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About this book

Based on many years of teaching international relations courses and long-time collaboration between the authors, this major new text provides an authoritative introduction to international relations and to the long-standing questions that have engaged generations of IR scholars and students. Boxed features in each chapter help students navigate the 'levels of analysis', view the world from multiple perspectives, and 'make connections' between theory and practice, past and present, and aspirations and reality.

Table of Contents

Understanding International Relations

1. Understanding International Relations

Abstract
International relations are concerned with the political, economic, social, and cultural relations between two countries or among many countries. We also include in this definition relations countries have with other important actors such as global corporations or international organizations. Did you know that what we currently consider international relations can be traced back at least 2,500 years? During the fifth BCE, the relevant political groups were Greek city-states rather than modern nation-states. City-states such as Athens and Sparta traded with each other, participated in cross-border sports competitions, practiced diplomacy, formed alliances, and fought wars against each other as enemies and as allies against the Persian Empire. International relations in that period in some ways looks similar to what it is today, but, of course, the modern international system also looks very different. Today’s nation-states operate in a global system of interaction. Goods, technology, and money change hands with the click of a mouse rather than with the launch of a sailing ship. States still fight wars, but the destructive capacity of modern weapons, especially nuclear weapons, introduces a strong element of caution into how states resolve conflicts with each other. Non-state actors, such as global corporations, environmental advocacy groups, and criminal and terrorist networks cross borders and share the stage with countries and their governments.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

Foundations of International Relations

Frontmatter

2. The Emergence of a Global System of States, 1500–today

Abstract
Today’s international system is a product of historical change. Some changes have been recent: while 51 independent states formed the United Nations in 1945, 193 states were members in 2014. Other changes have taken place over centuries: China was perhaps the most advanced state on earth in 1500, it then experienced decline and even subjugation by Japan and Western states during the 1900s, and during the past three decades it has once more become a global powerhouse.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

3. Theories of International Relations

Abstract
Did you know that people have tried to understand the root causes of conflict and cooperation for more than two thousand years? Over the centuries, people have watched the great dramas of international relations unfold — the emergence of nation-states, war and rivalry among great powers, the rise and decline of states, the boom and bust of global commerce, the building of alliances and political communities, the clash of cultures, religions, and ideologies — and tried to make sense of it. They have asked simple yet fundamental questions: What explains war? Why do states trade with each other? Why do states cooperate or quarrel? Do democratic states act differently than autocratic states in the conduct of foreign policy? How does the global capitalist system impact relations among states? How have international relations changed over the centuries? Are countries around the world trapped in a global system of violence and insecurity or can they cooperate to build peace? Scholars have debated these and other enduring questions for centuries and continue to debate them today.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

4. The Analysis of Foreign Policy

Abstract
During the 1950s, China was allied with the Soviet Union and considered the United States its principle geopolitical adversary. China worked closely with the Soviet Union and fought opposite the United States during the Korean War of the 1950s and the Vietnam War of the 1960s. China did not even have diplomatic relations with the United States until the 1970s. Yet, by the end of the 1960s, Chinese foreign policy changed and China’s leaders came to view the Soviet Union more as an adversary than as an ally. China and the Soviet Union fought a border war in 1969. By the 1980s, China not only established diplomatic relations, but moved closer to its former adversary, the United States, politically and economically.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

War and Peace: An Introduction to Security

Frontmatter

5. War and Its Causes

Abstract
President George Bush of the United States and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain led a coalition of states in a war against Iraq in March 2003 because they believed that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was trying to build nuclear weapons. Just before the US invasion, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz dismissed as ‘wildly off the mark’ an estimate by General Eric Shinseki, the US Army Chief of Staff, that, after the allies had defeated Saddam’s military, hundreds of thousands of US troops might then be needed to occupy and pacify Iraq (Milbank 2005). As it turns out, there were no Iraqi nuclear weapons. The United States, Britain, and their allies did, as expected, readily defeat Iraq’s military, but an insurgency soon threatened allied forces and the new Iraqi government, and the United States and its allies only achieved a modicum of stability in Iraq with a force that included 160,000 US troops. More than 4,400 American and almost 200 British military personnel were killed during the Iraq war and the subsequent insurgency. After the allied withdrawal in December 2011, Iraq’s political future was highly uncertain.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

6. Pathways to Interstate Peace

Abstract
War has been a constant feature of world politics over the centuries — but so too has been the search for peace. As soldiers have marched across distant battlefields and generals have plotted their military campaigns, diplomats and scholars have pondered the best ways to prevent war and establish stable international order. As we saw in Chapter 5, wars have come in many shapes and sizes. So too have the visions and strategies of peacemaking.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

