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Concepts in World Politics

Concepts in World Politics

First Edition
Edited by:

August 2016 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Recognizing the vital importance of concepts in shaping our understanding of international relations, this ground-breaking new book puts concepts front and centre, systematically unpacking them in a clear, critical and engaging way.

With contributions from some of the foremost authorities in the field, Concepts in World Politics explores 17 core concepts, from democracy to globalization, sovereignty to revolution, and covers:

  • The multiple meanings of a concept, where these meanings come from, and how they are employed theoretically and practically
  • The consequences of using concepts to frame the world in one way or another
  • The method of concept analysis

A challenging and stimulating read, Concepts in World Politics is an indispensable guide for all students of international relations looking to develop a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of world politics.

Felix Berenskoetter
Chapter 1: Unpacking Concepts
Stefano Guzzini
Chapter 2: Power
Holger Stritzel/Juha Vuori
Chapter 3: Security
Annette Freyberg-Inan
Chapter 4: Rationality
Richard Ned Lebow
Chapter 5: Identity
Antoine Bousquet
Chapter 6: War
Oliver Richmond/Felix Berenskoetter
Chapter 7: Peace
Alex Prichard
Chapter 8: Anarchy
Oliver Kessler/Benjamin Herborth
Chapter 9: Society
Benno Teschke/Frido Wenten
Chapter 10: Capitalism
Tanja Aalberts
Chapter 11: Sovereignty
Alejandro Colas
Chapter 12: Hegemony
Piki Ish-Shalom
Chapter 13: Democracy
Maria Birnbaum
Chapter 14: Religion
Rahul Rao
Chapter 15: Revolution
David Chandler
Chapter 16: Intervention
Thomas Diez
Chapter 17: Integration
Stephan Stetter
Chapter 18: Globalization

In the beginning was the word, the word took on many meanings and became a concept. The concept went on to create the social world. Follow it all here.

Iver B. Neumann
Montague Burton Professor in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science

This fascinating and insightful edited volume has an incredibly useful yet simple premise:  unpack seminal concepts in the study of world politics in order to understand their history, meaning and usage. Frequently evoked yet poorly understood, concepts such sovereignty, power, democracy, globalization and many others are carefully unpacked by some of the best theorists in the field today.  This volume is an invaluable resource for anyone who has puzzled over the meaning of foundational international relations concepts, asked why these ideas are so important, and questioned what role these concepts play in both the study and practice of world affairs. 

Jennifer Sterling-Folker
University of Connecticut

It should come as news to no one that basic concepts in international studies such as 'intervention' or 'sovereignty' are contested bundles of meaning that change over time. This volume goes well beyond that observation, using it as a starting-point for a set of richly detailed investigations into the plurality of meanings composing those concepts both inside and outside of the world of academic scholarship. Such a mapping of the basic 'mental furniture' of international affairs provides an excellent point of departure for discussions about the ongoing production and reproduction of the world we inhabit. Excellent for students of international affairs at all levels, including those advanced students who sometimes style themselves 'professionals'.

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
American University

Felix Berenskoetter

Felix Berenskoetter is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at SOAS, University of London. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and specializes in international theory and concepts, in particular friendship, identity, power, security, peace, and time; as well as German foreign policy, European security and transatlantic relations. He has published articles in various journals and co-edited Power in World Politics (Routledge, 2007). Felix is a former editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies, founder and former chair of the ISA Theory Section and currently an... More About Author

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