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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

International Relations Theory

A New Introduction

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9781137604460
Publication Date September 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

This is a major new edition of a highly regarded textbook on International Relations theory which combines coverage of the main contending theories and approaches with cross-cutting coverage of key current issues and debates; of the philosophical foundations of IR theory; and of why different theories are addressed to different research agendas.

KNUD ERIK JØRGENSEN Professor of International Relations at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

1. Why Theorize International Relations?
2. The International Political Theory Tradition.- 3. The Liberal International Theory Tradition.- 4. The Realist Tradition.- 5. The International Society Tradition.- 6. The International Political Economy Tradition.- 7. The Post-Positivist Tradition.- 8. The Human-Nature Tradition
9. Contemporary Inter-Tradition Debates.- 10. A Guide to Creative Theorizing.- 11. Conclusion and Perspectives.


Distinctive, stimulating and wide-ranging, this textbook reflects an admirably open-minded view of the nature and variety of theory in international relations not just in terms its focus on six separate traditions but also on the diversity within them. Accessible but challenging, it also makes a unique effort to introduce students to the activity of 'doing' theory.' - Jack Donnelly, University of Denver.
'This text is just what's needed to persuade students to see theory for the exciting intellectual adventure it is by encouraging the practice of theorizing, providing the necessary theoretical tools and historical context, and opening spaces across different paradigmatic lenses.' - Rosemary E. Shinko, Bucknell University
'A welcome antidote to the intellectual provincialism of many advanced textbooks on both sides of the Atlantic. Wide in scope, incisive in argumentation and generous in tone, it is precisely the kind of knowledgeable guide to current IR theories which many of us - both as teachers and scholars - have been awaiting with increasing impatience.' - Walter Carlsnaes, Uppsala University
'A major achievement which makes a distinct contribution to the discipline by examining six different theoretical traditions from a broadly global perspective and inviting students to be both consumers and producers of theory.' - Brian Schmidt, Carleton University
'This excellent and groundbreaking introduction to International Relations theory should serve as the standard introduction for undergraduate and postgraduate students for years to come. Particularly welcome is its accurate, nuanced and coherent account of the post-positivist tradition, which, for the first time, gives students an overview that will help them to make sense of and engage with the scholarly literature in this area.' - Karen Devine, Dublin City University
'An outstanding book, both for teaching and studying' - Edith Drieskens, The University of Leuven, Belgium
'Aimed squarely at students, Jørgensen efficiently and comprehensively covers the major traditions, highlights the key theorists and explains intra-paradigm differences... [This] book encourages the students to explore theory not only as something a scholar of international relations studies or needs to know but also as something that the scholar of international relations does, and it is this practice of international theory that sets this book apart.' - Dylan Kissane, Political Studies Review
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