Realism and International Politics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Realism and International Politics

1st Edition

By Kenneth N. Waltz


362 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415954785
pub: 2008-03-11
Hardback: 9780415954778
pub: 2008-03-11

FREE Standard Shipping!


Realism and International Politics brings together the collected essays of Kenneth N. Waltz, one of the most important and influential thinkers of international relations in the second half of the twentieth century. His books Man, the State and War and Theory of International Politics are classics of international relations theory and gave birth to the school of thought known as neo-realism or structural realism, out of which many of the current crop of realist scholars and thinkers has emerged. Waltz frames these seminal pieces in his theoretical development by explaining the context in which they were written and, building on the broader aims of these theories, explains the elusive nature of power balancing in today’s international system. It is an essential volume for both students and scholars.


"Kenneth Waltz is the most important international relations theorist of the past half century. This collection of his seminal articles will surely be on bookshelves across the world for a long time to come."

--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

"This valuable collection of essays demonstrates why Kenneth Waltz is the preeminent international relations theorist of the post–World War II era. Ranging from political philosophy to practical matters of foreign policy, these essays all exhibit Waltz's clear vision, powerful analysis, and stylish prose. His intellectual courage shines through as well, as does his characteristic wit. These works are not merely informative and richly instructive; they are also a pleasure to read."

--Stephen M. Walt, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"All students of international politics are familiar with Kenneth Waltz's famous books. But many have missed his articles, previously scattered in a number of outlets. They do not duplicate his books, and they have now been brought together to our great benefit. With his characteristic penetrating clarity and insight, Waltz brings enormous intelligence to bear on a range of topics in theory and practice and enriches our understanding of international politics and of his thought."

--Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor International Politics, Columbia University

"Kenneth Waltz's essays are brilliant provocations. He forces us, with elegance and precision, to rethink conventional views, stimulating reflection, objection, argument, and reformulation. To discover why Kenneth N. Waltz is the pre-eminent theorist of international politics of his generation, one need only read this book."

--Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Table of Contents

Part 1: Theory 1. Kant, Liberalism, and War 2. Conflict in World Politics 3. Reflections on Theory of International Politics 4. The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory 5. Realist Thought and Neorealist Theory 6. Evaluating Theories 7. Assaying Theories: Reflections on Imre Lakatos Part 2: International Politics 8. The Stability of a Bipolar World 9. Contention and Management in International Relations 10. International Structure, National Force, and the Balance of World Power 11. The Myth of National Interdependence 12. The Emerging Structure of International Politics 13. Structural Realism after the Cold War 14. Globalization and Governance 15. The Continuity of International Politics Part 3: Military Affairs 16. Reason, Will, and Weapons 17. Toward Nuclear Peace 18. Nuclear Myths and Political Realities 19. A Reply (to critics of Sagan and Waltz) Part 4: Policy 20. The Politics of Peace 21. America’s European Policy Viewed in Global Perspective 22. Another Gap? 23. America as a Model for the World? A Foreign Policy Perspective

About the Author

Kenneth N. Waltz is Senior Research Associate at the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is Emeritus Professor at University of California at Berkeley. He is a past president of both the American Political Science Association.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General