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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

29. After the Return to Theory: The Past, Present, and Future of Security Studies  

Ole Wæver and Barry Buzan

This chapter presents an interpretation of the past and present of security studies with an emphasis on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. The field started out as a distinct US specialty much shaped by the new conditions of the 1940s set by nuclear weapons and a long-term mobilization against the Soviet Union, two factors that created a need for a new kind of civilian expert in defence and strategy. From an American, think-tank-based, interdisciplinary field, security studies became institutionalized as a part of one discipline, International Relations (IR), increasingly international and with theory anchored in the universities. Since the 1990s, the field has been in a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the USA and Europe as centres of each. This analysis is used as a basis for raising some central questions and predictions about the future of the field.


Cover The Globalization of World Politics

8. Marxist theories of international relations  

Stephen Hobden and Richard Wyn Jones

This chapter examines the contribution of Marxism to the study of international relations. It first considers whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a long-standing feature of capitalist development, and whether ‘crisis’ is an inevitable feature of capitalism, and if so, whether capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The chapter proceeds by discussing a number of core features common to Marxist approaches as well as the internationalization of Karl Marx's ideas by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently by writers in the world-system framework. It also explains how Frankfurt School critical theory, and Antonio Gramsci and his various followers, introduced an analysis of culture into Marxist analysis. Two case studies are presented, the first relating to capitalist developments in Communist China, the second looks at the global Covid-19 pandemic and considers the social impact and patterns of impact in a global setting.