universalistic Authority

The Emergence of the Sovereign State

The 18th and 19th Centuries

The Evolving World System: The Twentieth Century

The Rise and Deline of the Bipolar System

The end of the Bipolar System

The Twenty-First Century: The Genesis of a New System

The Polar Power Structure in the Twenty-First Century

A Unipolar Moment

The Multipolar Urge

Limited Unipolarity

Future Polarity

Other Power Changes in the Twenty-First Century

The Weakening Western Orientation of the International System

Challenges to the Authority of the State

Security in the Twenty-First Century

Global Economics in the 21st Century

Economic Independence

Economic Disparity between North and South

Quality of Life in the 21st Century

Human Rights

The Environment

Chapter Summary
Chapter 3 - Levels of Analysis and Foreign Policy

Individual-Level Analysis

Humans as a Species

Cognitive Factors

Emotional Factors

Psychological Factors

Biological Factors


Organizational Behavior

Role Behavior

Decision-Making Behavior within Organizations

Leaders and Their Individual Traits


Physical and Mental Health

Ego and Ambition

Political History and Personal Experiences

Perceptions and Operational Reality

Policy as a Mix of Rational and Irrational Factors

State-Level Analysis

Making Foreign Policy: Type of Government, Situation, and Policy

Type of Government and the Foreign Policy Process

Type of Situation and the Foreign Policy Process

Type of Policy and the Foreign Policy Process

Making Foreign Policy: Political Culture

Foreign Policy-Making Actors

System-Level Analysis

Structural Characteristics

The Organization of Authority

Scope, Level, and Intensity of Interactions

Power Relationships

The Number of Powerful Actors

The Context of Power

Economic Realities


Chapter Summary
Chapter 4 - Nationalism: The Traditional Orientation

Understanding Nations, Nationalism, and Nation-States

Nations, Nationalism, and Nation-States Defined




The Rise of Ascendancy of Nationalism

Early Nationalism

Ascendant Modern Nationalism

Patterns of Nation-State Formation

Nationalism in Practice: Issues and Evaluation

Nation-States: More Myth than Reality

One State, One Nation

One State, Multiple Nations

One Nation, Multiple States

One Nation, No State

Multiple Nations, Multiple States

Positive and Negative Aspects of Nationalism

Positive Nationalism

Negative Nationalism

Self-Determination as a Goal

Positive Aspects of Self-Determination

Concerns about Self-Determination

Nationalism and the Future

The Recent Past and Present of Nationalism

The Predicted Demise of Nationalism

Persistent Nationalism

The Future of Nationalism

Chapter Summary
Chapter 5 - Globalization: The Alternative Orientation



Globalization of Transportation and Communications

Global Transportation

Global Communications

Economic Globalization

Cultural Globalization


Consumer Products

Evaluating Globalization

Arguments for Economic Globalization

Concerns about Economic Globalization

Concerns about Cultural Globalization


Transnational Organizations

The Growth of NGOs

The Activities of NGOs

The Impact of NGOs

Regional Transnationalism

Cultural Transnationalism

Transnational Religion

Religion and World Politics

The Strength of Religious Fundamentalism

Islam and the World

The Political Heritage of Muslims

Islam and Nationalism

Islam and the Non-Islamic World

Transnational Movements

Women in the World

Goals of the Transnational Women's Movement

Organization of the Transnational Women's Movement

Advances in Women in Politics

The Future of Transnationalism

Chapter Summary
Chapter 6 - Power, Statecraft, and the National State: The Traditional Structure

