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.

International Law

International law

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the sources of international law?
  • What is the legalization of world politics?
  • Why is the status of customary international law problematic?

2. Definitions

International law is a set of rules, norms and principles to regulate state conduct and guide state interaction by setting standards of what is and what is not permissible (Barash and Webel 2009: 340). International law may also regulate the conduct of international organizations, such as the United Nations. Developments of international law especially in the last century have also increasingly made individuals referents of international rules (→ Human Rights). While international law thus originally only applied to states, and the nation-state continues to be its main subject, it gradually evolved into regulating the conduct of a variety ...

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