1st Edition

World Politics
International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century

ISBN 9781408204924
Published December 10, 2010 by Routledge
832 Pages

USD $66.95

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Book Description


From the war on terror to the global financial crisis, traditional concepts of world politics are being challenged on a daily basis. In these uncertain times, the study of international relations and the forces that shape them have never been more important.


Written specifically for students who are approaching this subject for the first time, World Politics is the most accessible, coherent and up-to-date account of the field available. It covers the historical backdrop to today’s political situations, the complex interactions of states and non-state actors, the role of political economy, human security in all its forms, and the ways in which culture, religion and identity influence events.


World Politics takes a new approach that challenges traditional interpretations, and will equip students with the knowledge and the confidence needed to tackle the big issues.

Table of Contents

Part One: International Relations and Globalisation

1.  International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century

   International Relations and globalisation

   Why is globalisation important for understanding International Relations?

   Technological, political, economic and cultural globalisation

   Important post-Cold War changes affecting International Relations

   Understanding globalisation


2.  International Order, International Society and Globalisation

   Fundamental aspects of International Relations following the Peace of Westphalia (1648)

   International order and international society after the cold War

   Globalisation, international order and international society




Part Two: The History of Globalisation and International Relations

3.  International Relations from the early 19th Century to World War II

   European nationalism and imperialism

   World War I and International Relations

   The League of Nations: an attempt to build an international organisation to maintain collective security

   The legacy of the League of Nations


4.  International Relations after World War II

   International relations after World War II

   The United Nations

   The Cold War and nuclear weapons

   The international relations of the developing countries


5.  After the Cold War: International Relations in a Globalised World


   International relations after the Cold War: the impact of globalisation

   New World Order: more cooperation, less conflict?

   Competing norms and values in international relations after the Cold War

   Trends in post-Cold War international relations: security, ideology and development

   International Relations in the 21st century




Part Three: International Relations Theories

6.  Realism and Neo-Realism


   The ‘back-story’ to Realism

   Realism in International Relations

   Key assumptions

   Key concepts

   Conclusions and criticisms

7.  Liberalism


   The ‘back-story’ to Liberalism

   Liberalism in contemporary International Relations

   Key assumptions

   Key concepts

   Conclusions and criticisms

8.  Marxism and Neo-Marxism


   The ideas of Marx

   The ideas of Lenin

   Dependency Theory

   World Systems Theory

   Key concepts

   Conclusions and criticisms

9.  Critical Theory


   Contemporary critical theory and IR

   Key concepts


10.  Alternative Approaches

   Theoretical context



   Green theory


11.  Social Constructivism

   Social Constructivism as a bridge between the traditional theories

   Agency and culture in IR

   A Social Constructivist reappraisal of IR’s key concepts

   The empiricists strike back? Critiques of Social Constructivism




Part Four: International and Regional Actors

12.  Intergovernmental Organisations

   What is an intergovernmental organisation?

   The evolution and diversity of IGOs

   IR theory and IGOs


13.  Global Multi-Purpose IGOs: The United Nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference

   Intergovernmental organisations and globalisation

   The United Nations and international law

   The UN Charter

   The five permanent members of the UN Security Council: permanent privileges

   Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC)

   The OIC: history and development 

   Conclusion: comparing the UN and the OIC

14.  Regional Organisations and Regionalisation: Theory and Practice


   Regional cooperation and globalisation

   Old regionalisation and new regionalisation

   The North American Free Trade Agreement

   Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation


15.  The European Union and the African Union


   The European Union

   The African Union




Part Five: Current Global Issues

16.  International Political Economy, Part I: Theory and History

   What is IPE?

   A short history of IPE

   Approaches to IPE

   The contemporary trading system

   The contemporary international monetary system


17.  International Political Economy, Part II: Key Actors and Controversies

   The IMF and World Bank

   International trade organisations

   Multi-national corporations (MNCs)

   Theoretical perspectives on the actors of IPE


18.  Development, Poverty and Inequality

   The persistence of global poverty

   Approaches to development

   The evolution of development policy


19.  Gender


   Gender approaches to IR

   Gender and security

   Gender and international development

   Future developments


20.  Identity and Identities

   Forms of identity

   Theorising identity


21.  Democratisation

   What is democracy?

   The three waves of democratisation

   What can make democracy permanent?

   Democratisation by force – ‘nation building’

   Is democratisation important for international relations?


22.  Human Rights

   The evolution of the idea of human rights

   The United Nations and the codification of human rights

   Implementing human rights

   Are human rights ‘right’?


23.  The Natural Environment

   The emergence of political ecology

   The globalisation of political ecology

   Global environmental policy and human security

   Threats to a global consensus on environmental policy


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