World Politics: International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century

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From the war on terror to the global financial crisis, traditional concepts of world politics are being challenged on a daily basis. In these uncertain times, the study of international relations and the forces that shape them have never been more important.

Written specifically for students who are approaching this subject for the first time, World Politics is the most accessible, coherent and up-to-date account of the field available. It covers the historical backdrop to today’s political situations, the complex interactions of states and non-state actors, the role of political economy, human security in all its forms, and the ways in which culture, religion and identity influence events.

World Politics takes a new approach that challenges traditional interpretations, and will equip students with the knowledge and the confidence needed to tackle the big issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408204924
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 832
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Part One: International Relations and Globalisation

1. International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century

International Relations and globalisation

Why is globalisation important for understanding International Relations?

Technological, political, economic and cultural globalisation

Important post-Cold War changes affecting International Relations

Understanding globalisation


2. International Order, International Society and Globalisation

Fundamental aspects of International Relations following the Peace of Westphalia (1648)

International order and international society after the cold War

Globalisation, international order and international society


Part Two: The History of Globalisation and International Relations

3. International Relations from the early 19th Century to World War II

European nationalism and imperialism

World War I and International Relations

The League of Nations: an attempt to build an international organisation to maintain collective security

The legacy of the League of Nations


4. International Relations after World War II

International relations after World War II

The United Nations

The Cold War and nuclear weapons

The international relations of the developing countries


5. After the Cold War: International Relations in a Globalised World


International relations after the Cold War: the impact of globalisation

New World Order: more cooperation, less conflict?

Competing norms and values in international relations after the Cold War

Trends in post-Cold War international relations: security, ideology and development

International Relations in the 21st century


Part Three: International Relations Theories

6. Realism and Neo-Realism


The ‘back-story’ to Realism

Realism in International Relations

Key assumptions

Key concepts

Conclusions and criticisms

7. Liberalism


The ‘back-story’ to Liberalism

Liberalism in contemporary International Relations

Key assumptions

Key concepts

Conclusions and criticisms

8. Marxism and Neo-Marxism


The ideas of Marx

The ideas of Lenin

Dependency Theory

World Systems Theory

Key concepts

Conclusions and criticisms

9. Critical Theory


Contemporary critical theory and IR

Key concepts


10. Alternative Approaches

Theoretical context



Green theory


11. Social Constructivism

Social Constructivism as a bridge between the traditional theories

Agency and culture in IR

A Social Constructivist reappraisal of IR’s key concepts

The empiricists strike back? Critiques of Social Constructivism


Part Four: International and Regional Actors

12. Intergovernmental Organisations

What is an intergovernmental organisation?

The evolution and diversity of IGOs

IR theory and IGOs


13. Global Multi-Purpose IGOs: The United Nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference

Intergovernmental organisations and globalisation

The United Nations and international law

The UN Charter

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council: permanent privileges

Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC)

The OIC: history and development

Conclusion: comparing the UN and the OIC

14. Regional Organisations and Regionalisation: Theory and Practice


Regional cooperation and globalisation

Old regionalisation and new regionalisation

The North American Free Trade Agreement

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation


15. The European Union and the African Union


The European Union

The African Union


Part Five: Current Global Issues

16. International Political Economy, Part I: Theory and History

What is IPE?

A short history of IPE

Approaches to IPE

The contemporary trading system

The contemporary international monetary system


17. International Political Economy, Part II: Key Actors and Controversies

The IMF and World Bank

International trade organisations

Multi-national corporations (MNCs)

Theoretical perspectives on the actors of IPE


18. Development, Poverty and Inequality

The persistence of global poverty

Approaches to development

The evolution of development policy


19. Gender


Gender approaches to IR

Gender and security

Gender and international development

Future developments


20. Identity and Identities

Forms of identity

Theorising identity


21. Democratisation

What is democracy?

The three waves of democratisation

What can make democracy permanent?

Democratisation by force – ‘nation building’

Is democratisation important for international relations?


22. Human Rights

The evolution of the idea of human rights

The United Nations and the codification of human rights

Implementing human rights

Are human rights ‘right’?


23. The Natural Environment

The emergence of political ecology

The globalisation of political ecology

Global environmental policy and human security

Threats to a global consensus on environmental policy


Part Six: War and Peace

24. Security Studies: Outlining a Discipline

Defining security and outlining the categories

Defining security—framing the debate

The debates in Security Studies


25. Liberalism and Security


Categorising liberal strands

Analysing the strands


26. Dissatisfaction with Traditionalism: Critical Security Studies

The origins of Critical Security Studies

Feminist perceptions of security

Critical international relations theory: Ken Booth and the Welsh School

The Copenhagen School


27. The Globalisation of Human Security

The dimensions of human security

The broad view of human security—freedom from want

The impact of globalisation

Problems with the broad view and attempts to narrow the concept


28. Failed states

September 11 and state failure

Why ‘failed states’ matter

The rise of non-state groups

Political violence and failed states in Africa and Europe


29. New Wars and the Privatisation of Conflict

Establishing connections

The impact of globalisation and the role of private military and security companies

Security and the private sector


30. Nuclear Deterrence and Proliferation

Achieving stability during the Cold War: mutual assured destruction and US strategic doctrine

Deterrence and the nuclear non-proliferation regime in the post-Cold War era

Where does this leave us?


31. Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Intervention

The original purpose of the United Nations and early peacekeeping

Peacekeeping during the Cold War, 1945-1989

Maintaining international peace and security in the post-Cold War era


32. Terrorism and Political Violence

Categorising terrorism

Defining terrorism and the impact of religion

State and sub-state terrorism


Part Seven: The Future

33. Conclusions: Sovereignty, Globalisation and the Future of International Relations


Towards global civil society?

Towards global governance?


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