International Relations only emerged as a discipline in its own right in the early twentieth century as scholars and practitioners sought to study the causes of war and the conditions for peace in a more systematic and sustained way. The philosophical foundations of the discipline, however, draw on centuries of thinking about human nature, political authority and the relations between political communities. In this book, Stephanie Lawson adopts a broad historical and contextual approach to introduce students to the central themes and theoretical perspectives in the study of world politics. In particular, she examines the development of the discipline's central institution, the state, and explains the ways in which it has both shaped, and been shaped by, political norms. Lawson also looks at key issues in the contemporary world, including security and insecurity, global governance and world order and the impact of globalization on the state.
The range of issues that the discipline now encompasses, together with the development of new theoretical approaches and an increasing openness to interdisciplinary work, make international relations an important and dynamic field of study in today's world. This book will appeal to students of politics and international relations at undergraduate level and beyond, as well as anyone with a general interest in world affairs.show more