International Relations: The Key Concepts

International Relations: The Key Concepts

International Relations: The Key Concepts

International Relations: The Key Concepts

Synopsis

This Routledge Key Guide introduces the most important themes in international relations, with an emphasis on contemporary issues. Entries cover diplomacy, global warming, terrorism, human rights, rogue states, arms control and ethnic cleansing.

Excerpt

The discipline of International Relations (IR) is the academic study of the origins and consequences (both empirical and normative) of a world divided among states. So defined, IR is a very broad discipline. It includes a variety of sub-fields such as diplomatic statecraft and foreign policy analysis, comparative politics, historical sociology, international political economy, international history, strategic studies and military affairs, ethics, and international political theory. In addition to its wide scope, the study of international relations is shaped by the interplay between continuity and change in its subject-matter. Accordingly, the contents of this book reflect both the scope of the discipline as well as dramatic developments in world politics that have taken place since the end of the cold war. The book is neither a dictionary nor a textbook; rather, it combines the strengths of each. It contains 150 key concepts that we believe all students in the field should be familiar with as they confront the challenges of understanding our contemporary world. Within that list, the book includes analyses of the most important international organisations in world politics.

Each entry comprises a short essay that defines the term and identifies the historical origins and subsequent development of its use in IR. Where a term is controversial, we explain the reasons why. This book covers concepts, institutions, and terms that, although well-established in their use, have been the focus of revision in their meaning or application to contemporary international relations. The book also includes numerous terms that have only recently joined the vocabulary of the discipline to describe new phenomena in world politics. Although each entry is self-contained, cross-references to other concepts are frequent, and they are indicated by the use of bold type. At the end of each essay we explicitly cross-reference the term to complementary concepts discussed elsewhere in the text. In addition, we provide a short list of important further readings that can be found in the

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