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

  • Why is discourse an important category in the analysis of international relations?
  • How are identities constructed through discourse in international relations?
  • To what extent is discourse analysis more than merely a method of International Relations?

2. Definitions

Discourse has become one of the central analytical concepts in many disciplines of the social sciences, including International Relations. However, when analysts refer to discourse, they often have different things in mind. On one dimension, definitions differ in what they consider discourses generally to be made up of. To some, discourse consists of any written or spoken text in the narrow sense of the word. They accord priority to language as the medium through which we make sense of the world. Others include all activity that produces meaning, ...

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