War, Peace, & International Politics (8th Edition)

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9780321048370: War, Peace, & International Politics (8th Edition)

War, Peace, and International Politics, Eighth Edition, begins by examining a unique characteristic of international relations: war. The text seeks to discover the causes of war by looking at historical cases and moves from these cases to theories about the causes of war. It then looks at a variety of proposals for eliminating war, or, if not eliminating, then reducing its incidence or ameliorating its effects. Ten different approaches to reducing conflict are assessed for weaknesses and strengths.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface

Who reads prefaces? Perhaps you are a student enrolled in an international relations class. You may even be a student procrastinating on an assignment from this book. If so, I warn you the preface is less interesting than the book itself. With help from my own students, I have tried to make the book simple enough to be understood, detailed enough to be vivid, and coherent enough to hold your attention. I think you will find it more interesting to read than most textbooks you will encounter.

Perhaps you are a teacher, considering whether to use this book in your classes. If so, I want to set out the assumptions on which the book was written.

First, most students today, although intellectually capable, are often deficient in factual knowledge about major occurrences in the recent past and in the contemporary world. They are capable of grasping even difficult concepts but, as William James once wrote, "No one sees farther into a generalization than his own knowledge of details extends . . . ." Therefore, the book tries to provide as much background as is feasible in a limited space.

Second, most students enroll in international relations courses to satisfy their curiosity about the world or to meet graduation requirements, not because they expect to become Secretary of State or a professor of international relations. Thus, an emphasis on the latest academic trends is irrelevant to their needs. Questions of methodology and explanations of competing theories are at best of only passing interest. This book draws on recent research only where substantive results are of interest to the nonspecialist.

Third, students learn more from a coherent story than an encyclopedia. Rather than try to cover every subject that has been examined under the rubric of international relations, I have tried to fit the major topics into the framework of war and peace. War is not the only topic in international relations but it is a major one. Persisting large military budgets and continuing deployment of American troops around the world attest to its current relevance.

Perhaps you are a teacher who has used this book before who wants to see at a glance what is new. The chapter on principles of international relations now includes a large section on the erosion of traditional, state-centered principles. While this chapter does not embrace the view that we now live in a new, trans-national world, it does suggest that we no longer have a single global system but a world fractured into several systems. The chapter on diplomacy has been replaced by one that focuses on the solutions that diplomats try to achieve. Other changes throughout the book are attempts to take account of changes in the world, such as a common European currency.

Finally, for the reader of this preface who may have picked up the book by chance, let me explain it briefly. This book is about international relations, which is the study of the interactions of states and other actors in global politics. It begins by examining a unique characteristic of international relations - war. It first seeks to discover the causes of war by looking at historical cases. From these cases it moves to some generalizations about the causes of war. It then looks at a variety of proposals for eliminating war, or if not eliminating it, then reducing its incidence or ameliorating its effects. Ten different approaches are assessed for weaknesses and strengths. You may not find the book as gripping as the average novel but I hope you find it considerably more interesting than the average textbook.

I am especially grateful to my wife Rena for the time and energy she took from her own professional life to read and comment on many drafts of the manuscript. I am fortunate to have an alert and intelligent reader without any background in the field of international relations who can tell me when I am being clear and when I am not. For whatever clarity this book may have, she deserves equal credit. David W. Ziegler

From the Back Cover:

War, Peace, and International Politics is a proven success in the classroom that examines a unique and continually important characteristic of international relations-war. This classic text first seeks to discover the causes of war by looking at historical cases and moves from these cases to theories. It then analyzes a variety of proposals for eliminating war, or if not eliminating it, then at least reducing its effects. This eighth edition features new discussions on bilateral solutions and diplomacy, ethnic conflict, an updated discussion of the Euro, and further discussion on attempting to disarm Iraq.

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