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.

Theory Concept: Liberalism and Neoliberalism

Theory concept: Liberalism and neoliberalism

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • Which of the diverse approaches under the umbrella-term liberalism are applied to the study of International Relations?
  • How does liberalism explain international cooperation?
  • In what ways does neoliberalism connect to international regimes and game theory?

2. Overview and Background

Liberalism is one of the central approaches towards the understanding of world politics and is commonly referred to as the theoretical ‘opponent’ of realism (→ Theory Concept: Realism and Neorealism). It entered academic International Relations in the period after the First World War, but rests upon a tradition of thought that includes Immanuel Kant and Hugo Grotius. Today's usage of the term liberalism includes a variety of different theoretical approaches not always directly related to world politics, which ...

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