International Relations International Relations Theory
by
Jonathan Cristol
  • LAST MODIFIED: 02 March 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0039

Introduction

International relations (IR) theory is difficult to define. It is often taught as a theory that seeks both to explain past state behavior and to predict future state behavior. However, even that definition is contested by many theorists. Traditional IR theories can generally be categorized by their focus either on humans, states, or the state system as the primary source of conflict. Any bibliography of international relations theory is bound to create controversy among its readers. Why did the author choose one theory and not the other? Why did the author choose one source and not the other? Indeed, there are a wide variety of permutations that would be perfectly valid to provide the researcher with an adequate annotated bibliography, so why were these particular entries chosen? This bibliography identifies realism, liberalism, and constructivism as the three major branches of IR theory. These three branches have replaced the earlier realism-idealism dichotomy. The “English School” could be considered part of any of the aforementioned three branches, and its placement in the IR theory world is the subject of some debate It has therefore been given its own section and is not included in any of the other sections. Critical IR theory and feminist IR theory are often considered part of constructivism; however, there is much debate over whether they constitute their own branches, and so they are included in this bibliography (as well as in the separate bibliography, Constructivism), though the sources are somewhat different. Post–Cold War IR theory is given its own heading because there are a number of theories that were proposed in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War that are still widely taught and discussed in the field. Perhaps the most controversial inclusion is that of neoconservatism. Though it is quite possible to mount a case for it to be considered a theory of US foreign policy, it is theoretically distinct from other IR theories (the belief in bandwagoning instead of balancing). The final three sections are included to show how political theory has influenced IR theory, and how history and foreign policy have influenced IR theory (and vice versa). The included sections and citations represent both the mainstream of IR theory and those nonmainstream theories that have just started to break into the mainstream of IR theory. This bibliography provides a starting point for both the beginning and serious scholar of international relations theory.

General Overviews

The overviews listed in this section are generally designed to be introductory international relations (IR) textbooks and not specifically IR theory textbooks. The only article listed in this section is Snyder 2004, which is the best source for someone who needs to quickly learn the basics of realism, liberalism, and constructivism. Like Snyder, every source listed herein considers realism, liberalism, and constructivism to be the major IR theoretical frameworks. “The TRIP Survey of International Relations Faculty in Ten Countries” (Jordan, et al. 2009, listed under Reference Resources) confirms that these three frameworks could now be considered the traditional IR traditions. Duncan, et al. 2009 examines a wide range of IR theories, but the discussion is limited to the chapters dedicated to IR theory. Kegley and Blanton 2010 focuses on the traditional theories, returning to them throughout the book to show how they influence and are impacted by current events. Mingst 2008, one of the most widely used undergraduate IR texts, devotes two full chapters to IR theory and includes sections on how different theories would deal with current international issues. Shimko 2009 devotes only one chapter to IR theory, but it does the best job of implicitly and explicitly weaving theoretical discussions throughout the text. Of the few widely used textbooks solely devoted to IR theory, Dunne, et al. 2010 is the most comprehensive and the clearest. It makes an ideal textbook for a midlevel or advanced IR theory class in that it goes far beyond the traditional theories, with chapters written by leading experts on the subjects that they cover. Genest 2004 and Viotti and Kauppi 2009 are hybrid textbooks and anthologies. Genest covers a very wide variety of theories, which he explains through his own writings; he adds classic and modern works to bring the tradition to life. Viotta and Kauppi present a much broader overview, which is most relevant to the undergraduate.

  • Duncan, W. Raymond, Barbara Jancar-Webster, and Bob Switky. World Politics in the 21st Century. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009.

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    In the chapters that specifically deal with IR theory, this work is more comprehensive in discussing a wide variety of theoretical approaches than the other texts listed here. However, outside of those chapters, the discussion of theory is quite limited. A useful undergraduate textbook.

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    • Dunne, Tim, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith, eds. International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

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      A truly outstanding and clearly written general textbook on IR theory. The innovation here is to have A-list thinkers from within the various traditions write the chapters on those theories. Chapters range from “Structural Realism” to “Feminism,” with separate chapters on “Poststructuralism,” “Postcolonialism,” and “Green Theory.” All of the chapters are written specifically for this book; it is not an anthology.

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      • Genest, Marc A. Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations. 2d ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2004.

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        A hybrid textbook and anthology. Genest provides a detailed chapter for each major theoretical tradition, as well as for some theories not covered in depth by other texts cited in this section. After an introductory essay about each theory, he includes articles and excerpts that exemplify that tradition, including classic texts and more recent works. An excellent lower-level graduate textbook or advanced undergraduate textbook.

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        • Kegley, Charles, Jr., and Shannon Lindsey Blanton. World Politics: Trend and Transformation. 13th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010.

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          One of the most widely used undergraduate IR textbooks. Devotes a full chapter to competing theoretical approaches and then returns to theory by devoting considerable time to examining how those approaches lead to policies.

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          • Mingst, Karen A. Essentials of International Relations. 4th ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008.

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            Along with Kegley and Blanton 2010, one of the most widely used undergraduate IR textbooks. Two full chapters are devoted to IR theory, and there are sections on IR theory within chapters on other subjects, including law, the environment, and global health—although some of these theoretical sections are quite brief.

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            • Shimko, Keith L. International Relations: Perspectives & Controversies. 3d ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2009.

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              This undergraduate international relations textbook contains only one chapter purely dedicated to IR theory, but it does an excellent job in weaving theory through the entire text. Shimko presents balanced, theoretically informed cases for and against current issues and problems in IR.

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              • Snyder, Jack. “One World, Rival Theories.” Foreign Policy 145 (November/December 2004): 52–62.

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                An update on a similarly named 1998 Foreign Policy article by Stephen Walt. Snyder provides his take on the basic principles of realism, liberalism, and constructivism and compares and contrasts them. Perfect brief overview of the three dominant traditions in IR theory.

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                • Viotti, Paul R., and Mark V. Kauppi. International Relations Theory. 4th ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 2009.

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                  This book is a hybrid textbook and anthology. It provides a comprehensive overview of IR theory, but there is nothing in serious depth. A useful, basic undergraduate international relations textbook.

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                  Anthologies

                  It is important to note that many selections in these anthologies are printed in more than one volume (including in anthologies not listed in this section). It is recommended that the reader closely examine the table of contents of each of these volumes to avoid unnecessary duplication. Brown, et al. 1995 and Brown, et al. 1998 contain selections of the most important articles published in the journal International Security. Brown, et al. 1995 is devoted largely to structural realism (though other forms of realism are not wholly ignored), while Brown, et al. 1998 contains sections specifically devoted to a few major theories. Art and Jervis 2010 and Mingst and Snyder 2008 are designed as texts or companions for undergraduate courses, and thus not every entry is an IR theory text. The former contains more examples of recent scholarship, but the latter is probably the most economical way for a student to acquire some of the most seminal, traditional, theoretical texts in the field. Williams, et al. 2006 is a particularly well-organized volume, with key IR theory articles and excerpts from both articles and books. It is perhaps the most comprehensive anthology dealing with the discipline as a whole. The aforementioned works primarily deal with traditional IR theory, while Sterling-Folker 2005 spends more time on postmodern, critical, and feminist IR theory and does so in a surprisingly clear way. Ikenberry 2011 combines some major IR theoretical works with major works that are specific to American foreign policy, and thus it is the best source for the IR theorist particularly interested in theory’s influence on US policy. Keohane 1986 is the most famous of the anthologies in this section and is completely dedicated to responses to Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics (Waltz 1979, listed under Realism). Indeed, Waltz 1979 is reprinted almost in its entirety, and critics such as Robert Ashley (in his famous, if tedious, article “The Poverty of Neorealism”) and Keohane himself respond. The book concludes with Waltz’s response to his critics.

                  • Art, Robert J., and Robert Jervis, eds. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. 10th ed. New York: Longman, 2010.

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                    Similar to Mingst and Snyder 2008 in its selection of articles and in its approach. Contains many articles typical to IR theory anthologies, but differs in its relatively heavy weighting of more recent articles, albeit still within a largely conventional IR theory framework.

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                    • Brown, Michael E., Owen R. Coté Jr., Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven Miller, eds. Theories of War and Peace: An International Security Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998.

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                      The International Security readers are uniformly excellent, and this volume is no exception. This volume is primarily, though not exclusively, concerned with realism, democratic-peace theory, neoliberal institutionalism, and collective security. It contains important articles by Stephen Van Evera, Christopher Layne, Clifford Kupchan, and Clifford Kupchan and Charles Kupchan, in addition to a number of articles listed elsewhere in this bibliography.

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                      • Brown, Michael, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller, eds. The Perils of Anarchy: Contemporary Realism and International Security. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

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                        Perhaps the most useful single-volume collection of realist articles about the post–Cold War security environment. Caveat emptor: Contains many articles, all from International Security, listed in this bibliography. Primarily focused on structural realist arguments.

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                        • Ikenberry, G. John, ed. American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2011.

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                          This volume is not quite as US-centric as the title implies. It contains an excellent selection of theoretical articles, including works by Kenneth Waltz, Robert Kagan, Samuel Huntington, Robert Jervis, and Graham Allison. Some articles are explicitly about the United States, while others are simply relevant to US policymaking. Regardless, it is an excellent volume, particularly for someone writing on IR theory and US foreign policy.

