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The fully updated and revised fourth edition of this widely used text provides a comprehensive survey of leading perspectives in the field including an entirely new chapter on Realism by Jack Donnelly. The introduction explains the nature of theory and the reasons for studying international relations in a theoretically informed way. The eleven chapters which follow - written by leading scholars in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK - provide thorough examinations of each of the major approaches currently prevailing in the discipline.
One purpose of this volume is to analyse the diversity of conceptions of theory in the study of international relations. Positivist or ‘scientific’ approaches remain crucial, and are indeed dominant in the United States, as the success of rational choice analysis demonstrates. But this is not the only type of theory available in the field. An increasingly large number of theorists are concerned with a second category of theory in which the way that observers construct their images of international relations, the methods they use to try to understand this realm and the social and political implications of their ‘knowledge claims’ are leading preoccupations. They believe it is just as important to focus on how we approach the study of world politics as it is to try to explain global phenomena. In other words the very process of theorizing itself becomes a vital object of inquiry.
Scott Burchill is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Deakin University, Australia.
Andrew Linklater is Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.
Richard Devetak is Senior Lecturer in Politics, Monash University, Australia.
Jack Donnelly is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Political Science, University of Denver, USA.
Terry Nardin is Professor and Head, Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore.
Matthew Paterson is Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa, Canada.
Jacqui True is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Auckland, New Zealand.