Peace in International Relations  book cover
1st Edition

Peace in International Relations

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ISBN 9780415394208
Published May 8, 2008 by Routledge
220 Pages - 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book examines the way in which peace is conceptualized in IR theory, a topic which has until now been largely overlooked.

The volume explores the way peace has been implicitly conceptualized within the different strands of IR theory, and in the policy world as exemplified through practices in the peacebuilding efforts since the end of the Cold War. Issues addressed include the problem of how peace efforts become sustainable rather than merely inscribed in international and state-level diplomatic and military frameworks. The book also explores themes relating to culture, development, agency and structure. It explores in particular the current mantras associated with the 'liberal peace', which appears to have become a foundational assumption of much of mainstream IR and the policy world. Analyzing war has often led to the dominance of violence as a basic assumption in, and response to, the problems of international relations. This book aims to redress the balance by arguing that IR now in fact offers a rich basis for the study of peace.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Towards an Orthodoxy of Peace - and Beyond  1. Peace and the Idealist Tradition: Towards a Liberal Peace  2. A Realist Agenda for Peace: Survival and a Victor’s Peace  3. Marxist Agendas for Peace: Towards Peace as Social Justice and Emancipation  4. Beyond a Idealist, Realist, or Marxist Version of Peace  5. The Contribution of Peace and Conflict Studies  Part 2: Post-Positivism and Peace  6. Critical Contributions to Peace  7. Post-Structuralist Contributions to Peace.  Conclusion: An Agenda for Peace in an Inter-Disciplinary IR 

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Oliver P. Richmond is Director for the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews


"Theories of international relations have largely been preoccupied with understanding the causes and patterns of conflict.  The notion of peace, by contrast, has lingered relatively under-theorized at the margins of disciplinary debates.  Rectifying this shortcoming, and drawing on a range of interdisciplinary sources, Oliver Richmond offers an ambitious tour-de-force that examines how often implied notions of peace shape approaches as diverse as realism, liberalism, critical theory and post-structuralism.  Although acknowledging its inherently contestable nature, Richmond argues convincingly that the notion of peace ought to be at the center of scholarly debates and policy deliberations." Prof. Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland

'Oliver Richmond’s interrogation of the discipline of International Relations and its treatment of ‘peace’ is an excellent achievement....Richmond’s timely intervention reveals peace not simply as a contested concept, but one that is always politically charged in its instrumental invocations. The book is thoroughly useful for students and researchers alike.' Prof. Vivienne Jabri, Kings College London