International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.



1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What defines the contemporary globalization process?
  • How does globalization relate to ‘fragmegration’ and localization?
  • What are the central debates in the globalization context?

2. Definitions

The term globalization became very popular after the end of the Cold War as a ‘catch-all’ concept describing the widespread perception of the world as merging into a shared global economic and social space, a process caused by information technologies and an increased degree of interdependency. Terms such as global markets or global problems became part of professional and day-to-day conversations of scientists, politicians, businessmen and journalists (Scholte 2005: 51; Held et al. 1999: 1–3).

Despite the concept's omnipresence, the matter of its definition is still the object of controversial discussions. Debate mainly turns around the dual desire of remaining true ...

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