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                          • Keohane, Robert O., ed. Neorealism and its Critics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

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                            This anthology contains the bulk of Theory of International Politics (Waltz 1979, cited under Realism), along with prominent critiques from Richard Ashley, Robert Keohane, and others. Waltz responds to his critics at the end. Well known as a way for students to purchase Waltz’s book at a steep discount, but it may have run its course now that Waltz’s original work has been reprinted.

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                            • Mingst, Karen A., and Jack L. Snyder, eds. Essential Readings in World Politics. 3d ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008.

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                              The anthology contains a great many articles and excerpts from articles listed in this bibliography, including Thucydides 1954 (listed under History and IR Theory), Snyder 2004 (under General Overviews), Kant 2003 (under Political Theory and IR Theory), Fukuyama 1989 (Post–Cold War IR Theory), Morgenthau 1993 (under Realism), and a great many more. The best single volume if one wants an introduction to a very wide variety of traditional IR theory texts without spending a great deal of money.

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                              • Sterling-Folker, Jennifer, ed. Making Sense of International Relations Theory. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner, 2005.

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                                This anthology is much more distinctive than the others listed here. The editor herself introduces each of nine different approaches to IR theory, and this volume is the only one to include a broad cross-section of both traditional and nontraditional IR theory (e.g., “Postmodern and Critical Theory Approaches” and “Feminist Approaches,” to name just two).

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                                • Williams, Phil, Donald M. Goldstein, and Jay M. Shafritz, eds. Classic Readings and Contemporary Debates in International Relations. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2006.

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                                  An anthology of edited selections from major theoretical works, including excerpts and articles by E. H. Carr, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, Hans. J. Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, and many others listed in this bibliography. Its disciplinary comprehensiveness beyond theory makes it an attractive book for the undergraduate classroom.

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                                  Reference Resources

                                  Reus-Smit and Snidel 2008 is the leading reference book in the field. It contains chapters about every major international relations (IR) theory, as well as every other aspect of IR. The chapters are written by some of the biggest names in the field, and it is an indispensable reference book. Jordan, et al. 2009 is a comprehensive survey of the discipline itself and contains survey results from over two thousand IR scholars. It is a truly fascinating study. IR theory does not typically lend itself to the generally shorter articles and discussions posted on websites, and thus there are a limited number useful to the IR theorist. The IR Theory Home Page is an exception and posts very brief synopses of every IR theory you have heard of, and many that even an experienced researcher has never encountered. The CIA World Factbook contains economic, geographic, and cultural data on every state and state-like entity in the world, which can prove useful for the IR theorist in need of facts to support an argument (and, being free, is cheaper than purchasing a printed world almanac). Theory Talks consists of in-depth interviews with IR theorists of all stripes, providing the researcher with more insight into major theories and theorists. The International Studies Association Paper Archive is a more traditional source, as it gives access to thousands of unpublished papers presented at the International Studies Association’s annual convention. Though they are not all concerned with IR theory, this archive is a treasure trove of interesting sources. However, most require the authors’ permission to cite. The website of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs provides a wide variety of material, including short and long articles and audio, video, and written interviews; lectures; and roundtables. There are many theorists featured and the site is remarkably easy to navigate. The Foreign Policy magazine website contains many interesting articles and blogs not found in the printed magazine, some of which have to do with IR theory. The website itself is a bit busy.

                                  • Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

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                                    This website contains video, audio, and transcripts of lectures and discussions with some of the most prominent theorists in the field (as well as many other interesting thinkers). It is particularly useful for multimedia sources, but also contains hundreds of articles on international affairs, some of them theoretical. Very easy to navigate and to understand.

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                                    • CIA—The World Factbook.

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                                      The World Factbook has nothing at all to do with theory; it is very much like a world almanac available in a bookstore. However, if you need statistics, or to back up your theoretical arguments or augment a paper, this website is the place to go.

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                                      • Foreign Policy.

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                                        This website contains a great many articles not found in the printed magazine, as well as some blogs that have spawned interesting theoretical discussions, including Daniel Drezner’s post on zombies and IR theory and Marc Lynch’s “Jay-Z vs. the Game: Lessons for the American Primacy Debate.” Interesting, fun, and useful website.

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                                        • International Studies Association Paper Archive.

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                                          If you are looking for a more obscure topic, or have exhausted the major database searches, this website is the place to turn. It contains all of the papers presented at the annual conventions of the International Studies Association. Hundreds of unpublished IR theory papers, typically requiring the authors’ permission to cite.

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                                          • Jordan, Richard, Daniel Maliniak, Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney. “One Discipline or Many? TRIP Survey of International Relations Faculty in Ten Countries.” Williamsburg, VA: Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, The College of William and Mary, 2009.

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                                            This comprehensive study of IR faculty from ten countries is useful for the scholar researching the discipline itself. The study contains useful information about what is taught in the standard IR curriculum, who are considered the most important and innovative thinkers in IR, and what are considered the top journals in the field, among many other interesting findings.

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                                            • Reus-Smit, Christian, and Duncan Snidel, eds. The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                              This massive work contains chapters on almost every major and minor IR theory, as well as other subjects in IR. The chapters are written by some of the most important names in the field. An excellent single-volume reference for the IR researcher.

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                                              • The IR Theory Web Site.

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                                                This website contains very brief descriptions of every imaginable IR theory, and even some unimaginable ones. It also contains a useful list of relevant links and is the means through which one can subscribe to the Yahoo IR theory discussion list. Particularly helpful as a dictionary of IR theory terms.

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                                                • Theory Talks.

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                                                  A good place to flesh out your understanding of particular theorists through lengthy and informed written interviews with them. Contains interesting interviews with such theorists as Alexander Wendt, Peter Katzenstein, Robert Jervis, Barry Buzan, and many others.

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                                                  Journals

                                                  A large number of journals contain interesting and important articles on international relations (IR) theory, but very few are solely devoted to the subject. Alexander Wendt’s journal, International Theory, is too new to be included in this section, and there are many other worthwhile journals not included here. International Studies Quarterly contains a relatively large number of articles per issue, and at least one or two are usually theoretical in nature. It is the premier journal of the International Studies Association, but each of that organization’s other journals (International Studies Review, International Studies Perspectives, and International Political Sociology) often contain theoretical articles that are less traditional than those in International Studies Quarterly. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations and the Review of International Studies are both journals of Britain’s Political Studies Association. They typically have more articles devoted to theory than their American counterparts. In addition, the writing tends to be clearer, despite the focus on less traditional theories. Millennium: Journal of International Studies is another British journal that frequently publishes articles on feminist and postmodern IR theory, and it has a less traditional selection than any of the other journals listed here. Unfortunately, it is difficult to access from many American universities and databases. World Politics and International Organization (IO) are traditionally two of the most respected journals in the field. IO publishes a greater number of theoretical articles than World Politics, which tends toward traditional theory. Both tend to be relatively difficult for the undergraduate to understand. International Security is a very clearly written journal, with just a few articles per issue and often symposia or collections of articles grouped around a specific theme. Not every piece is on IR theory, but most are at least tangentially related to IR theory. Foreign Affairs is the least “academic” of the journals cited below, but it is the most widely read and most accessible to the average reader. Even though the journal is aimed at policymakers and the educated layman, most of the major names in IR theory have published in the journal—and since everyone reads it, it has to be read.

                                                  • British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR).

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                                                    This journal frequently contains articles, debates, and symposia about IR theory. And, atypically for a British journal, it contains articles from a wide range of theoretical viewpoints. The articles are typically clear and easy to understand for the advanced undergraduate. The journal does not shy away from the “fun,” while still maintaining a very serious level of theoretical sophistication.

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                                                    • Foreign Affairs.

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                                                      Foreign Affairs only occasionally runs theoretical articles, but the wide readership and accessibility of the journal has the effect of making its theoretical articles particularly important. Available at most bookstores, this journal is the easiest to find and to understand for the average reader.

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                                                      • International Organization.

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                                                        This journal occasionally features important articles and debates about all types of IR theories. Often, the articles are difficult to understand for undergraduates or people without a strong international-relations-theory background.

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                                                        • International Security.

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                                                          This journal features unusually clear writing and contains many of the ongoing serious debates both within and between the major IR theories. It is written in a style easily accessible to advanced undergraduates. It also offers a very inexpensive student subscription rate.

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                                                          • International Studies Quarterly.

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                                                            The leading journal of the International Studies Association. This journal is not exclusively an IR theory journal, but it often has important and interesting articles on IR theory. It contains more articles per issue than is typical of a top-flight journal, and is somewhat more egalitarian in its selection of authors than other journals. The difficulty level varies between articles.

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                                                            • Millennium: Journal of International Studies.

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                                                              Millennium frequently runs IR theory articles, particularly (but not exclusively) constructivist, feminist, critical, and other postmodern IR theory articles. Its articles range from the incomprehensible to the clear and illuminating. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find or to access online in the United States.

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                                                              • Review of International Studies (RIS).

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                                                                A journal with a greater percentage of IR theory articles than most others listed here. The articles tend toward the more difficult and thus are best suited for the graduate student. However, like BJPIR, RIS is more willing than its American counterparts to publish a wider variety of articles and is somehow less self-conscious.

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                                                                • World Politics.

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                                                                  A journal that is not exclusively devoted to IR theory, nor is it exclusively devoted to IR writ large. It is divided between international relations and comparative politics. It does not publish major works of IR theory very frequently, but those that it does publish have, over the years, frequently become major works in the field.

