Political Science and International Relations

The academic field of political science and the subfield of international relations both emerged in the early 20th century. Scholars in the field seek to move beyond the study of individual events and develop a general conceptual framework to allow them to describe, explain, and predict actions in the international system. Partly reflecting the impact of the two World Wars and the Cold War, the field’s early work primarily focused on questions related to why countries go to war, how they reach peaceful accommodations, and why some move to form truly cooperative bilateral ties or international institutions. As the field matured and the international agenda shifted toward other issues, such as trade, development, the environment, and so on, the academic literature also expanded, but ...

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