Peace in International Relations: 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

Peace in International Relations

2nd Edition

By Oliver P. Richmond


336 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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This updated and revised second edition examines the conceptualisation and evolution of peace in International Relations (IR) theory.

The book examines the concept of peace and its usage in the main theoretical debates in IR, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, critical theory and post-structuralism, as well as in the more direct debates on peace and conflict studies. It explores themes relating to culture, development, agency and structure, not just in terms of representations of international relations, and of peace, but in terms of the discipline of IR itself. The work also specifically explores the recent mantras associated with liberal and neoliberal versions of peace, which appear to have become foundational for much of the mainstream literature in IR and for doctrines for peace and development in the policy world. Analysing war has often led to the dominance - and mitigation - of violence as a basic assumption in, and response to, the problems of international relations. This study aims to redress this negative balance by arguing that IR offers a rich basis for the study of peace, which has advanced significantly over the last century or so. It also proposes innovative theoretical dimensions of the study of peace in IR, with new chapters discussing post-colonial and digital developments in the discipline.

This book will be of great interest to students of peace and conflict studies, politics and International Relations.


Praise for the 1st edition:

"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

Table of Contents


Part I: Towards and 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 II: Post-Positivism and Peace

6. Critical Contributions to Peace

7. Post-Structuralist Contributions to Peace

8. Post-Colonial Contributions to Peace

9. New theories: the environment, actors, networks, mobility, and technology

About the Author

Oliver P. Richmond is a Professor in IR, Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. He is also International Professor at the College of International Studies, Kyung Hee University, Korea, and Visiting Professor at Dublin City University, Ireland.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution

The field of peace and conflict research has grown enormously as an academic pursuit in recent years, gaining credibility and relevance amongst policy makers and in the international humanitarian and NGO sector. The Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution series aims to provide an outlet for some of the most significant new work emerging from this academic community, and to establish itself as a leading platform for innovative work at the point where peace and conflict research impacts on International Relations theory and processes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern