Introducing International Relations  book cover
1st Edition

Introducing International Relations

ISBN 9781138297678
Published March 15, 2018 by Routledge
436 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This exciting new textbook provides an accessible and lively introduction to international relations for students encountering the subject for the first time.

Presenting complex ideas, concepts and arguments in a straightforward and conversational way, the textbook explains international relations from a diplomatic perspective, emphasizing co-existence in the absence of agreement, and developing students’ ability to make sense of the current conditions of international uncertainty.

Introducing students to the major theories and issues in international relations, each chapter:

  • is written to a common structure, dividing each topic into sections with learning objectives within each section to provide points of focus for students and instructors
  • includes extensive text box examples and short case studies for reflection and discussion
  • provides key terms, key takeaways and simple exercises which require short responses
  • offers a suggested list of further readings for those who wish to explore a topic further.

The first introductory textbook to take a diplomatic approach, this text is essential reading for all those looking to take their first steps into the study of international relations in an era of uncertainty.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction--Why Study International Relations and Other Basic Questions

Chapter 2 International Theory, Realism and Power Politics

Chapter 3 Liberalism and Building World Orders

Chapter 4 Constructivism, the English School, Feminism and Other Post-positivist Theories of International Relations

Chapter 5 Foreign Policy

Chapter 6 International Conflict and Competition

Chapter 7 Military Power and War

Chapter 8 International Law, International Organization, and Human Rights

Chapter 9 International Trade and International Production

Chapter 10 International and Global Finance

Chapter 11 International and Regional Integration and Disintegration

Chapter 12 Natural Resources, Population, and the Environment

Chapter 13 North-South Gaps and Old-New Gaps

Chapter 14 Economic, Human, and Political Development

Chapter 15 Conclusions

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Paul Sharp is Professor and Head of Political Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he teaches courses in International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, and International Relations Theory.


"Introducing International Relations is a tour de force fast-paced and entertaining survey of the major theories and issues of international politics. It is destined to become widely viewed as the best IR textbook on the market."

  • Marcus Holmes, College of William and Mary, USA

"In a clear and engaging fashion, Sharp presents the diplomatic framework of understanding international relations by mapping out the field in a fair-minded, nuanced, and straightforward manner. A splendid teaching tool!"

  • Zhang Qingmin, Peking University, China

"In a refreshing conversational style, Paul Sharp, the diplomatic scholar, has composed an unusual core textbook that bridges the gap between diplomacy and international relations for the undergraduate. Assuming the reader knows little, Sharp digs into essential concepts, offers definitions, contemporary examples in case studies and points to further reading. Clearly a teacher, as well as a scholar, Sharp’s original approach  should meet the pedagogical demands of professors and help lower division college students get a grip on the human and systemic forces at work in our increasingly messy world."

  • Donna Marie Oglesby, former diplomat (U.S.F.S. ret.) and educator at Eckerd College, USA

"Paul Sharp has the rare ability to make International Relations theory readable, relevant and relatable. This textbook is a must-have for scholars and students alike, whatever their geopolitical interest or paradigmatic inclination."   

  • Yolanda Kemp Spies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

"This highly accessible textbook superbly synthesizes and advances current debates about whether and how diplomacy matters in the construction of world politics. Viewing the International Relations field through a diplomatic lens, Paul Sharp yields fascinating, and often challenging, insights about both theory and practice. In an appealing personal tone, Sharp’s book will set students thinking and debating robustly amongst themselves."

  • Geoffrey Wiseman, Australian National University, Australia

"An excellent foundation for new entrants to the study of international relations. It provides excellent surveys of the leading approaches to International Relations. It also steers readers' attention to key questions that will help spark their own analyses of the problems of the discipline and the world."

  • Adam Quinn, University of Birmingham, UK

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