International Relations

international relations, study of the relations among states and other political and economic units in the international system. Particular areas of study within the field of international relations include diplomacy and diplomatic history, international law, international organizations, international finance and economics, and communications, among others. In addition, increased attention has been paid in recent years to developing a more scientific understanding of the international system as a whole. Aspects of international relations have been studied as early as the time of the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. As a separate and definable discipline, however, it dates from the early 20th cent., when the first organized efforts were made to find alternatives to wars in nation-state international behavior. Two schools of thought quickly developed. One looks to strengthened international law and international organizations to preserve peace; the other emphasizes that nations will always use their power to achieve goals and sees the key to peace in a balance of power among competing states. With increased importance attached to a theoretical understanding of the whole international system, there has been a growing use of concepts and modes of analysis developed in the natural sciences in an attempt to improve the verifiability and applicability of theories. In many of the leading U.S. universities there are both research institutes and schools of international relations. See diplomatic service; United Nations; European Union.

See R. Aron, Peace and War (tr. 1967); H. J. Morgenthau, Politics among Nations (5th ed. rev. 1978); F. S. Northedge and M. J. Grieve, A Hundred Years of International Relations (1971); R. W. Mansbach and J. A. Vasquez, In Search of Theory (1981); F. S. Pearson and J. M. Rochester, International Relations (2d ed. 1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

International Relations: Selected full-text books and articles

International Relations: The Key Concepts By Martin Griffiths; Terry O'Callaghan Routledge, 2002
Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations By Jennifer M. Welsh Oxford University Press, 2004
Movement in the Key Concepts of International Relations By Wallin, Risto Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, Vol. 32, No. 4, October-December 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Meaning and International Relations By Peter Mandaville; Andrew Williams Routledge, 2003
Order and Justice in International Relations By Rosemary Foot; John Gaddis; Andrew Hurrell Oxford University Press, 2003
Neo-Neo-Realism: A Note on Contemporary International Relations Theory and Foreign Policy Today By Glickman, Harvey Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Summer 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Realism and International Relations By Jack Donnelly Cambridge University Press, 2000
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