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UN peacekeeping is a core pillar of the multilateral peace and security architecture and a multi-billion-dollar undertaking reshaping lives around the world. In spite of this, the engagement between the literatures on UN peacekeeping and International Relations theory has been a slow development. This has changed in recent years, and there is now a growing interest tin examining UN peacekeeping from various theoretical perspectives to yield insights about how international relations are changing and developing. The volume is the first comprehensive overview of multiple theoretical perspectives on UN peacekeeping. There are two main uses of this volume. First, this volume provides the reader with insights into different theoretical lenses and how they can be applied practically to understanding UN peacekeeping better. Second, through case studies in each chapter, the volume provides practical examples of how International Relations theories – such as realism, liberal institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, feminist institutionalism, constructivism, critical security studies, practice theory, and complexity theory – can be applied to a specific policy issue. Applying these theories enhances our understanding of why UN peacekeeping, as an international institution, has evolved in a particular direction and functions the way that it does. The insights generated in the volume can also help shed light on other international institutions as well as the broader issue of international co-operation.

Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud

blamed for the lack of rapprochement: there was ‘limited attention paid to the role and purpose of peace operations from within the intellectual context of International Relations theory’ (Pugh 2003 : 104). Even in the second half of the 2000s, Bures ( 2007 : 407) observed that the literature on peacekeeping was ‘idiosyncratic and atheoretical’, while Lindley ( 2007 : 3) characterised it as ‘a surprisingly theory-free zone’. As late as 2015, peacekeeping research was described as ‘largely a-theoretical’ and ‘focused on the practical concern’ (Diehl and Druckman 2015

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory

This book traces discussions about international relations from the middle ages up to the present times. It presents central concepts in historical context and shows how ancient ideas still affect the way we perceive world politics. It discusses medieval theologians like Augustine and Aquinas whose rules of war are still in use. It presents Renaissance humanists like Machiavelli and Bodin who developed our understanding of state sovereignty. It argues that Enlightenment philosophers like Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau laid the basis for the modern analyses of International Relations (IR). Later thinkers followed up with balance-of-power models, perpetual-peace projects and theories of exploitation as well as peaceful interdependence. Classic IR theories have then been steadily refined by later thinkers – from Marx, Mackinder and Morgenthau to Waltz, Wallerstein and Wendt.

The book shows that core ideas of IR have been shaped by major events in the past and that they have often reflected the concerns of the great powers. It also shows that the most basic ideas in the field have remained remarkably constant over the centuries.

Máire Braniff and Sophie Whiting

6 Gender, International Relations theory, and Northern Ireland Máire Braniff and Sophie Whiting Approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1998 landmark Good Friday or Belfast Agreement, the age-old issue of security plagues the failed negotiations on dealing with the past and the issues of victimhood, justice, and historical accountability in Northern Ireland.1 The security dilemma is one of the most compelling issues in the real world of politics and in International Relations (IR) scholarship.2 The negotiations about how to deal with Northern Ireland

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Torbjørn L. Knutsen

Where should we look for the origins of an International Relations theory tradition? 1 On the one hand are authors who claim that we should begin with World War I. This is too late. Long before World War I, a large body of literature existed which discussed issues of war, wealth, peace and power in international relations – as this book seeks to show. On the other hand are authors who argue that we should begin with the dawn of recorded history. But this is too early. No sustained connection exists between the famous discussions of Xenophon

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)

The peace process in Northern Ireland is associated with the signing of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement, the arduous and lengthy implementation of this Agreement, and the continuing sectarianism in Northern Ireland. Despite the numerous and various studies about this case, no collection of scholarly analysis to date has attempted to assess a wide variety of theories prominent in International Relations (IR) that relate directly to the conflict in Northern Ireland, the peace process, and the challenges to consolidating peace after an agreement. IR scholars have recently written about and debated issues related to paradigms, border settlement and peace, the need to provide security and disarm combatants, the role of agents and ideas, gender and security, transnational movements and actors, the role of religions and religious institutions, the role of regional international organizations, private sector promotion of peace processes, economic aid and peacebuilding, the emergence of complex cooperation even in the world of egoists, and the need for reconciliation in conflict torn societies. How do the theories associated with these issues apply in the context of Northern Ireland’s peace process? Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland explores primarily middle-range theories of International Relations and examines these theories in the context of the important case of Northern Ireland.

Life struggles, liberal modernity, and the defence of logistical societies
Author: Julian Reid

This is a book which aims to overturn existing understandings of the origins and futures of the War on Terror for the purposes of International Relations theory. As the book shows, this is not a war in defence of the integrity of human life against an enemy defined simply by a contradictory will for the destruction of human life as commonly supposed by its liberal advocates. It is a war over the political constitution of life in which the limitations of liberal accounts of humanity are being put to the test if not rejected outright.

A poststructural critique
Author: Natalie Bormann

Why adopt a poststructural perspective when reading about the military strategy of national missile defence (NMD)? Certainly, when considering how best to defend the United States against attack by intercontinental ballistic missiles, the value of critical international relations theory may be easy to overlook. So, how might the insight of scholars such as Michel Foucault contribute to our understanding of the decision-making processes behind NMD policy? The deployment of NMD is a sensitive political issue. Official justification for the significance of the NMD system is based upon strategic feasibility studies and conventional threat predictions guided by worst-case scenarios. However, this approach fails to address three key issues: the ambiguous and uncertain nature of the threat to which NMD responds; controversy over technological feasibility; and concern about cost. So, in light of these issues, why does NMD continue to stimulate such considerable interest and secure ongoing investment? Presented as an analysis of discourses on threats to national security – around which the need for NMD deployment is predominately framed – this book argues that the preferences underlying NMD deployment are driven by considerations beyond the scope of strategic approaches and issues. The conventional wisdom supporting NMD is contested using interpretive modes of inquiry provided by critical social theory and poststructuralism, and it is suggested that NMD strategy should be viewed in the context of US national identity. The book seeks to establish a dialogue between the fields of critical international relations theory and US foreign policy.

This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.

This book reviews a variety of approaches to the study of the European Union's foreign policy. Much analysis of EU foreign policy contains theoretical assumptions about the nature of the EU and its member states, their inter-relationships, the international system in which they operate and the nature of European integration. The book outlines the possibilities for the use of discourse analysis in the study of European foreign policy. It sets out to explore the research problem using a political-cultural approach and seeks to illuminate the cognitive mind-maps with which policy-makers interpret their political 'realities'. The book provides an overview and analysis of some of the non-realist approaches to international relations and foreign policy, and proposes an analytical framework with which to explore the complex interplay of factors affecting European foreign policy. The book suggests one way of seeking theoretical parsimony without sacrificing the most defining empirical knowledge which has been generated about Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) over the years. It argues that while the sui generis nature of CFSP presents an acute problem for international relations theory, it is less pronounced with regard to traditional integration theory. The book discusses the dimensions of European foreign policy-making with reference to the case of arms export controls. Situated at the interface between European studies and international relations, it outlines how the EU relates to the rest of the world, explaining its effort towards creating a credible, effective and principled foreign, security and defence policy.