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                                                                  Methodology

                                                                  This section is designed to illuminate important sources for the IR researcher, rather than expose and discuss esoteric methodological debates. King, et al. 1994 (King, Keohane, and Verba; also called KKV) represents the standard, traditional methodological text within the field. However, its emphasis on positivist research programs, combined with the difficulty of the text, has led to numerous critiques. Brady and Collier 2004 was the first major response to the rigidity of KKV, providing alternative methods and giving KKV a chance to respond. For more basic, clear, and helpful broad overviews of relevant research methods, Burnham, et al. 2004 and Moses and Knutsen 2007 both provide compelling and helpful alternatives to KKV. Klotz and Prakash 2008 and Yanow and Schwartz-Shea 2006 both explore more modern (and even postmodern) research methods. The latter concentrates on methods most suitable to the constructivist and critical scholar. George and Bennett 2005 is the indispensable book on case studies, and it has the added advantage of being extraordinarily clear and well written. It is effectively impossible to write a case study or case-study-based dissertation without relying on this book to justify one’s approach. Similarly, Scott 1990 is indispensable for the researcher using official documents. Though much of what Scott writes amounts to “use common sense,” there is a lot that is useful, and it is difficult to imagine a researcher investigating official documents with consulting Scott’s book, as it provides useful advice for this type of research.

                                                                  • Burnham, Peter, Karin Gilland, Wyn Grant, and Zig Layton-Henry. Research Methods in Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

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                                                                    A straightforward and well-written book. It presents an overview of the more traditional methods of political research, but does so in a way that contextualizes the methods within the history of the discipline. Like Moses and Knutsen 2007, it is useful for a methods course or for determining an appropriate methodology more than for a deep exploration of a particular method.

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                                                                    • Brady, Henry E., and David Collier, eds. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

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                                                                      This volume is a response to King, et al. 1994. Its contributors examine the quantitative and qualitative approaches and provide an alternative to the rigidity of that book. King, et al. get the chance to respond and acknowledge where they could have done a better job and where they stand by their book.

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                                                                      • George, Alexander L., and Andrew Bennett. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

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                                                                        The sine qua non of case-study methodology and a must-read for those interested in using case studies in their research. The book is surprisingly easy to understand for a methodological text.

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                                                                        • King, Gary, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

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                                                                          The bête noir of graduate students around the world. King, Keohane, and Verba present a positivist approach to qualitative research and do so in a complicated, difficult way. Regardless, it is expected that every graduate research student be familiar with this book, even if only to be prepared to counter its arguments.

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                                                                          • Klotz, Audie, and Deepa Prakash. Qualitative Methods in International Relations: A Pluralist Guide. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

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                                                                            Klotz and Prakash discuss how to interpret research from a wide variety of methodological approaches, from the positivist to the postmodern. They describe the advantages and limitations of each and attempt to teach the reader how to best choose the appropriate method to answer his or her research question.

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                                                                            • Moses, Jonathon W., and Torbjørn L. Knutsen. Ways of Knowing: Competing Methodologies and Methods in Social and Political Research. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

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                                                                              A very useful overview of a wide range of methodologies, from experimental and statistical methods to constructivist and interpretivist methods. Because it is so broad, it is useful as a methods textbook or a quick reference rather than as a source for the primary methodology of a dissertation or major work.

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                                                                              • Scott, John. A Matter of Record: Documentary Sources in Social Research. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 1990.

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                                                                                Along with George and Bennett 2005, the most clear and understandable book on methods listed in this bibliography. Scott focuses on the use of archives and official documents in academic research.

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                                                                                • Yanow, Dvora, and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, eds. Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2006.

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                                                                                  This edited volume presents an in-depth look at interpretive research methods and examines the question of how one can really “know” something. Focuses very much on constructivist approaches to research, including discourse analysis and meta-ontological claims.

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                                                                                  Realism

                                                                                  There are a wide range of realist theories. The common threads that bind them together are the beliefs that: (1) states act according to their own interests, (2) states are the primary actors in the system, and (3) the international system is anarchic. Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes have all been referred to as “the first realist.” However, Reinhold Niebuhr was one of the first to consciously discuss international relations theory in realist terms. In Niebuhr 2001 he draws on political theorists and philosophers to show that while a person can act morally in the personal sphere, it is impossible for a person to behave morally in the political sphere. Carr (see Carr 2001) and Morgenthau (see Morgenthau 1993) follow in Niebuhr’s tradition and focus on the nature of man as the source of conflict. Where the utopians argued that perfecting man could end war, Carr and Morgenthau’s brand of classical realism seeks to find a balance between utopia and reality. Morgenthau takes a much more comprehensive approach than Carr. He attempts to produce a complete IR theory, while Carr’s primary aim is to dismantle utopian thought and argue for a balanced approach to policy. Carl Schmitt and Max Weber influenced Morgenthau’s thinking, and this relationship is discussed in many sources whose specificity keeps them from this bibliography. Aron (see Aron 2003) developed classical realism into a tool for foreign policy prescriptions. Structural realism (or neorealism) was developed by Kenneth Waltz as an attempt to bring science back into IR theory. It is divided into two major strains, “offensive realism,” developed in Mearsheimer 2001 and “defensive realism,” developed in Waltz 1979 and Waltz 2001. They share a common belief that it is not man’s innate lust for power that drives international conflict but rather the anarchic structure of the international system. For defensive realists it is possible for a state to have too much power, which makes the state less secure by provoking a balance of power. Thus, states should pursue security, and power may or may not be the means to that end. Mearsheimer argues that because a state can never divine the optimum amount of security to deter aggression without provoking balancing, it must always attempt to maximize power and not security. Thus, power is both the ends and the means. Neoclassical realism argues that policy must be filtered through the structure of the domestic government (Waltz’s “second image”—government) and the perceptions of the relevant policymakers (Waltz’s “first image”—people). To date, Lobell, et al. 2009 provides the only comprehensive treatment of the theory.

                                                                                  • Aron, Raymond. Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations. Edison, NJ: Transaction, 2003.

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                                                                                    A seminal work of classical realism often overshadowed by E. H. Carr, George Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Argues for a prudent foreign policy that blends realism with idealism. Very long book, prohibitive for most undergraduate research. The most significant work of classical realism after the challenge posed by Waltz 2001. Originally published in French in 1962 (Paris: Calmann-Lévy).

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                                                                                    • Carr, E. H. The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

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                                                                                      Elegantly written argument against the utopians of the interwar period. Carr argues that that pure utopianism is dangerously naive, but pure realism lacks any motivating force. The best foreign policy is a combination of the two. First published in 1939 (London: Macmillan). Significant changes were made to the second edition, because the first edition was considered too soft on “appeasement.”

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                                                                                      • Lobell, Steven E., Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds. Neoclassical Realism, the State, and Foreign Policy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                        The first comprehensive book-length treatment of neoclassical realism. In addition to the editors, the volume features prominent theorists Jennifer Sterling-Folker on “Neoclassical Realism and Identity” and Randall Schweller on “Neoclassical Realism and State Mobilization.” This book is essential for any comprehensive understanding of the theory.

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                                                                                        • Mearsheimer, John J. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.

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                                                                                          The most important work of realist theory in the first decade of the 20th century. Develops the theory of offensive realism, arguing that because states can never know what the ideal amount of power is to deter attack without provoking balancing, they must constantly accumulate power and be ready for war. Clearly written, but can drag in places.

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                                                                                          • Morgenthau, Hans J. Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace. 6th ed. Edited by Kenneth Thompson. New York: Knopf, 1993.

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                                                                                            Morgenthau’s most well-known and most comprehensive theoretical work. First published in 1948 (New York: Knopf). “The Six Principles of Political Realism,” added in 1954, is frequently reproduced in anthologies, but it provides a skewed view of his general theory. This is the last edition with changes to the text; the seventh edition (2005) is more recent but it is formatted as a textbook and thus less appealing to students and more difficult to read.

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                                                                                            • Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

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                                                                                              Niebuhr argues that while an individual man can behave morally, when given political power it is impossible for the man (or for the state) to behave morally. Moderately difficult to understand for undergraduates. Major influence on Morgenthau and President Barack Obama (Niebuhr is his favorite philosopher). Often labeled “Christian realism.” First published in 1932 (New York: Scribner).

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                                                                                              • Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979.

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                                                                                                Perhaps the most famous and heavily cited book in all of international relations theory. Waltz presents a “scientific case” for his earlier arguments that the international system is the cause of war and that international anarchy plus the state system equals a bipolar balance of power. Much less accessible than his earlier work and not recommended for undergraduates. New edition published (Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2010).

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                                                                                                • Waltz, Kenneth. Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                  Waltz expertly constructs a logical argument rooted in political theory that it is not man, nor domestic politics, but the international system that is the ultimate cause of war. The first neorealist/structural realist text. Important and original book. Originally published in 1959 (New York: Columbia University Press).

