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Edited by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens

The Globalization of World Politics is an introduction to international relations (IR) and offers comprehensive coverage of key theories and global issues. The eighth edition features several new chapters that reflect on the latest developments in the field, including postcolonial and decolonial approaches, and refugees and forced migration. Pedagogical features—such as case studies and questions, a debating feature, and end-of-chapter questions—help readers to evaluate key IR debates and apply theory and IR concepts to real world events.


This chapter explores the relationship between American military power and foreign policy. It also considers important debates regarding containment, deterrence, preemption, and the limits of military power. The chapter begins with a discussion of the rise of American military power during the period 1945–91, focusing on the military implications of containment and deterrence as well as the role of deterrence in ending the arms race. It then examines the fundamental questions that the United States had to confront in the post-Cold War era regarding its role in the world and its military power; for example, whether nuclear weapons are still useful, and for what purpose the U.S. military should be deployed. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the U.S. response to terrorism, with particular emphasis on the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan (2001) and the war in Iraq (2003).


This text explores the main questions of political philosophy and looks at some of the most influential answers, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Each chapter takes on a particular question or controversy. The natural starting-point is political power, the right to command. The first chapter considers the question of what would happen in a ‘state of nature’ without government, while the second tackles the problem of political obligation. The third chapter is concerned with democracy, asking whether a state should be democratic, for example, or whether there is any rationale for preferring rule by the people to rule by an expert. The next two chapters deal with liberty and property. The text concludes by focusing on questions that have drawn greater attention in more recent decades, such as issues of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, immigration, global justice, and justice to future generations.


Robbie Shilliam

This chapter examines the ways in which race can been understood as a fundamental ordering principle of world politics. It explores how the histories of European imperialism and colonialism are crucial for understanding the global impact of race, and whether contemporary world politics is less racist than it was in the past. It also considers the relationship between race, biology, and culture. The chapter concludes by discussing the historical processes that gave rise to race, some key debates around the conceptualization of race, and how race continues to order world politics. Two case studies are presented: the first is about the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) and the second is about caste and Dalits in India. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether racism emerged as a consequence of the slave trade.


Paul Rogers

This chapter discusses the origins and development of the field of peace studies after World War II, initially in relation to the East-West confrontation and the nuclear arms race. It examines how peace studies responded to the issues of socio-economic disparities and environmental constraints, such as climate change and poverty, that emerged in the 1970s. It also considers the evolution of peace studies as an interdisciplinary and problem-oriented field of study, often in the midst of controversy. In particular, it looks at a number of developments within peace studies, including a major interest in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping. Finally, the chapter analyses the state of peace studies now and how it is relevant to the new security challenges facing the world.


This chapter examines why the United States and the Soviet Union returned to confrontation during the period 1979–80. Despite the slow progress of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), there were at least some efforts to control strategic weapons. Short-range and intermediate-range nuclear weapons, in contrast, continued to grow in number and sophistication, particularly in Europe, where NATO and Warsaw Pact forces still prepared for war against each other, despite détente. The failure to control theatre nuclear weapons led to a new twist in the European arms race at the end of the 1970s which helped to undermine recent improvements in East–West relations. The chapter first considers NATO’s ‘dual-track’ decision regarding theatre nuclear weapons, before discussing the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. It concludes with an assessment of the revival of the Cold War, focusing on the so-called Carter Doctrine.


Daniel Deudney and Jeffrey W. Meiser

This chapter argues why we must think of the United States as an exceptional kind of nation with a very distinct past and an equally distinct set of capabilities. It first considers American difference and exceptionality before discussing the meaning of exceptionalism, the critics of American exceptionalism, and the roots of American success. It then examines the liberalism that makes the United States exceptional, along with peculiar American identity formations of ethnicity, religion, and ‘race’ and how they interact with — and often subvert — American liberalism. It also analyses the role of American exceptionality across the five major epochs of US foreign policy, from the nation’s founding to the present day. Along the way, the chapter explores notions of American liberal republicanism, anti-statism, state-building, militarism, capitalism and prosperity, immigration, federal internationalism, unipolarity, war on terrorism, and unilateralism.