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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.

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.

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.

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)
Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud

International Relations (IR) theories may seem abstract and arcane. With this book, we want to dispel this stereotype. The contributors to this volume demonstrate how IR theories can be applied to a very practical problem: UN peace operations, 1 one of the main instruments of international conflict management. Besides peace operations, the chapters shed light on many other aspects of international affairs, such as multilateral co-operation, the role of international bureaucracies, and evolution

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
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
Naomi Head

promises. The ‘communicative turn’ in international relations The influence of critical theory in IR emerged in the early 1980s, notably with the work of Robert Cox, Richard Ashley and Andrew Linklater. 9 Broadly speaking, critical theory can be split into four main strands: Frankfurt School critical theory, neo

in Justifying violence
Abstract only
Becoming contemporary
Torbjørn L. Knutsen

interdependence Nationalism, industrialism and imperialism affected the behaviour of nineteenth-century states. Two additional factors also affected the behaviour of states – or rather, shaped the way statesmen and scholars perceived state relations: ‘interdependence’ and ‘evolution’. Both factors made deep marks on late nineteenth-century International Relations theory. Also, they informed the first efforts to build a science of international politics and they cast long shadows over International Relations International Relations theorizing for many decades

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)
International Relations theory and the study of UN peace operations
Mats Berdal

International Relations as a crossroads In a short but typically incisive survey of the field, written at a time when the so-called ‘inter-paradigm debate’ (Banks 1985 ) in International Relations (IR) was still generating as much heat as light, Philip Windsor insisted that ‘far too much scholarly time [had] been wasted in disputes about what actually is the field of International Relations’ (Windsor 2002 : 18). Indeed, the absence of an agreed intellectual base or a unifying method led him to question whether IR could

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
The revolutionary rise of popular sovereignty
Torbjørn L. Knutsen

England emerged as a Great Power during the wars of Louis XIV. And as British wealth and force dominated interstate affairs in the postwar period, so British ideas influenced the study of international relations during this Age of Enlightenment. The sentiment of the age was marked by a confidence in the powers of human reason and a firm conviction of the regularity of nature. It had emerged during the seventeenth century; by the eighteenth, it had matured into a pervasive vision. Scientists and philosophers sought to capture the symmetry and regularity of

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)