Rules of the Game: A Primer on International Relations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rules of the Game

A Primer on International Relations, 1st Edition

By Mark R. Amstutz


256 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781594513374
pub: 2007-10-30
Hardback: 9781594513367
pub: 2007-10-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315632308
pub: 2015-12-03
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Anyone interested in the forces behind globalization, terrorism, job outsourcing, or the price of gas needs at least a fundamental understanding of international relations. Using the relevant and accessible metaphor of a game, The Rules of the Game provides an introductory explanation of international relations. The book is broken into three inviting parts. First, it examines the basics of the international relations game by explaining the nature of the game, its players, its goals, and its strategies. Then, the book looks at the rules of the game from the perspectives of politics, economics, law, and morality. The book ends with a pertinent discussion of the future of the international relations game in the context of globalization. Intended for general readers, this book provides a succinct, jargon-free framework for understanding contemporary international relations.


“Mark Amstutz has found an insightful and creative way to introduce students to the study of international relations. His game metaphor simplifies a confusing world without being simplistic. This is a nuanced and textured book that takes us right to the heart of international society.”Brent F. Nelsen, Furman University“As a teaching text, this book possesses the important (and rare) virtues of clarity, comprehensiveness, and readability. The author has performed a major feat in abstracting and listing so clearly the principles and rules by which the international system operates—without pushing an agenda that either endorses the status quo or is in any way utopian. This book covers the basics and frees up the instructor to enhance the course with additional readings—important for academics who are all jealous of class time!”Stephen Wrage, U.S. Naval Academy“With brilliant creativity, Mark Amstutz uses the metaphor of a game to illustrate the whole range of ways that rules structure international relations—even when competition between states and other armed actors is at its deadliest. The game image, along with Amstutz’s stress on the moral dimension of statecraft, combine to offer students a uniquely effective tool for understanding international relations in all of its complexity.”Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame“Mark Amstutz, one of the United States' most respected scholars and teachers of world affairs, has written a book, Rules of the Game, that uses games as a metaphor for analyzing and thinking about contemporary issues of international relations. He employs an approach that is based on realism but consistently informed by ethical concerns. This is a book that both students and interested citizens will profit from reading and is highly recommended.”Dan Caldwell, Pepperdine University"Profesor Amstutz has found a clever way to introduce students to the complexities of international relations, using a metaphor that resonates with the most sophisticated practitioners of international statecraft, with the greenest of new scholars, and with everyone in between."Peter Feaver, Duke University

Table of Contents

List of IR Principles and Rules Preface * Chapter 1: International Relations as a GamePart I: Foundations of the IR Game * Chapter 2: The Nature of the IR Game* Chapter 3: The Players of the IR Game* Chapter 4: Goals and Strategies for Playing the IR GamePart II: Principles and Rules of the IR Game * Chapter 5: Political Rules of the IR Game* Chapter 6: Economic Rules of the IR Game* Chapter 7: Legal Rules of the IR Game* Chapter 8: Moral Rules of the IR GamePart III: Prospects for a New IR Game * Chapter 9: The Future IR GameNotes Index

About the Series

International Studies Intensives

International Studies Intensives

International Studies Intensives (ISI) is a book series that springs from the desire to keep students engaged in the world around them. ISI books are meant to offer an intensive introduction to subjects often left out of the curriculum. Our authors are from a range of disciplines and employ many different methodological approaches to teaching about international issues. Yet each and every ISI book packs a wealth of information into a small space, and does so in ways that students find compelling and instructors find useful. ISI books are relatively short, visually attractive, and affordably priced. Examination/inspection copies for course adoption may be requested from the Webpage of any book in the series. Book proposals for the series should be directed to the co-editors: and

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: