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Perspectives on International Relations
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Perspectives on International Relations
Power, Institutions, and Ideas

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:


January 2018 | 608 pages | CQ Press

“Nau provides an accessible and deft interweaving of international relations theory and empirical application in this textbook, which is ideal for any Introduction to International Relations course.”

Richard Arnold, Muskingum University

Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, and Ideas shows students new to the field how theories (perspectives) of international affairs—realism, liberalism, constructivism (identity), and critical theory—play a decisive role in explaining every-day debates about world affairs. Why, for example, do politicians and political scientists disagree about the causes of the ongoing conflict in Syria, even though they all have the same facts? Or, why do policymakers disagree about how to deal with North Korea when they are all equally well informed?

The new Sixth Edition of this best-seller includes updates on Brexit, the rise of Donald Trump and other populist leaders, and continuing developments for ISIS, Syria, and Russia.

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About the Author
 
Figures, Maps, Parallel Timelines, and Tables
 
Preface
 
Introduction. Why We Disagree about International Relations
The Crisis in Syria

 
The Roles of Perspectives, Levels of Analysis, and Causal Arrows

 
The Role of History

 
Contemporary Foreign Policy Disputes: The 9/11 Attacks

 
The Role of Methods

 
Is One Perspective or Method Best?

 
The Role of Judgment

 
The Role of Ethics and Morality

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
1. How to Think about International Relations: Perspectives, Levels of Analysis, and Causal Arrows
Prisoner’s Dilemma

 
The Realist Perspective

 
The Liberal Perspective

 
The Identity Perspective

 
Critical Theory Perspectives

 
Levels of Analysis

 
Causal Arrows

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
PART I. HISTORICAL PATTERNS
 
2. World War I: World on Fire
Europe in 1914

 
Realist Explanations

 
Liberal Explanations

 
Identity Explanations

 
Critical Theory Explanations

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
3. World War II: Why Did War Happen Again?
Causes of Madness

 
Liberal Accounts

 
Realist Accounts

 
Identity Matters

 
Critical Theory Perspective

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
4. The Origins and End of the Cold War
The Long Telegram

 
Snapshot of the Cold War

 
Realist Explanations

 
Identity Explanations

 
Liberal Explanations

 
Critical Theory Perspective

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
PART II. THE CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
 
5. Realist Perspectives on Today’s World: Unipolarity, Balance of Power, and State Actors
Unipolarity

 
Balancing Power

 
War

 
Domestic State Actors

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
6. Liberal Perspectives on Today’s World: Collective Security, Diplomacy, International Institutions, and Law
Collective Security

 
Diplomacy

 
International Institutions

 
Regional Institutions

 
Nongovernmental Organizations

 
International Law

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
7. Identity Perspectives on Today’s World: Democracy, Religion, Nationalism, and Human Rights
Democracy

 
Religion

 
Nationalism

 
Human Rights

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
PART III. GLOBALIZATION AND CHANGE
 
8. Realist and Liberal Perspectives on Globalization: Security, Domestic Economy, Trade, Investment, and Finance
Snapshot of Globalization

 
Security and Economics

 
Domestic Economic Policies

 
Trade

 
Investment

 
Finance

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
9. Identity Perspectives on Globalization: Development and Environment
Asia

 
Latin America

 
Sub-Saharan Africa

 
Middle East and North Africa

 
Environment

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
10. Critical Theory Perspectives on Globalization: Inequality, Imperialism, and Injustice
Colonialism and Imperialism

 
Dependency

 
World Systems

 
Multinational Corporations and Exploitation of Labor

 
Marginalized Minorities: Global Injustice

 
Persisting Global Inequality

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
Conclusion. Applying Perspectives and Levels of Analysis: The Case of the Democratic Peace
Evidence

 
Explanations

 
Summary

 
Coda

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
Notes
 
Glossary of Key Concepts
 
Index

Supplements

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“Nau provides an accessible and deft interweaving of international relations theory and empirical application in this textbook which is ideal for any Introduction to International Relations course.”

Richard Arnold
Muskingum University

“A theoretically rich, historically informed, and pedagogically sophisticated introduction to the study of international relations.”

Brian C. Schmidt
Carleton University

“This book is detailed, thought-provoking, and theory-oriented, allowing students to both understand and apply major perspectives and levels of analysis in international relations to a wide range of political issues, events, and processes.”

Jennifer L. Dumas
Tulane University
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • The chapters on the contemporary international system have been fully revised and updated to account for recent developments dealing with: the rise of nationalism in the US and elsewhere; mounting terrorist attacks; the Islamic Caliphate; conflicts in Syria, Iran, and North Korea; Russian aggression in Ukraine; Chinese assertiveness in the Pacific Islands; cyber warfare; Great Britain’s departure from the European Union; and the use of social media in political protests.
  • The chapters on globalization and change have been updated to address: the populist backlash against globalization, growing debt problems worldwide, sluggish energy markets, slowing global growth, migrant and refugee crises, and climate change.
  • To help students better understand the issue of cause and effect, many new causal arrows appear in the margins near the text's discussions of causality.     

KEY FEATURES:

  • “Perspectives and Levels of Analysis” features give students an easy visual way to track how each perspective interprets events from the individual, domestic, and systemic levels.
  • “Parallel Timelines” show how the perspectives preference different events, from the origins of WWI to the current era.
  • “Causal Arrows” are visual cues that help students see and better understand causality from the various perspectives, encouraging close reading and critical thinking.
  • A marginal glossary defines every key term in the book and chapters end with a Summary, a Key Concepts list, and a robust set of Study Questions.

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