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                                                                                                  Liberalism

                                                                                                  Liberal international relations theory is related to, but distinct from, the utopianism of the interwar period. The utopians believed that war could be eliminated either by perfecting man or by perfecting government. Angell 2009 is perhaps the most important and frequently-cited explicitly utopian work. Angell argues that since war is, arguably, a money-losing proposition, people can end wars by teaching policymakers about their costs. Contemporary liberal IR theory may be related to utopianism, but its roots extend at least as far back as Immanuel Kant’s 1795 Perpetual Peace (see Kant 2003, listed under Political Theory and IR Theory). In that essay, Kant provided three “definitive conditions” for perpetual peace, each of which became a dominant strain of post–World War II liberal IR theory. Neoliberal institutionalism emphasizes the importance of international institutions in maintaining peace (Kant’s “federation of free states”). Keohane 1998 is the best short overview of this theory. Keohane argues that institutions work because they reduce transaction costs, increase transparency, and decrease uncertainty about other states’ intentions. Keohane and Nye 2001 argues that “complex interdependence” prevents states from going to war with each other. Institutions are also an important part of “collective security” (arguably a theory of its own): the idea that all states within a collective security arrangement will join forces to stop an aggressor (even one within the arrangement itself). Claude 1964 uses the history of the United Nations to provide a detailed discussion of collective security. Commercial liberalism emphasizes the importance of economic interdependence and free trade (Kant’s “universal hospitality”) in maintaining peace. Adam Smith is generally considered the father of this theory, though it is only a small part of his voluminous Wealth of Nations (Smith 2003). Democratic-peace theory argues that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with each other, and therefore an executive accountable to the people or the parliament is important to maintain peace (Kant’s call for states to have “republican constitutions”). Russett and Oneal 2001 uses a large-n quantitative study to show that democracy is more important than institutions or economic interdependence in predicting the possibility of war. Doyle 1983 brought Kant back to the forefront of international relations and has been cited by well over one thousand subsequent sources. Howard 2008 provides a sweeping but concise overview of liberal foreign policy.

                                                                                                  • Angell, Norman. The Great Illusion, 1933. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library, 2009.

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                                                                                                    Angell was the archetypal utopian theorist. In the original text, published in 1910 (London: Heinemann), he argued that war was uneconomical, and that if leaders are taught that war is a money-losing proposition, then wars will cease to be fought. This update takes World War I into account and explains why his theory still holds. Originally published in 1933 (London: Heinemann).

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                                                                                                    • Claude, Inis L., Jr. Swords Into Plowshares. 3d ed. New York: Random House, 1964.

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                                                                                                      The first major study of collective security. Important work for the study of both collective security and the early history of the United Nations. Out of print and difficult to find, but any university research library will be in possession of at least one copy. Originally published in 1956.

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                                                                                                      • Doyle, Michael W. “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 12.3 (Summer 1983): 205–235.

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                                                                                                        One of the most important works on liberal IR theory by one of the most eminent IR scholars of his time. Argues that liberal principles and institutions are so deeply embedded in domestic politics that they either go unnoticed or are exaggerated. However, these principles are even more important than classical power politics. First of two parts; continued in Foreign Affairs 12.4 (Fall 1983): 323–353.

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                                                                                                        • Howard, Michael. War and the Liberal Conscience. 2d ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                          A sweeping history of liberal views of war from Erasmus to Vietnam War protestors. A standard text in US national security curricula. Short and accessible. Originally published in 1978 (London: Temple Smith).

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                                                                                                          • Keohane, Robert O. “International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?” Foreign Policy 110 (Spring 1998): 82–96.

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                                                                                                            The most straightforward and succinct article to explain neoliberal institutionalist theory. Keohane argues that all states, including great powers, have an incentive to participate in institutions because it reduces transaction costs, increases transparency, and decreases uncertainty about state behavior. Vital for understanding the theory, and one of Keohane’s few texts suitable for undergraduates.

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                                                                                                            • Keohane, Robert O., and Joseph Nye. Power and Interdependence. 3d ed. New York: Longman, 2001.

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                                                                                                              Keohane and Nye’s seminal work on complex interdependence—how the increase in ties between states makes power calculations harder to manage, and thus absolute gains take precedence over relative gains, which leads to peace. This classic work is nearly impenetrable, despite the use of interesting case studies, and is recommended for advanced graduate students or those preparing for doctoral exams. Originally published in 1977.

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                                                                                                              • Russett, Bruce, and John R. Oneal. Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.

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                                                                                                                Russett and Oneal discuss the “Kantian triangle” of economic interdependence, international institutions, and republican governments. They use a large-n quantitative analysis to show that the character of domestic government is the most important variable. An important book, even for the qualitative researcher. Useful for advanced undergraduates.

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                                                                                                                • Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. New York: Bantam Classics, 2003.

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                                                                                                                  The most important work in economics ever written. Typically thought of as favoring a laissez-faire approach to domestic economics, though that view is challenged by other sources. Not primarily focused on the international, but what is there is focused on free trade and economic inequality. Extremely long. Originally published in 1776 and available in many affordable editions.

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                                                                                                                  Constructivism

                                                                                                                  Constructivist theory emerged in the mid-1990s as a serious challenge to the dominant realist and liberal theoretical paradigms. Wendt 1992 (a direct challenge to neorealism) and Katzenstein 1996 made it a staple of international relations syllabi around the world. The theory’s recent arrival on the scene makes a constructivist canon somewhat harder to identify. This section focuses on what is sometimes referred to as “conventional constructivism,” or even “Wendtian constructivism,” in contrast to “critical constructivism,” which in this bibliography is treated as part of Critical IR theory. Constructivist theory differs from realism and liberalism in its de-emphasis of objective measurements of power. The belief in the social construction of reality leads constructivist theory to place a greater role on norm development, identity, and ideational power than any other theoretical paradigm. There are texts written before the idea of constructivist IR theory was conceived that could now be considered precursors to constructivist IR theory. Anderson 1991 is not the first, but it is influential among the early works by constructivist thinkers for its claim that national identity is socially constructed. Berger and Luckmann 1991 is a work of sociology important for constructivism because of its argument that objects and ideas are given meaning through social interaction. Checkel 1998 reviews some major constructivist books and provides a clear and readable, if not easy, overview of conventional constructivism. Hopf 1998 provides a clear example of the differences between conventional and critical constructivism. The search for an explanation about why states and the international system develop and adhere to norms is a crucial part of conventional constructivist theory. Katzenstein 1996 is perhaps the most widely taught and widely read work on the subject. Alexander Wendt is without question the most widely taught constructivist international relations theorist. Wendt 1987 showed that sociological methods, later popularized in IR by Wendt himself, could be applied to show that the system and its constituents are mutually constituted. Wendt 1992 took apart Waltz’s argument that anarchy is a zero-sum game for states, by showing that anarchy has its own rules and that there can be different types of anarchy. Wendt 1999 is the first major attempt to mount a cohesive “social theory of international politics.” The book is a direct assault on Waltz and has had a profound influence in the field. It should be noted that Wendt is difficult to understand for all but the most advanced readers.

                                                                                                                  • Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Rev. ed. New York: Verso, 1991.

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                                                                                                                    The book is an early example of the importance of ideas writ large in IR theory, and, more specifically, the idea that nations, states, and nation-states (the primary actors in the other major theoretical frameworks) are ultimately social constructions. Arguably the most important work of constructivist theory that is not consciously a work of constructivist theory. First published in 1983.

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                                                                                                                    • Berger, Peter, and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Penguin Books Limited, 1991.

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                                                                                                                      A major work of sociology. Influential in IR for its discussion of how manmade objects and ideas are given meaning through social interaction. First published in 1966.

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                                                                                                                      • Checkel, Jeffrey T. “The Constructivist Turn in International Relations Theory.” World Politics 50.2 (February 1998): 324–348.

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                                                                                                                        This review article is a staple of undergraduate IR syllabi. While difficult for the early undergraduate to understand, it remains one of the clearest and most parsimonious overviews of constructivist theory to date. Technically a review essay, but a lack of knowledge of the reviewed books does not diminish the importance of the text.

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                                                                                                                        • Hopf, Ted, ed. “The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory.” International Security 23.1 (Summer 1998): 171–200.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2539267E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Along with Checkel 1998, one of the most widely used articles on constructivism in undergraduate and graduate syllabi. Hopf takes on the argument that constructivism is antipositivist and compares and contrasts conventional and critical constructivism. Relatively clear for a constructivist article, and quite useful for this major distinction, which some argue entirely separates critical theory from constructivism.

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                                                                                                                          • Katzenstein, Peter J., ed. The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                            Along with Wendt 1999, one of the two most widely read and important constructivist works. Though it focuses primarily on the two titular aspects of constructivism and does not provide a general theory per se, it is responsible for bringing the theory to a much wider audience. The case studies and general lack of philosophical jargon make it accessible for the advanced undergraduate.

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                                                                                                                            • Wendt, Alexander. “The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory.” International Organization 41.3 (Summer 1987): 335–370.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S002081830002751XE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Wendt’s first major article. He identifies some IR theories as focused on the international system (structure) and some as focused on actors within the system (agent). Wendt claims that both the agent and the structure are mutually constitutive, and he borrows sociological methods to provide a more complete understanding of how the international system works.

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                                                                                                                              • Wendt, Alexander. “Anarchy is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” International Organization 46.2 (Spring 1992): 391–425.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0020818300027764E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Perhaps the most widely read and taught constructivist article ever written. Wendt challenges Waltz 1979 (listed under Realism) and deepens Bull 2002 (listed under English School) and shows that international anarchy does not have one meaning and one outcome. The precursor to chapter 6 of Wendt 1999. Conceptually not too difficult for undergraduates, but Wendt’s prose is difficult to understand for anybody. Required reading for anyone in the field. Cited by nearly two thousand sources.

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                                                                                                                                • Wendt, Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                  Wendt takes on Waltz 1979 (listed under Realism) and presents a holistic approach to both IR and constructivist theory. Despite his narrowly defined goals, this book is generally considered to be one of the only general constructivist theories of IR (though Wendt specifically says “politics” and not “relations”). The International Studies Association’s “book of the decade.” Very jargon-heavy, somewhat repetitive, and difficult for all but the most advanced undergraduates. Required reading for graduate students.

