International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction, 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

International Relations Theory

A Critical Introduction, 5th Edition

By Cynthia Weber


352 pages | 52 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2020-07-06
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The fifth edition of this innovative textbook introduces students to the main theories in International Relations. It explains and analyses each theory, allowing students to understand and critically engage with the myths and assumptions behind them. Each theory is illustrated using the example of a popular film.

Key features of this textbook include:

  • Discussion of all the main theories: realism and neorealism, idealism and neoidealism, liberalism, constructivism, postmodernism, gender, globalization, neomarxism, modernization and development theory, environmentalism, anarchism and queer theory;
  • A new chapter focused on global LGBT theory and queer theory, Hillary Clinton’s policy myth that ‘gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights’, and the film Love is Strange
  • Innovative use of narrative from films that students will be familiar with: Lord of the Flies, Independence Day, Wag the Dog, Fatal Attraction, The Truman Show, East is East, Memento, WALL-E, The Hunger Games, and Love is Strange
  • An accessible and exciting writing style, which is well illustrated with film stills in each chapter, boxed key concepts and guides for further reading
  • A comprehensive Companion Website featuring a complete set of lectures for every major theory and film covered in the textbook, additional workshop and seminar exercises, slides to accompany each lecture, and an extensive bank of multiple-choice, short-answer and essay questions and answers for every chapter.

This breakthrough textbook has been designed to unravel the complexities of international relations theory in a way that gives students a clearer idea of how the theories work, and of the myths associated with them.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: culture, ideology, and the myth function in IR theory

2 Realism: is international anarchy the permissive cause of war?

3 Idealism: is there an international society?

4 Constructivism: is anarchy what states make of it?

5 Gender: is gender a variable?

6 Globalization: are we at the end of history?

7 NeoMarxism: is Empire the new world order?

8 Modernization and development theory: is there a clash of civilizations?

9 Environmentalism: is human-made climate change an inconvenient truth?

10 Anarchism: are we the 99 percent?

11 Global LGBT Studies: Are gay rights human rights, and are human rights gay rights?

12 Conclusion: what does it all mean?

About the Author

Cynthia Weber is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex. She is the author of several books and numerous articles in the field of International Relations.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General