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International Relations Theory
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International Relations Theory
The Essentials

Second Edition


March 2013 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
International Relations Theory: The Essentials provides a complete and concise introduction to the study of international relations theory, covering the main theories that you'll encounter on your course. In addition, its helpful study skills section shows you how to apply your knowledge to coursework and examinations, ensuring that you get the most out of your studies.  

This revised second edition includes:
  • Coverage of the key theories in international relations, including new sections on Democratic Peace Theory, Pluralism and Solidarism and Norms
  • An updated study skills section giving you guidance on responding to feedback and avoiding plagiarism, along with hints and tips for good essay writing, how to get the most out of lectures and seminars, and exam preparation
  • A number of useful learning features; from 'questions to ponder' and 'common pitfalls', to lists of further reading and 'taking it further' boxes, which suggest ways in which you can extend your thinking beyond the classroom  
Written in a clear and accessible style, International Relations Theory: The Essentials is the perfect primer for both undergraduate and graduate students new to the topic of international relations theory, or for those simply looking for a refresher.
 
Introduction: Why You Should Buy This Book
 
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION TO YOUR COURSE IN IR THEORY
 
Introduction to International Relations
 
International Relations Theory
 
Your Course in IRT
 
Theoretical Debates
 
PART TWO: THEORIES OF IR
 
Liberalism
 
Realism
 
Neorealism and Neoliberalism
 
The English School
 
Social Constructivism
 
Marxism
 
Critical Theory
 
Feminism
 
Postmodernism
 
Postcolonialism
 
Green Theory
 
PART THREE: LECTURES, SEMINARS, COURSEWORK AND EXAMS
 
How to Get the Most out of Lectures
 
How to Get the Most out of Seminars
 
Using Feedback
 
Essay Writing
 
Good Practice in Essays
 
Plagiarism and How to Avoid It
 
Exam Revision
 
Exam Tips
 
PART FOUR: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Oliver Daddow has written a comprehensive, insightful, and accessible overview of IR theory. It covers all the major approaches, places them within their appropriate historical and empirical contexts, and offers practical guidance for students to understand the subject matter. This unique combination ensures that the new edition will be valuable reading to anyone who wants to master IR theory and its relationship to global affairs.
Professor Jennifer Sterling-Folker
Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut


This is without doubt the best introduction to international relations theory on the market today. Daddow has managed to summarise complex debates without overly simplifying them, and the book's broader learning tools make it invaluable for students across the social sciences.
Professor Martin Griffiths
School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University


Brilliant book, IMHO the best single volume IR textbook today. perhaps just needs a little more on the emerging Positivist / Post Positivist debate (work such as Patrick Thaddeus Jackson).

Mr Jonathan Rodwell
Department of Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University
December 19, 2014

The students were extremely content about this book. It is used as essential reading for my theory class and helped my students to widen their perceptions of IR theories.

Dr Mustafa Palabıyık
Department of International Relations, TOBB University of Economic & Tech
December 10, 2014

It's a very good introductory text. What's value added, information for students, how to make most of their lectures, prepare an essay or avoid plagiarism make this text really useful not only to the Theory course, but also diploma seminar, where I also recommend it.

Dr Marcin Grabowski
Political Science and International Relations, Jagiellonian University
October 24, 2014

This well-presented and very clear book includes three parts - a first part introducing students to International Relations theory and discussing its application to the discipline, a second part offering an overview of the main IR theories and a third part giving students essential advice on study skills. In my view the first part is the most original and interesting as the author deals here with issues that lecturers neglect all too often - theory can seem terribly dry and even pointless to first and second year students and a discussion addressing their apprehension is indeed welcome. The other parts of the book are also very clear, well written and researched, but certainly less original. This is no doubt a useful book for students starting their discovery of International Relations, but one that may be trying to do a little too much in just one volume.

Dr Marie Gibert
School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent Univ.
July 8, 2014

A textbook for an undergraduate class, which gives the basics of each IR theory clearly in a way that even the weak students may understand easily.

Dr Hakan Ongur
Department of Political Science, TOBB University of Economic & Tech
March 28, 2014

It is a great book for level 1 students. Alongside IR discipline and theories chapters, 3rd chapter on exams, essays, seminars etc. is really helpful for students, I use the section on writing essays for other modules as well.

Strongly recommended!

Mr Gorkem Altinors
School of Politics & Int'l Relations, Nottingham University
January 29, 2014

This book covers provides a clear introduction to many of the key perspectives pertinent to the study of International Relations. It is both easy to understand and provides opportunity for the reader to consider the issues further. I found the questions to ponder feature and the essay writing support to be useful tools in discussion with my learners. Altogether a useful and easy to follow book that opens the door to Internal Relations rather nicely.

Mr Stuart Miller
PSTT, Peterborough Regional College
January 27, 2014

This is a remarkable overview that combines a concise introduction to IR theory with a hands-on manual for lecturers and students alike that will lead both to get the most benefit from their courses. A truly unique and important book.

Mr Simon Koschut
International Studies, University of Erlangen Nuremberg
December 10, 2013

Gives a good short introduction to major IR theories. Very much geared towards student readers, who will appreciate relatively brief sections for each theory and liberal use of modern-day and pop-cultural examples. Helpful section at the back with tips for actually taking a course in IR. Not that helpful for more advanced readers or graduate students due to brevity and lack of depth on many concepts.

Dr Patrick Theiner
Department of Political Science, Georg-August University of Göttingen
November 22, 2013
  • New sections on Democratic Peace Theory, Pluralism and Solidarism and Norms
  • An updated study skills section with guidance on responding to feedback and avoiding plagiarism, along with hints and tips for good essay writing, how to get the most out of lectures and seminars, and exam preparation
  • A number of useful learning features; from 'questions to ponder' and 'common pitfalls', to lists of further reading and 'taking it further' boxes

Oliver Daddow

Oliver Daddow is Assistant Professor in British Politics and Security at the University of Nottingham. His research interests are in interpretivist international relations, British foreign policy – especially Brexit and the Europe question – and discourse analysis. He is the author of Britain and Europe Since 1945: Historiographical Perspectives on Integration (Manchester University Press, 2004) and New Labour and the European Union: Blair and Brown’s Logic of History (Manchester University Press, 2011). He edited Harold Wilson and European Integration: Britain’s Second Application to Join the EEC (Frank Cass, 2003). With Jamie Gaskarth he... More About Author

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