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                                                                                                                                  The “English School”

                                                                                                                                  The English School, so named because its earliest proponents were colleagues at the London School of Economics, is treated as a separate branch of international relations (IR) theory because a strong case can be made that it belongs in any one of the three major branches listed above. At the undergraduate level, it is taught much more widely in the United Kingdom than anywhere else. The major innovations of the English School to IR theory were the addition of normative elements and the concept of “international society.” The term was coined in Jones 1981, and Jones claims that the major thinkers in the field had already begun to repeat themselves; he feared that there wasn’t enough “there” there to sustain a new and distinct theory. Though the term did not yet exist, Bull 2002 (first published in 1977) and Wight 2002 (first published in 1946) are perhaps the foundational texts of the English School. Bull argues that the anarchy present in international relations forms a society with its own rules and norms of behavior. Wight adds normative elements to IR theory. These normative elements may not seem to go far today, but at the time the idea was quite controversial. Hall 2006 presents a look at Wight the thinker and Wight the man, and is useful for any in-depth look at the origins of the English School. Little 2000 provides a relatively brief overview of the English School and carves out a separate theoretical niche for the theory, distinct from the realism/liberalism/constructivism divide. He argues that the theory crosses each of them and blends many methodological and theoretical approaches. Dunne 1998 provides a longer overview of the English School. Reus-Smit 2002 compares the English School to constructivism and shows that they are distinct theories that have a lot to offer each other. Buzan 1993 compares and contrasts structural realism and regime theory (not explicitly included in this bibliography) with the English School and imagines that the English School can be a bridge between realist and liberal theories.

                                                                                                                                  • Bull, Hedley. The Anarchical Society. 3d ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                    The foundational text of the English School by one of the major figures in IR theory. Bull argues that anarchy is itself a society, constructed by its constituents, with its own rules and norms of behavior. Thus, Waltzian neorealism presents too simplistic a view of anarchy. Early discussion of norms in IR. First published in 1977.

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                                                                                                                                    • Buzan, Barry. “From International System to International Society: Structural Realism and Regime Theory Meet the English School.” International Organization 47.3 (June 1993): 327–352.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0020818300027983E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Buzan compares and contrasts the three titular theories and shows how they can work together. He defines international society and shows that international systems can exist with or without a society. Buzan envisions the English School as a bridge between realist and liberal theories.

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                                                                                                                                      • Dunne, Tim. Inventing International Society: A History of the English School. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                        This book is what the title promises it to be. Dunne traces the origins of the English School to Herbert Butterfield’s 1959 “British Committee” and tells the story of the English School.

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                                                                                                                                        • Hall, Ian. The International Thought of Martin Wight. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                          A comprehensive look at Martin Wight, whose work helped form the basis for the English School. Hall does not limit his approach to Wight’s IR theory, but also covers his intellectual history and biography writ large. The book is designed to appeal to readers of all levels and it succeeds at this goal. An important look at Wight and his development of normative IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                          • Jones, Roy E. “The English School of International Relations: A Case for Closure.” Review of International Studies 7 (January 1981): 1–13.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0260210500115086E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Jones coined the term “English School” in this article, even as he argued that this approach to IR should end. He feared that the writings of Charles Manning, Wight, Bull, and others had already become repetitious, and that this problem would only get worse. The article identifies the common threads that make up the English School. He criticizes the theory for being too uncritical.

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                                                                                                                                            • Little, Richard. “The English School’s Contribution to the Study of International Relations.” European Journal of International Relations 6.3 (September 2000): 395–422.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/1354066100006003004E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Little identifies the distinguishing characteristics of the English School and explains that it is concerned not only with international society but also with international systems and world society. To understand each of these areas of interest requires a different methodology. Little both carves out a separate niche for the English School and shows that it crosses many different theoretical methods and approaches.

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                                                                                                                                              • Reus-Smit, Christian. “Imagining Society: Constructivism and the English School.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 4.3 (October 2002): 487–509.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/1467-856X.00091E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                The article looks at the relationship between the titular theories. Reus-Smit examines the internal disputes within each theory as a way of separating them and showing how a dialogue between theories can be established. A useful article, as the English School is often lumped in with constructivism.

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                                                                                                                                                • Wight, Martin. Power Politics. Rev. ed. New York: Continuum, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                  Wight’s classic work. First published as a pamphlet in 1946 and expanded into a book in 1978 (New York: Holmes & Meier). Wight introduces normative elements into traditional realist power politics. If this achievement does not seem so innovative today, it is only because Wight’s thinking has so permeated the field that this book is impossible to ignore as the origin of normative IR theory, as well as of the English School.

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                                                                                                                                                  Marxism

                                                                                                                                                  The study of Marxism in the international relations (IR) theory classroom has been on a steady decline since the end of the Cold War. Any student of Marxism is wise to begin with Marx and Engels 1978, which is used in many disciplines and contains key Marxist texts, of which The Communist Manifesto is the most famous. Hobson 1965 (first published in 1902) argued that imperialism was driven by capitalism. Hobson is still a part of graduate study in IR and to a certain extent has a wider readership than Marx himself. Marx 2008 (available in many other editions and online) provides the basis for Marxist theory, but it is quite long and can be somewhat difficult to understand for the undergraduate. Lenin 1987 (available in many other editions and online) adds revolutionary fervor to Marx’s work. Kautsky 2009 (available in many other editions and online) takes it even further and argues that individual acts of terrorism, including sabotage and assassination, can help to bring about the revolution of the proletariat. Trotsky 1995 (available in many other editions and online) is a response to Kautsky that looks back to Marx (who in turn looked back to Hegel), arguing that individual acts are unnecessary because the revolution is inevitable. Individual acts may even delay the revolution by forcing the state to crack down on the workers. These original works are discussed in Carver 1991, which provides the reader with a wide range of ways to study, read, and understand Marx. Carver 1998 takes a postmodern approach to Marx and pays particular attention to his language and relationship to other scholars of the time.

                                                                                                                                                  • Carver, Terrell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Marx. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                    A very wide range of approaches to the study of Marx. Useful to the scholar who wants to spend a lot of time reading and understanding Marxism. Relatively difficult for the undergraduate or for the casual reader of Marxism.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Carver, Terrell. The Postmodern Marx. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                      A post-Soviet, postmodernist reading of Marx by one of the world’s leading scholars of Marxism. Carver pays particular attention to Marx’s language and relationship to other political thinkers and philosophers of the time. He also addresses how the study of Marxism is changing. Useful for any current student of Marxism.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Hobson, J. A. Imperialism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                        Hobson’s book influenced the major communist thinkers. He argued that imperialism was immoral and that it was driven by capitalism. Underconsumption in the home state would lead the holders of capital to pressure the government to seek markets abroad, which would lead to imperialism. First published in 1902 (London: J. Nisbet) and widely available for free across the web, including from the Marxists Internet Archive.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Kautsky, Karl. Terrorism and Communism: A Contribution to the Natural History of Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                          Kautsky argues that individual acts of terrorism directed against particular capitalist targets and individuals can help spur the revolution. Trotsky 1995 refutes this argument. First published in 1919 and widely available for free online, including from the Marxists Internet Archive.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Lenin, Vladimir. The Essential Works of Lenin: “What Is to Be Done?” and Other Writings. New York: Dover, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                            This edition was edited by Henry M. Christman and contains the titular essay (first published in 1903) as well as “The Development of Capitalism in Russia” (1899), “The State and Revolution” (1917), and “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism” (1916). These are the three essays that any new student of Marxism would be wise to read, and they are available in a multitude of editions. Lenin adds an emphasis on revolution and imperialism to Marx’s work.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Marx, Karl. Capital: An Abridged Edition. Edited by David McLellan. Oxford World’s Classics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                              Capital is a three-volume work published in 1867, 1885, and 1895. Edited by David McLellan, this edition contains almost all of the first volume and a few chapters from the third and is still lengthy; the book forms the basis of Marxist theory and the idea that capitalism is doomed.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Marx-Engels Reader. 2d ed. Edited by Robert C. Tucker. New York: W. W. Norton, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                The standard first exposure to Marx for the undergraduate student and the first thing to read for anyone who has had little exposure to Marx. An anthology that contains major works by Marx and Engels, including The Communist Manifesto and Books 1 and 3 from Capital. The first section of the book is devoted to Marx’s relationship to Hegel and the idea of the end of history (later picked up by Fukuyama 1989, listed under Post–Cold War IR Theory).