The Nature and Purpose of the State

The State Defined




Diplomatic Recognition

Internal Organization

Domestic Support

Purposes of the State

How States Are Governed

Authoritarian Government

Democratic Government

Democracy and Security

The Complex Nature of Power

Power as an Asset and Goal

Hard and Soft Power

Absolute and Relative Power

Power as Capacity and Will

Situational Power

Power Dynamics

The Diplomatic Instrument

Diplomacy as Applied Power

Multilateral Diplomacy

Leader-to-Leader Diplomacy

Democratized Diplomacy

Parliamentary Diplomacy

Open Diplomacy

Diplomacy as a Communications Process

Conducting Diplomacy

Direct or Indirect Negotiations

High-Level or Low-Level Diplomacy

Using Coercion or Rewards

Being Precise or Intentionally Vague

Communicating by Word or Dee

Linking Issues or Treating Them Separately

Maximizing or Minimizing a Dispute

The Informational Instrument

States and the Future

The State: Changing Status

The State: The Indictment

States Are Obsolete

States Are Destructive

The State: The Defense

The State: The Verdict

Chapter Summary
Chapter 7 - Intergovernmental Organizations: Alternative Governance

An Overview of Intergovernmental Organizations

History of IGOs

Theories of IGO Formation

The Growth of IGOs

Reasons for Growth

Roles the IGOs Play

Interactive Arena

Center of Cooperation

Independent International Actor

Supranational Organization

Global IGOs: Focus on the United Nations

Membership and Voting

Membership Issues

Voting Issues


The Selection of IGO Leaders

The Role of IGO Leaders

Administration, and Finance



Activities of the UN and Other IGOs

Activities Promoting Peace and Security

Social, Economic, Environmental, and Other Activities

Evaluating Global IGOs

Regional IGOs: Focus on the European Union

The Origins and Evolution of the European Union

Economic Integration

Political Integration

Governance of the European Union

Political Leadership


Oversight Agencies



The Future of the EU

Campaign for a Constitution

Reflecting on the EU's Future

Chapter Summary
Chapter 8 - International Law and Human Rights

Fundamentals of International Law and Justice

The Primitive Nature of International Law

The Growth of International Law

Current Perspectives

The Practice of International Law

International Law and Politics

The Fundamentals of International Justice

The International Legal System

The Philosophical Roots of Law

How International Law is Made

The Sources of Law

Adherence to the Law

Compliance with the Law

Enforcement of the Law

Adjudication of the Law

International Courts

Jurisdiction of International Courts

Effectiveness of International Courts

Applying International Law and Justice

"Just War" Theory

Just Cause of War

Just Conduct of War

Applying International Law and Justice to Individuals

Post-World War II Tribunals

Current International Tribunals

The International Criminal Court

Human Rights Issues and Organizations

Changing Trends in Human Rights

The Nature of Human Rights

Proscriptive and Prescriptive Human Rights

Universal and Culture-Based Rights

Applying Universalism and Relativism

Individual and Community Rights

Current Issues in Human Rights

Human Rights Problems

Human Rights Progress

Human Rights Treaties

Barriers to Progress on Human Rights

The Future of International Law and Justice

Chapter Summary
Chapter 9 - Pursuing Security

Thinking about Security

A Tale of Insecurity

Critiquing the Drama

Conflict and Insecurity: The Traditional Road

War and World Politics

The Causes of War: Three Levels of Analysis

System-Level Causes of War

State-Level Causes of War

Individual-Level Causes of War


The Nature and Limits of Terrorism

Sources of Terrorism

The Record of Terrorism

Terrorist Weapons and Tactics

The Causes of Terrorism

Combating Terrorism

Unconventional Force

Arms Transfers: Where and Why

Arms Transfers: Drawbacks

Special Operations

Conventional Force

Goals and Conduct of War

Avoiding Unchecked Escalation

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Biological Weapons

Chemical Weapons

Nuclear Weapons

Global and International Security: The Alternative Road

Limited Self-Defense Through Arms Control

Methods of Achieving Arms Control

The Barriers to Arms Control

International Security Forces

International Security Forces: Theory and Practice


International Security and the Future

Abolition of War

Complete Disarmament


Chapter Summary
Chapter 10 - National Economic Competition: The Traditional Road

Theories of International Political Economy

Economic Nationalism

Economic Internationalism

Economic Structuralism

The World Economy: Globalization and Interdependence


Expanding Trade

Factors Promoting Expanding Trade

International Investment

Foreign Direct and Portfolio Investment

International Investment and Multinational Corporations