7. Weapons of Mass Destruction

Abstract
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, the best way for two countries to avoid a nuclear war is for each one to try not to defend its own people in the face of a possible nuclear attack. This curious conclusion has been reached by many scholars and strategists who have thought long and hard about the connection between nuclear weapons and world politics. Nuclear weapons are so destructive that a nuclear war is unwinnable. The best way to avoid a nuclear war is to prevent countries from having nuclear weapons. But once countries have them, the best strategy may be to make sure no country sees a possible way to use nuclear weapons without facing massive destruction itself.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

Wealth and Power: An Introduction to International Political Economy

Frontmatter

8. International Economics: Basic Theory and Core Institutions

Abstract
In 2012, trade between the United Kingdom and Vietnam reached about $4.4 billion, having increased by about one-third in just one year. Two important products Vietnam supplies to UK residents, tea and coffee, cannot readily be produced in the British Isles, but one of the major products that Vietnam sells to the UK is shoes. Why does the UK possibly need or want to buy shoes from Vietnam, rather than making them at home? At the same time, a major British export to Vietnam is prescription medications. Why doesn’t Vietnam develop and rely upon its own pharmaceutical industry? To address these and a host of other important questions relating to the international economy, we turn in this section to the sub-field of International Relations that is called International Political Economy (IPE).
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

9. Power, Politics, and The World Economy

Abstract
Did you know that even the most powerful states in the world — those with the largest military establishments and most destructive weapons — are deeply dependent on their economies to support such vast amounts of military power? Did you know that bankers and businessmen around the world are able to engage in trade and exchange because states have created rules and institutions to support the free flow of goods and money? The world of international relations and power politics on the one hand, and the world of business and economics on the other, seem to be quite separate. Students tend to study these subjects in different classes and university departments. But, in fact, they are quite interconnected. Countries that are wealthy and fastgrowing will tend to be more powerful on the world stage. Poor and slowgrowing countries will find it harder to be active and influential on the world stage.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

10. Dilemmas of Development

Abstract
South Korea today is wealthy: it has a bustling, modern economy, and its citizens are among the best educated and healthiest in the world. But did you know that, in 1980, the total output of goods and services that Argentina produced per person was perhaps twice that of South Korea? Starting from behind Argentina, and many other countries, South Korea surged ahead. By 2010, South Korea and Argentina had completely reversed their relative economic standing: while South Korea that year produced goods and services worth about $27,000 per person, Argentina’s production of goods and services was a little over $14,000. Although surpassed by South Korea, Argentina did experience a growing economy. The East African country, Kenya, in contrast, made little to no progress during this period on the economic front: in 1980, its economy produced goods and services totaling about $1,375 per person; in 2010, its economic output was about $1,481.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

Contemporary Challenges and the Future of International Relations

Frontmatter

11. Non-state Actors and Challenges to Sovereignty

Abstract
Many people think that states have always dominated world politics — and always will. But in fact states have long been challenged in various ways. The ancient and early modern world was dominated by empires, and the nation-state only gained dominance in Europe in 1648. In earlier chapters, we explored moments when single states have tried to take over all or part of the system, such as Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany. In the 1970s, multinational corporations grew to be major players in the world economy, challenging the sovereign authority of national governments. In the 1990s, the international financial system — and large global banks — encroached on the ability of national governments to manage the world economy. The rise of nuclear weapons also led some people to argue that since states could no longer protect their populations, the state would wither away.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

12. The Environment and International Relations

Abstract
There is almost no question but that we are spewing out enough CO2 from our automobiles, homes, and factories that we are warming the earth’s atmosphere. There is growing evidence that this process of global warming may cause the Arctic ice sheets to melt and the oceans to rise and possibly overrun parts of South Asia where millions of poor people now live. Government leaders have repeatedly said that they recognize that global climate change may be a real problem, but as we will see in this chapter, the first major international climate-change agreement they crafted, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, has had very little impact on the problem. Moreover, repeated global negotiations to produce a stronger follow-on agreement have failed, and have sometimes witnessed sharp and even acrimonious exchanges between national representatives to the negotiations. Hence, even though there seems to be a growing international consensus that climate change is a real and pressing threat, governments seem to be unable to take strong, concerted action to resolve or at least manage that problem.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno

13. Facing the Future: Six Visions of an Emerging International Order

Abstract
As we look ahead to the next decade, will the international system undergo some type of fundamental change? Although the future is impossible to predict, the different assumptions scholars make about state behavior and the dynamics of international relations lead them to very different expectations about how world politics will turn out in the years ahead.
Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno
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