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                                                                                                                                                                • Trotsky, Leon. Marxism and Terrorism. New York: Pathfinder, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Trotsky defends dictatorship as superior to democracy, but he argues that individual acts of terrorism are counterproductive. His Hegelian approach leads him to the conclusion that the Communist revolution is inevitable, and thus individual acts to spur it are pointless. Originally written in 1920 as a response to Kautsky’s Terrorism and Communism (Kautsky 2009). Originally titled Terrorism and Communism and available for free across the web, including from the Marxists Internet Archive.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Neoconservatism

                                                                                                                                                                  The inclusion of neoconservatism in this bibliography could be considered controversial for two reasons. The first is that neoconservatism is often categorized as a theory of US foreign policy rather than a theory of international relations (IR). The second is that neoconservatism has been discredited by the Iraq War, so that it is no longer necessary to include it on syllabi. Fukuyama 2007, in particular, argues that the theory needs to be reassessed in light of the failures of the Iraq War. Nevertheless, the influence of the theory on world events and the fact that it contains explicitly IR theoretical distinctions from other theories—most notably the belief that, contra realism, power provokes bandwagoning—is why it is included in this bibliography. Muravchik 2007 does an excellent job of explaining that neoconservatives believe in morality as a basis for policy, in internationalism (something they have in common with liberal internationalists), in the efficacy of military force, and in the belief in democracy at home and abroad. There are other articles written on the domestic politics of neoconservatism, but those go beyond the scope of this bibliography. The bandwagoning versus balancing dichotomy leads to dramatic differences in policy prescriptions between theories. Mearsheimer 2005 contrasts realism and neoconservatism to argue that the classical realists, especially Hans Morgenthau, would have opposed the Iraq War. Williams 2005 presents a much more “academic” argument about how the sharp contrasts between classical realism and neoconservatism (another of which is the former’s emphasis on careful thought and gradual change, as opposed to the latter’s tendency toward bold steps) have reinvigorated the study of classical realist theory. Krauthammer 2004 calls for a “democratic realism” that has little in common with actual realism and whose name seems designed to drive realist scholars insane. Stelzer 2004 provides a very wide array of selections from policymakers and thinkers, and it is useful to see some nuance in a theory often painted with broad brushstrokes and described in conspiratorial tones. The intellectual homes of neoconservatism are the American Enterprise Institute and Commentary magazine. Commentary is the single best source for the very latest in neoconservative thought, while the American Enterprise Institute’s website provides transcripts and short pieces from the leading neoconservative thinkers. The think tank itself is a place of refuge for neoconservatives when they are out of power, and since Leo Strauss’s death in 1973 it has been the intellectual center of the theory.