Monetary Relations

The World Economy: Diverse Circumstances

North-South Patterns

North-South Economic Patterns

North-South Societal Patterns

Evaluating the North-South Gap

Mixed Data on Development

Uneven Patterns of Development

National Economic Relations

North-North Economic Relations

Changes in the North's Economic Climate

Changes in the North's Political Climate

North-South Economic Relations

The South's Reform Agenda

The North's Response to the South's Reform Agenda

New Developments in the North-South Competition

South-South Economic Relations

Applied Economic Nationalism

Using Economic Means to Achieve Economic Ends

Trade and Investment Barriers

Trade and Investment Supports

Using Economic Means to Achieve Political Ends

The Future of Economic Nationalist Policy

Chapter Summary
Chapter 11 - International Economics: The Alternative Road

Economic Cooperation and Development: Background and Requirements

The Origins of Economic Cooperation

Development of the South

Economic Cooperation and Development: The Institutions

The United Nations and Economic Cooperation

The UN and Global Economic Regulation

The UN and Development

Trade Cooperation and Development: The WTO

The Structure and Role of the WTO

Revising the GATT: The Doha Round

Monetary Cooperation in Support of Development: The IMF

The Role of the IMF

Criticisms of the IMF

Defense of the IMF

Development Cooperation: The World Bank Group

World Bank Operations

Controversy about the World Bank Group

Economic Cooperation and Development: EDC Institutions

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

The Group of Eight (G-8)

Regional and Bilateral Economic Cooperation and Development

The Western Hemisphere

The North American Free Trade Agreement

The Free Trade Area of the Americas


Asia and the Pacific

Other Regions

Bilateral Trade Agreements

Cooperation and Development: Debating the Future

The Case for Economic Internationalism

Economic Advantages

Noneconomic Advantages

The Case for Economic Nationalism

Economic Advantages

Noneconomic Advantages

The Globalization Debate in Perspective

Chapter Summary
Chapter 12 - Preserving and Enhancing the Biosphere

The Ecological State of the World

Sustainable Development

The Conundrum of Sustainable Development

Option 1: Restrict/Rollback Development

Option 2: Pay for Environmentally Sustainable Development

The Politics of Sustainable Development

Earth Summit I

Earth Summit II

Sustainable Development: Population Problems and Progress

Global Recognition of the Population Problem

Approaches to Reducing the Birthrate

The Impact of International Population Control Efforts

Sustainable Development: Resource Problems and Progress

Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Minerals

Forests and Land

Forest Depletion

Land Degradation

Forest and Land Protection


Global Pressure on Wildlife

Protecting Wildlife


The Seas and Fisheries

Pressures on the Seas and Fisheries

Protecting Fisheries

Sustainable Development: The Environment

Ground Quality

International Ground Quality Issues

International Efforts to Protect Ground Quality

Water Quality

International Water Quality Issues

International Efforts to Protect Water Quality

Air Quality

International Air Quality Issues

Protecting Air Quality

The Ozone Layer

Ozone Layer Depletion

Protecting the Ozone Layer

Global Warming

Global Warming: What We Know

Global Warming: What Is in Dispute

The International Response to Global Warming

Chapter Summary
An Epilogue to the Text/A Prologue to the Future

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Do not rent online

    No problem with the book, but I bought my version online for 180 days, made notes on it, and by the 2nd week I could not access the book anymore. I have little time to study and had to call customer service, only to find out I would have to wait until next day to talk to the right department. Not to mention the horrible customer service I received. By the end, I decided to cancel my order and go rent the book at my school.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    Interesting, but skip the ebook

    The ebook version doesn't seem quite right. In the margins there are periodically icons denoting web sites for more info (a globe with three W's across it). These icons cannot be clicked, and there is no web address included, or at the ends of chapters. The icons seemingly serve no purpose, since it is apparently impossible to find the web sites to which they refer. This is incredibly frustrating, particularly when my professor gave an assignment based around them.

    The book itself is excellent, but in this case, get the digital version at your own risk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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