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Book

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

Georg Sørensen, Jørgen Møller, and Robert Jackson

Introduction to International Relations provides a concise introduction to the principal international relations theories and approaches, and explores how theory can be used to analyse contemporary issues. Throughout the text, the chapters encourage readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the theories presented, and the major points of contention between them. In so doing, the text helps the reader to build a clear understanding of how major theoretical debates link up with each other, and how the structure of the discipline of international relations is established. The book places a strong emphasis throughout on the relationship between theory and practice, carefully explaining how theories organize and shape our view of the world. It also shows how a historical perspective can often refine theories and provide a frame of reference for contemporary problems of international relations. Topics include realism, liberalism, International Society, International Political Economy, social constructivism, post-positivism in international relations, major issues in IPE and IR, foreign policy, and world order. Each chapter ends by discussing how different theories have attempted to integrate or combine international and domfactors in their explanatory frameworks. The final part of the book is dedicated to major global issues and how theory can be used as a tool to analyse and interpret these issues. The text is accompanied by online resources, which include: short case studies, review questions, annotated web links, and a flashcard glossary.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

23. Humanitarian Intervention  

Alex J. Bellamy and Stephen McLoughlin

This chapter charts the debate between those who believe that the protection of civilians from genocide and mass atrocities ought to trump the principle of non-intervention in certain circumstances and those who oppose this proposition. This has become a particular problem in the post-Cold War world where atrocities in places like Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur prompted calls, in the West especially, for international society to step in to protect the victims with military force if necessary. While intervening to protect populations from mass atrocities does have moral appeal, humanitarian intervention causes problems for international security by potentially compromising the rules governing the use of force in world politics. Since the end of the Cold War, a broad international consensus has emerged around a principle called the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). The R2P holds that states have a responsibility to protect their populations from genocide and mass atrocities and that the international community has a duty to help states fulfil their responsibilities and use various measures to protect populations when their own states are manifestly failing to do so. In 2011, the principle helped the UN Security Council authorize the use of force against a sovereign state for human protection purposes for the first time in its history.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

17. Geopolitics and Grand Strategy  

Stefanie Ortmann and Nick Whittaker

This chapter discusses the concept of geopolitics and its role in formulating and implementing a grand strategy. It first provides an overview of the relationship between grand strategy and geography, before explaining how the meanings of grand strategy and geopolitics evolved in response to changing world historical contexts. It then considers the reasons why geopolitics and grand strategy are linked to the politics of great powers and why these concepts are currently making a comeback. In particular, it examines the revival of geopolitical thinking after the Second World War and how geopolitical reasoning informed containment as a grand strategy during the cold war. The chapter also takes a look at the pitfalls and problems associated with formulating a grand strategy, especially in today’s complex international environment. Finally, it argues that there is a need to rethink geopolitics with the ultimate goal of balancing ends and means.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

28. Victims of Terrorism and Political Violence  

Orla Lynch and Carmel Joyce

This chapter focuses on victims of terrorism and political violence. Psychological and criminological research on victimhood challenges the portrayal of victims as rand and unlucky targets of indiscriminate violence. Research on victims is often concerned with the psychological impact of violence and this results often in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The chapter also highlights how victims of terrorism often become public victims and are politicized in the process. It also looks at the hierarchy of victimhood, the Just World Hypothesis, characteristics of an ideal victim, and differences between good and bad victims.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

7. Social Constructivism  

This chapter examines the social constructivist theory of IR. It first discusses the rise of social constructivism and why it has established itself as an important approach in IR. It then considers constructivism as social theory, and more specifically as both a meta-theory about the nature of the social world and as a set of substantial theories of IR. Several examples of constructivist IR theory are presented, followed by reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the constructivist approach. The chapter proceeds by exploring constructivist theories of international relations, focusing on cultures of anarchy, norms of International Society, the power of international organizations, a constructivist approach to European cooperation, and domestic formation of identity and norms. The chapter concludes with an analysis of some of the major criticisms of constructivism and by emphasizing internal debates within constructivism.