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

  • How has peacekeeping evolved since its inception after the Second World War?
  • When are peacekeeping missions likely to be effective?
  • What are the problems inherent to peacekeeping missions?

2. Definitions

Peacekeeping is a tool of conflict management (→ Conflict Resolution), involving the deployment of soldiers in impartial, non-offensive military roles to the field. This deployment is coordinated by international organizations and occurs with the consent of all conflict parties concerned. The UN defines it as a ‘technique designed to preserve peace where fighting has been halted and to assist in implementing established peace agreements’ (United Nations 2008: 15).

While peacekeeping is not provided for directly in the UN charter of 1945, its legal basis lies within both the provisions for the peaceful settlement of disputes of Chapter ...

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