- Robert Jackson, Robert JacksonUniversity of Boston
- Georg SørensenGeorg SørensenUniversity of Aarhus
- and Jørgen MøllerJørgen MøllerUniversity of Aarhus
This chapter examines four of the most important contemporary issues in international relations (IR): international terrorism, religion, the environment, and balance and hegemony in world history. It also considers the different ways in which these issues are analysed by the various theories presented in this book. The chapter begins with a discussion of what the issue is about in empirical terms, the problems raised and why they are claimed to be important, and the relative significance of the issue on the agenda of IR. It then explores the nature of the theoretical challenge that the issues present to IR and how classical and contemporary theories handle the analysis of these issues. The chapter addresses Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis, the influence of religion on politics, opposing views on the environment issue, and how throughout history different state systems have come to equilibrate on either balance of power or hegemony.