International Relations only emerged as a discipline in its own right in the early twentieth century as scholars and practitioners sought to study the causes of war and the conditions for peace in a more systematic and sustained way. The philosophical foundations of the discipline, however, draw on centuries of thinking about human nature, political authority and the relations between political communities. In this book, Stephanie Lawson adopts a broad historical and contextual approach to introduce students to the central themes and theoretical perspectives in the study of world politics. In particular, she examines the development of the discipline's central institution, the state, and explains the ways in which it has both shaped, and been shaped by, political norms. Lawson also looks at key issues in the contemporary world, including security and insecurity, global governance and world order and the impact of globalization on the state.
Eras in world politics -- The domain of international relations -- Approaches to the study of international relations -- Defining the international -- Mapping the international -- Internationalizing the state system -- Globalizing the international -- Defining the state -- States and empires in the pre-modern world -- Political community and human nature -- The rise of modernity -- The sovereign state and state system -- The modern colonial empires -- Nationalism and the nation-state -- The first conflagration -- The liberal search for peace and security -- From 'peace in our time' to the return of total war -- Realism : telling it how it is -- Neoliberalism, Neorealism and Marxism -- The changing structure of world politics, 1945-1989 -- The end of the Cold War -- Methodology and scientific IR -- From the end of history to a new world order -- The clash of civilizations -- Ethnicity and the deadly politics of identity -- Culture and IR -- Culture and normative theory -- Realist perspectives on security -- The liberal security order -- Alternative approaches to security and insecurity -- The human security paradigm -- Humanitarian intervention -- Terrorism -- The idea of international society -- Global governance and the United Nations -- Global economic governance and the liberal order -- Global civil society and social movements -- Regionalization and world order -- A fragmenting world order? -- The postcolonial order -- The concept of globalization -- A brief history of globalization -- Globalization versus the state -- Culture and globalization -- Globalization, the state and normative theory -- Rethinking political community.