                                                                                                                                                                  • American Enterprise Institute.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The intellectual home of neoconservatism. The website contains video and transcripts of talks from leading neoconservative thinkers.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Founded by John Podhoretz and now edited by his son Norman, Commentary publishes a wide variety of articles, nearly all from the neoconservative viewpoint. Generally accessible, clear, and well written, the journal is a must for anyone with a serious interest in neoconservatism.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Fukuyama, Francis. America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Fukuyama’s repudiation of some of the neoconservative ideas due to lessons learned from the Iraq War. An excellent example of how evidence can cause a theorist to reevaluate a theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Krauthammer, Charles. “Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World.” Paper presented at the Irving Kristol Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, 10 February 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Despite the title, not a realist argument. Krauthammer argues that Americans need to be motivated by more than power. He says that America should support democracy everywhere, but act with strategic necessity. Prominent neoconservative thinker and argument.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Mearsheimer, John J. “Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq War: Realism vs. Neoconservatism.” OpenDemocracy.net, 19 May 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Uses Morgenthau’s writings against the Vietnam War to establish an argument that he would have equally opposed the Iraq War. Useful, concise, and clear comparison of realism to neoconservatism.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Muravchik, Joshua. “The Past, Present, and Future of Neoconservatism.” Commentary 124.3 (October 2007): 19–30.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Perhaps the best short article about neoconservatism and foreign policy. It lives up to its title and presents a history and summary of neoconservative thinking. If you need to read one article on neoconservatism, this article is the one to read.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Stelzer, Irwin, ed. The Neocon Reader. New York: Grove, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                An excellent, brief introduction to neoconservatism. It contains work by scholars, policymakers, and public intellectuals. The quality ranges from the articulate and learned writing of David Brooks, Max Boot, and Joshua Muravchik to the more overtly partisan work of William Kristol. The volume also examines the intellectual history of neoconservatism as well as its relation to domestic policy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Williams, Michael C. “What is the National Interest? The Neoconservative Challenge in IR Theory.” European Journal of International Relations 11.3 (September 2005): 307–337.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1354066105055482E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Williams links neoconservatism to the wider IR theoretical debates. He argues that the role of the national interest in neoconservative theory makes the work of the classical realists particularly important and newly relevant.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Critical IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                  The inclusion of critical theory as a distinct school of international relations (IR) theory will no doubt please critical IR theorists and anger some traditional IR theorists, who would argue that it is more appropriately considered part of constructivist theory (while some critical theorists would argue that constructivist theory should be considered part of critical theory). This controversy is avoided here by including it both as part of constructivist theory and as a distinct branch of IR theory. Critical theory is found across the liberal arts and is distinguished in IR by making normative claims about how the world should be. However, like conventional constructivism, it is rooted in identity, norms, and ideas. Cox 1981 is a precursor to modern critical IR theory. Cox argues that the world should be looked at in totality and not as dyads (though he does not phrase it that way) or particular systems—a radical idea at the time. Brown 1994, Jones 2001, and Booth 2005 provide general overviews of critical IR theory. Brown defines the term and other related terms and discusses a wide range of theorists. Jones provides a general overview of critical IR theory with essays from some of the major critical IR theorists, and Booth does the same, but with a particular focus on security. Roach 2010 provides a general theory of critical international relations theory rooted in the philosophy of social science, whereas Roach 2007 is an edited collection of the very philosophers with whom Roach grapples in Roach 2010. Weber 2009 is an introductory IR textbook written from a critical perspective and with a focus on how popular films can explain different mainstream and nonmainstream IR theories.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Booth, Ken, ed. Critical Security Studies and World Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Ken Booth’s edited volume and his contributions to the volume are an excellent primer for someone who wants an overview of critical theory in IR. The collection is divided into sections on security, community, and emancipation. Contributors include Steve Smith, Andrew Linklater, Jan Jindy Pettman, and Richard Wyn Jones. Eminently readable work on a theory that is not at all easy to understand.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Brown, Chris. “‘Turtles All the Way Down’: Anti-Foundationalism, Critical Theory and International Relations.” Millennium 23.2 (June 1994): 213–236.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/03058298940230020901E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      An extremely useful article for defining “critical theory” and all of the other related terms used in different ways by different theorists. Discusses a very wide variety of traditional and nontraditional IR, political, and social theorists. An interesting article, but difficult to understand without a strong background in the field, and unfortunately relatively difficult to get hold of in the United States.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cox, Robert W. “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory.” Millennium 10.2 (June 1981): 126–155.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/03058298810100020501E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Cox argues that: (1) the world order should be looked at in totality, not just as state versus state; (2) social forces and processes should be examined as they relate to the second and third image; and (3) one should base theory on “empirical-historical study.” These ideas remain outside the mainstream (though the last seems quite traditional), but they are generally much more widely accepted than they were at the time of publication.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jones, Richard Wyn, ed. Critical Theory and World Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          A general overview of critical IR theory, with chapters from some of the major critical (and noncritical) IR theorists, including Andrew Linklater, Robert W. Cox, Chris Brown, and the seemingly ubiquitous Alexander Wendt. An excellent overview of critical IR theory, useful for anyone interested in the subject.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Roach, Steven C., ed. Critical Theory and International Relations: A Reader. New York: Routledge, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            A comprehensive anthology of philosophers adopted by critical IR theorists as their own, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Habermas. Roach traces the evolution of critical theory into IR and also includes work from prominent IR theorists, including Mervyn Frost, Robert W. Cox, and Christine Sylvester. The book traces the impact of the philosophy of social science on IR. Difficult for the undergraduate and dry for the graduate student, but a useful reference.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Roach, Steven C. Critical Theory of International Politics: Complimentarity, Justice, and Governance. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Roach examines the work of critical theorists drawn from the philosophy of social science, including how critical theory has been applied to IR theory. He develops his own theory of complementarity that links critical theory writ large to critical IR theory. Roach is a clear writer, but knowledge of the philosophy of social science is helpful for understanding this book, and thus it is primarily useful for graduate students and beyond.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weber, Cynthia. International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction. 3d ed. New York: Routledge, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                An introduction to IR theory that makes use of the very latest in scholarship and links each of the major theoretical traditions to popular films. For example, realism is (predictably) linked to Lord of the Flies, constructivism to Wag the Dog, and gender to Fatal Attraction. Very useful to see how pop culture can be used to explain world politics and IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Feminist IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                                The position of feminist IR theory in the discipline has been heatedly debated, most famously between Robert Keohane (in Keohane 1998) and J. Ann Tickner (in Tickner 1997) about whether or not it is indeed a distinct theory. Keohane 1989 also takes a broad look at the contributions of feminism to international relations, though it should be noted that this is slightly different from a look at feminist IR theory per se. Weber 1994 responds to Keohane 1989 and argues that Keohane is threatened by feminist IR theory’s interdisciplinarity, and that the “feminism” he sees is not the “feminism” that is presented. This debate is at least partially the result of resistance to methodologies borrowed from other disciplines; Cohn 1987, for example, uses ethnography and (a small number of) elite interviews to prove a wider point about the gendered language of the US defense establishment. Tickner 1992 attempts to present a more conventional, though nonmeta, IR theory. Enloe 2000 also uses “storytelling”-like methods, but does so in a more rigorous and substantive way than Cohn 1987. Weldes and Squires 2007 attempts to put an end to this debate by delineating “gender in international relations” from “feminist international relations theory” and admonishing feminist IR theorists to stop defending themselves and get on with their research program.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cohn, Carol. “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals.” Signs 12.4 (Summer 1987): 687–719.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/494362E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  An eminently readable and fascinating, if methodologically questionable, article. Cohn provides a narrative of her time spent at a symposium on missile technology with the titular “defense intellectuals.” She recounts how they refer to the weapons in gendered terms (e.g., the missiles, already phallic, penetrate the enemies’ defenses) and draws conclusions based on this experience. Useful for understanding a particularly strain of second-wave-feminism-tinged IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Rev. ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the most widely used books in courses on feminist IR theory, or in courses that include books on feminist IR theory. Through a series of (somewhat informal) case studies, Enloe discusses the role of women in a variety of levels in IR, but her focus is on how the personal affects the political. Fascinating, readable, and enjoyable. First published in 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Keohane, Robert O. “Beyond Dichotomy: Conversations between International Relations and Feminist Theory.” International Studies Quarterly 42.1 (March 1998): 193–197.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/0020-8833.00076E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A response to (and classic pair with) Tickner 1997. Keohane points out Tickner’s (and others’) contribution to IR theory but claims that those contributions fall short of developing an entirely new theoretical framework.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Keohane, Robert O. “International Relations Theory: Contributions of a Feminist Standpoint.” Millennium 18.2 (1989): 245–253.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/03058298890180021001E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Largely a discussion of Sandra Harding and Christine Sylvester; Keohane attempts to objectively describe the contributions of feminism to IR through feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint, and feminist postmodernism. He purports to add direction to the research program, but as Weber 1994 demonstrates, his claims are quite controversial.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Tickner, J. Ann. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Major work in feminist IR theory. Tickner presents a look at feminist perspectives on international relations as well as an argument for a more holistic view of security. Rather than presenting a cohesive general feminist theory of international relations, she focuses on gender’s role in existing theories and in the international system. More purely theoretical than Enloe 2000. Short, readable, and important for any serious scholar of IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tickner, J. Ann. “You Just Don’t Understand: Troubled Engagements between Feminists and IR Theory.” International Studies Quarterly 41.4 (December 1997): 611–632.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/1468-2478.00060E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Part of an exchange with the author’s former advisor, Robert Keohane. Tickner argues that feminist IR theory is a valid contribution to IR, and that it is in fact a theory. She claims that it does not fit into any of the existing theoretical frameworks. Well argued and clear, if not ultimately convincing enough for this author.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Weber, Cynthia. “Good Girls, Little Girls, and Bad Girls: Male Paranoia in Robert Keohane’s Critique of Feminist International Relations.” Millennium 23.2 (June 1994): 337–349.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/03058298940230021401E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A response to Keohane 1989. Weber argues that Keohane is threatened by feminist IR theory’s cross-disciplinary nature. She makes the case that he does not “see” the same types of feminist IR theory that the theorists themselves describe. Interesting article, found in Millennium.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weldes, Jutta, and Judith Squires. “Beyond Being Marginal: Gender and International Relations in Britain.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 9.2 (May 2007): 185–203.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2007.00289.xE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Weldes and Squires make two crucial contributions to the field. First, they delineate between “gender in international relations” and “feminist international relations theory.” Second, they say that feminist IR theorists should stop justifying why feminist IR theory is a theory and just get on with their research program. A landmark piece for the future of the (sub)subfield; recommended for any student who is frustrated with feminist IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Post–Cold War IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Despite the fact that the Cold War has been over for two decades, the major IR theoretical works that were produced in the wake of the Cold War continue both to be studied in IR classes around the globe and remain influential within the field. Fukuyama 1989 and Huntington 1993 are the most famous and widely read of them all. Fukuyama argues that the defeat of the Soviet Union makes the world’s progress toward free-market democracy inevitable. All states will eventually become free-market democracies, and the world will be a boring place free of both creativity and conflict. Huntington 1993 does not see the world as more peaceful. The author describes a world in which civilizations will form the primary fault lines of conflicts (though states will remain the primary actors) and argues that the West should do what it can to remain on top of “the rest.” Mearsheimer 1990 and Kaplan 1994 also produce pessimistic prognostications for the post–Cold War period. Mearsheimer argues that the forty-five years following the Cold War will likely be more violent than the Cold War itself, while Kaplan describes a near apocalyptic scenario in which the cultural and historical struggles of the future may well be too challenging for mankind to overcome. Walt 1991 sees the end of the Cold War as opening the potential for theorists to examine broader definitions of security, but Walt argues that this broadening is a mistake and that IR theory should stick to so-called high politics. Lebow and Risse-Kappen 1995 provide a collection of nonrealist articles that aim to explain why the Cold War ended. Gaddis 1992–1993, on the other hand, tries to explain why IR theorywrit large failed to predict the end of the Cold War.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fukuyama, Francis. “The End of History.” The National Interest 16 (Summer 1989): 3–18.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fukuyama argues that, with the defeat of Communism, states are proceeding inexorably toward free-market democracy. Follows Hegelian and Marxist theoretical traditions of declaring that history has reached a crucial moment with an inevitable end result. Frequently paired with Huntington 1993. Robert Kagan’s 2008 book The Return of History and the End of Dreams argues that autocracy is as strong as ever and that Fukuyama got it wrong.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gaddis, John Lewis. “International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War.” International Security 17.3 (Winter 1992–1993): 5–58.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2539129E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The world’s leading historian of the Cold War explains why IR theorists failed to predict the end of the Cold War (and in some cases predicted it would last for decades longer). Gaddis is always a fine writer, and the article is important for exposing the limitations of the predictive power of IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Huntington, Samuel. “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72.3 (Summer 1993): 22–49.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/20045621E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Huntington argues that in the post–Cold War world, the most intense and intractable conflicts will be between civilizations. Civilizational conflict is the latest stage in an evolution of conflict that started with monarchs, then states, then ideologies (e.g., the Cold War). The most widely cited article in the social sciences.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kaplan, Robert. “The Coming Anarchy.” Atlantic Monthly 30.2 (February 1994): 44–65.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kaplan argues that the Cold War was far better than what is to come: cultural and historical struggles, environmental disaster, tribalism, and other chaotic and negative possibilities. Often the next article added to the classic pairing of Huntington 1993 and Fukuyama 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lebow, Richard Ned, and Thomas Risse-Kappen, eds. International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not to be confused with Gaddis 1992–1993, an article of the same name. These two prominent constructivist IR theorists provide an interesting, generally nonrealist collection of articles about the end of the Cold War. All of the contributors are major scholars, but of particular interest is Michael Doyles’s “Liberalism and the End of the Cold War,” in addition to the chapters by the editors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mearsheimer, John J. “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War.” International Security 15.1 (January 1990): 5–56.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2538981E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Argues that if the Cold War completely ended, then the succeeding forty-five years would be more violent than the forty-five years of the Cold War. Mearsheimer posits four possible scenarios and three potential liberal counterarguments (loosely based on the three major strains of liberal IR theory). Typically, the fourth article added to the classic Huntington 1993, Fukuyama 1989, and Kaplan 1994 collection.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Walt, Stephen M. “The Renaissance of Security Studies.” International Studies Quarterly 35.2 (June 1991): 211–239.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2600471E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Walt argues for a traditional approach to security studies and argues against expanding security studies into dealing with “human security,” environmental security, economic security, or other deviations from the traditional approach.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Political Theory and IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Each of the major branches of traditional international relations (IR) theory can be traced back to political theorists, whose major focus may not have been the international, but whose thought nonetheless influenced IR theorists. Augustine 2003 was a profound influence on Reinhold Niebuhr, and also found its way into Waltz’s classic Man, the State, and War (Waltz 2001, listed under Realism). Hobbes (see Hobbes 1998) and Machiavelli (see Machiavelli 2005) provided the political theoretical backgrounds for what later became known as classical realist international relations theory, though Malcolm 2002 disputes the simplistic interpretation of Hobbes offered by many realists. The roots of modern liberal international relations theory can be traced back to Immanuel Kant’s 1795 Perpetual Peace (Kant 2003). In that essay Kant provided three “definitive conditions” for perpetual peace, each of which became a dominant strain within post–World War II liberal IR theory. Other thinkers, such as Thomas Paine were also influential in establishing a liberal theory (see Paine 2008). The works of Kant and Paine have been anthologized and reprinted in countless editions, so the researcher should have no trouble finding these works in any regular bookstore or library. The cited editions are particularly useful. Van de Haar 2009 more closely examines the influence of four particular classical liberal theorists on modern international relations theory. Beitz 1999 uses liberal political thinkers both to critique realist IR theorists and to add to a classical liberal IR discourse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Beitz, Charles. Political Theory and International Relations. Rev. ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A liberal critique of realism focusing on political theorists. Important section on the role of Hobbes in international relations. Reaches different conclusions than the realists. Difficult read; better for graduate students.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Edited by J. C. A. Gaskin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Classic work of political theory. Typically used in realist international relations theory to illustrate what happens when you have anarchy and scarce resources but no leviathan to provide security, a situation most realists believe obtains in the international system. Important for both classical and structural realist theories. Originally published in 1651.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kant, Immanuel. To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch. Translated by Ted Humphrey. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Originally published in 1795. Kant’s essay forms the fundamental backbone of all modern liberal theories. In it, he provides six preliminary and three definitive conditions for peace. Each of these definitive conditions is the basis for a branch of liberal theory. For an 18th-century philosopher, Kant is unusually accessible for the undergraduate. Available in multiple editions and for free on many websites.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Translated by Peter Bondanella. Oxford World’s Classics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Machiavelli’s advice to a young Lorenzo de’ Medici about how to acquire and effectively use power. Seen as a precursor to modern realist theory due to its emphasis on power over morality. Originally published in 1532.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Malcolm, Noel. “Hobbes’s Theory of International Relations.” In Aspects of Hobbes. By Noel Malcolm, 432–456. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Malcolm takes to task the simplistic reading of Hobbes, often based on just a few pages from Leviathan, offered by the realist thinkers. An important and influential work for understanding the relationship between Hobbes’s work and IR theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Paine, Thomas. Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings. Edited by Mark Philp. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A collection of Paine’s most important political writings. Paine supported the French and American revolutions and advocated democratic governments and social justice. Collection first published in 1995. Material first published in the 1790s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Augustine. City of God. Translated by Henry Bettenson. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Augustine’s lengthy work explains why the Roman Empire collapsed. It is often read as a precursor to the Christian realism of Reinhold Niebuhr, but it also influenced Kenneth Waltz. One of the earliest works to argue against utopianism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • van de Haar, Edwin. Classical Liberalism and International Relations Theory: Hume, Smith, Mises, and Hayek. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A discussion of how the titular thinkers’ work has influenced IR theory. Useful volume for understanding any of these thinkers or how classical liberal political theory has influenced the variety of strands of IR theory. The goal of the book is to show that classical liberalism is not the same as the more modern strains of liberalism to which the IR theorist is typically more accustomed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Foreign Policy and IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This selection contains a number of excellent examples of how international relations (IR) theory can be used to explain particular foreign policies. The exception to this statement is Jervis 1968, an incredibly influential text that points out that even if all sides of an argument are considered, misperception is always a danger and can be the proximate cause of war. Kennan 1984 is a major classical realist text. In what was originally a series of speeches, Kennan carefully explains what a realist foreign policy looks like in practice. Waltz and Sagan 2002 refines a classic debate between the two authors, in which they both use neorealist theory to explain foreign policy but come to opposite conclusions: Waltz argues in favor of selective nuclear proliferation; Sagan argues in favor of the nonproliferation regime. Dueck 2003–2004 argues that the foreign policy pursued by President George W. Bush is not any different than the liberal internationalist policy followed by the United States for the previous hundred years. Hayes 2009 uses a blend of constructivism and democratic peace theory to show why the United States has responded differently to nuclear programs in India and in Iran. Kagan 2004 makes an inadvertently constructivist argument by claiming that the United States and the European Union exist in different forms of anarchy (implicitly on Wendt’s continuum) and thus make different foreign policy choices. Tannenwald 2007 focuses on the role of norms in foreign policy in an incredibly detailed argument that the norm that has developed against the use of nuclear weapons is so strong that such a weapon would not be used even if it were in the national interest to do so. Kubálková 2001 is an interesting edited volume that uses case studies and purely theoretical articles to explain how constructivism can be used to explain foreign policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dueck, Colin. “Hegemony on the Cheap: Liberal Internationalism from Wilson to Bush.” World Policy Journal 20.4 (Winter 2003–2004): 1–11

