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

Seventh Edition
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January 2020 | 512 pages | CQ Press
“Nau clarifies that which is complicated, thereby allowing students to make better sense of their world and to become better global citizens.”
—Stewart Dippel, University of the Ozarks

Henry R. Nau’s best-selling book, Perspectives on International Relations, is admired for its even-handed presentation of realism, liberalism, constructivism, and critical theory and for expertly applying those perspectives to world affairs in every chapter. Students explore the ways these different perspectives shape our understanding of the root causes of historical events and current controversies, and they learn to think critically about the world’s most urgent issues. The new Seventh Edition includes updates on Brexit, the rise of nationalism, the escalation of terrorism, the use of social media in political protests around the world, and continuing developments in North Korea, Syria, Iran, China, and Russia.


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Figures, Maps, Parallel Timelines, and Tables
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
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

 
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

 
 
Chapter 1 • How to Think about International Relations: Perspectives, Levels of Analysis, and Causal Arrows
The Attacks of September 11

 
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
 
Chapter 2 • World War I: World on Fire
Europe in 1914

 
Realist Explanations

 
Liberal Explanations

 
The Last Move

 
Identity Explanations

 
Critical Theory Explanations

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Chapter 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
 
Chapter 5 • Realist Perspectives on Today’s World: Unipolarity, Rising Powers, Asymmetric Warfare, and Ethnic Conflicts
Unipolarity

 
Multipolarity

 
Asymmetric Warfare

 
State Sovereignty, Decision Making, and Ethnic Conflicts

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 6 • Liberal Perspectives on Today’s World: Collective Security, Multilateral Diplomacy, Interdependence, and International Institutions
Collective Security

 
Multilateral Diplomacy

 
Interdependence

 
International Institutions

 
Regional Institutions

 
Summary

 
Key Concepts

 
Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 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
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Glossary of Key Concepts
 
Notes
 
Index

Supplements

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Student Resources
SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:
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“Nau clarifies that which is complicated, thereby allowing students to make better sense of their world and to become better global citizens.”

Stewart Dippel
University of the Ozarks

“The great strength of Nau's Perspectives on International Relations is the way that theoretical perspectives are illustrated through their application in historical cases and contemporary issues. Students are really able to understand how different perspectives raise unique analytical questions by seeing them applied in a variety of situations.”

Michael J. Struett
North Carolina State University

“Comprehensive and approachable to students.”

Luca Zini
Florida International University
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Recent developments have been incorporated throughout the book, including the rise of nationalism in the United States and around the world; conflicts in Russia, Crimea, and the Ukraine; and the use of social media in political protests around the world. 

  • Part II, which focuses on the contemporary international system, has been substantially updated to better distinguish the features of the contemporary system that stand out from the different perspectives. These updates will help students sort out the many, often confusing debates about contemporary affairs. Chapter 5 includes major sections on unipolarity, multipolarity, asymmetric warfare, and state sovereignty, decision making, and ethnic conflicts, while Chapter 6 features expanded coverage of interdependence.

  • The globalization section (Part III) has been updated with the latest information on populist reactions to global trade, growing debt problems around the world, sluggish energy markets, slowing global growth, accelerating migrant and refugee flows, and the latest developments affecting 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.     

  • Streamlined discussion throughout, particularly in the early chapters.

 

KEY FEATURES:

  • SAGE Coursepacks enables instructors to import high-quality content into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.

  • SAGE Edge provides students helpful tools, including Flashcards, practice quizzes, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment.

  • SAGE course outcomes help you track and measure student success. Crafted with specific course outcomes in mind and vetted by advisors in the field, SAGE course outcomes clearly define and benchmark the knowledge and skills students are expected to achieve upon completion of your course. 

  • “Perspectives and Levels of Analysis” give students a visual way to track how each perspective interprets events from the individual, domestic, and systemic levels.

  • “Parallel Timelines” show how the perspectives prioritize 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.

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