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: Marxism and Critical Theory

Theory concept: Marxism and critical theory

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the fundamental assumptions of Marxism?
  • What are the main differences between conventional theory and Critical Theory?
  • Why does Marxism continue to be relevant for the study of international relations?

2. Overview and Background

Marxism entered the field of International Relations in the late 1960s with the structuralist works of dependency and world systems theory authors such as Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Immanuel Wallerstein.

Today, it constitutes one of its main theoretical approaches, a development which was halted neither by the end of the Cold War nor the fact that Marx's writings do not directly relate to the international realm (Hobden and Jones 2008: 146). While not theories of International Relations as such, theories of ...

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