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that the Bush administration pursued the same sort of liberal internationalist foreign policy that the United States pursued for the previous hundred years. Dueck points out that this policy often leads to overreach followed by disappointment. An excellent, clearly written overview useful for any undergraduate’s understanding of the context of the George W. Bush foreign policy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hayes, Jarrod. “Identity and Securitization in the Democratic Peace: The United States and the Divergence of Response to India and Iran’s Nuclear Programs.” International Studies Quarterly 53.4 (December 2009): 977–999.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2009.00565.xE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A blend of constructivism and democratic-peace theory. Examines the US response to India’s and Iran’s development of nuclear weapons to show that the identity of “democracy” creates a powerful motivating force in creating foreign policy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jervis, Robert. “Hypotheses on Misperception.” World Politics 20.3 (April 1968): 454–479.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2009777E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues that war is ultimately caused by misperception of other states’ intents. Clear, perfectly organized for undergraduates to follow, and a major theoretical contribution to realism and IR theory more generally. Later developed into the 1976 book Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), which refines the argument and adds further historical examples.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kagan, Robert. Of Paradise and Power. New York: Vintage, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kagan argues that the United States exists in a world of Lockian, or even Hobbesian, anarchy, while Europe exists in a world of Kantian anarchy. This difference makes the United States and Europe see the world in fundamentally different ways that are hard, if not impossible, to reconcile. A constructivist argument from a neoconservative thinker. Clear, well written, and relatively short.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kennan, George. American Diplomacy. Exp. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Famous collection of speeches given at the University of Chicago. Useful for showing what a realist foreign policy looks like in practice. Particularly important is the section on legalistic-moralistic approaches to policy, an expansion and clarification of Morgenthau’s discussion of the same topic in Politics Among Nations (Morgenthau 1993, listed under Realism).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kubálková, Vendulka, ed. Foreign Policy in a Constructed World. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A useful single volume for understanding how constructivists approach foreign policy. The volume contains work by the editor, Steve Smith, Nicolas Onuf, and Ralph Pettman, among many others. There are both theoretical overviews and case studies. Part of a comprehensive and well-organized collection of volumes on constructivist theory from the publisher M. E. Sharpe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Tannenwald, Nina. The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An expansion of Tannenwald’s chapter in Katzenstein 1996 (listed under Constructivism). This outstanding case study shows how the non-use of nuclear weapons has become so deeply embedded in American political and social culture that they would never be used, even in cases when their use would make strategic or tactical sense.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Waltz, Kenneth, and Scott Sagan. The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed. 2d ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An update of a 1997 argument between Waltz, who believes that nuclear proliferation is a stabilizing force in international relations, and Sagan, who believes the opposite. This argument is what Waltz is most famous for outside of the international relations community. Important work for those studying proliferation generally or neorealism’s impact on foreign policy specifically.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              History and IR Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Conversations with History is a series of video interviews with historians and international relations (IR) theorists filmed at the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies. It is useful for in-depth understanding of some of the important thinkers listed in this section and throughout this bibliography. In addition, this section contains works of history that are either informed by IR theory or that explicitly discuss the role of IR theory in historical outcomes. Elman and Elman 1997 shows how the fields of diplomatic history and IR theory can work together. It is an excellent starting point to show how history and IR theory are intertwined. Brown, et al. 2002 is an incredibly wide-ranging collection of works that have informed IR theory over thousands of years. It shows the development of thinking about international relations over time, even though most of the works are not explicitly theoretical. Thucydides 1954 is an explicitly historical book, but events did not necessarily happen as Thucydides portrays them. The book is his interpretation of how events unfolded. It is sometimes considered the first realist text for its arguments that “states” act in their own best interest. Mead 2001 and Kissinger 1994 are both diplomatic histories of the United States. Mead divides policymakers into Jacksonians, Jeffersonians, Hamiltonians, and Wilsonians, and he emphasizes early American history. Kissinger emphasizes the 19th and 20th centuries and provides what is generally considered to be a classical realist, and lengthy, diplomatic history of the United States. Schiff 2008 compares the three major branches of IR theory through a narrative history of the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). At the end of each chapter, Schiff explains how each of the theoretical paradigms would handle the issues that arose. It is a perfect book to contrast the theories in practice. Weldes 1999 stands out as a widely read and cited work in the field. In it, Weldes shows that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a socially constructed phenomenon, and that the Soviet missiles in Cuba did not present a material crisis in and of itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brown, Chris, Terry Nardin, and Nicholas Rengger, eds. International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An astonishingly thorough collection that contains work from Thucydides and Aristotle to Maimonides to Aquinas to Machievelli to Grotius to Montesquieu to Hegel to Smith to Schumpeter—and everybody in between. Particularly useful to show the development of international relations theory over time, or to simply point the researcher in the right direction if a particular thinker’s work on IR is needed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Conversations with History.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Though it appears to be imported straight out of the 1970s, Conversations with History provides videos of hour-long interviews with prominent IR theorists, as well as other political scientists and historians. There are interviews with Kenneth Waltz, John Mearsheimer, Robert Keohane, and many more.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Elman, Colin, and Miriam Fendius Elman. “Diplomatic History and International Relations Theory: Respecting Difference and Crossing Boundaries.” International Security 22.1 (Summer 1997): 5–21.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The introduction to a special collection of essays that explore similarities and differences between diplomatic historians and IR theorists. The collection is useful to show how similar methods can be used to different ends. The introduction provides a brief overview of the essays contained within, and thus is perhaps the best starting point for an exploration of how history and IR theory are intertwined.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A history of diplomacy from the 17th century through the present day. Not an international relations theory book per se, but Kissinger focuses on the balance of power and the national interest as major forces in international relations. Clearly written, dry at times, and exceedingly long. Useful as a reference for undergraduate students, graduate students, and beyond.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mead, Walter Russell. Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World. New York: Knopf, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A work by a history of US foreign policy that divides US policy into four schools: Jacksonians, Hamiltonians, Jeffersonians, and Wilsonians. Accessible for the lay reader but in-depth and original enough for the scholar. This multiple-award-winning book is essential for an understanding of the liberal tradition in American foreign policy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Schiff, Benjamin N. Building the International Criminal Court. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Schiff’s book is outstanding for any comparison between the three major IR theoretical paradigms and how they affect a particular international dilemma. His innovation comes from how he interweaves the historical narrative with sections on how realism, liberalism, and constructivism grasp the development of the ICC. This allows the reader to understand both how the ICC arose and how the paradigms contrast.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. Translated by Rex Warner. New York: Penguin Classics, 1954.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An Athenian general’s chronicle of the war between Athens and Sparta from 431 to 404 BCE. Often read in the first week of introductory international relations courses. Most students read only the “Melian Dialogue” or the “Mytelian Debate.” Some consider it the first realist text, because it shows military decisions made from the standpoint of national interest and not morality or other concerns. Text is over two thousand years old.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Weldes, Jutta. Constructing National Interests: The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Brilliant book for scholars of both the Cuban Missile Crisis and constructivist IR theory. Weldes tells the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis three times, from the American, Soviet, and Cuban perspectives. She clearly demonstrates that the titular “crisis” was socially constructed and not due to the missiles themselves, which did not fundamentally alter the balance of power.

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