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

  • Whose security are we referring to in International Relations?
  • What are the threats against which security in international politics needs to be guaranteed?
  • What is the relationship between security and identity?

2. Definitions

There used to be a time when security was easily defined in International Relations. Security had to do with protecting the territorial integrity and the political system of a state, or what one may call the identity of a state, first and foremost by military means. Security policy was, and to a large extent still is, therefore closely linked with defence policy. It is broader than defence policy in that it includes other foreign policy means than recourse to the military to secure the survival of the state, such as the participation in ...

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