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Realism and International Relations
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Book description

Realism and International Relations provides students with a critical yet sympathetic survey of political realism in international theory. Using six paradigmatic theories - Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, the Prisoners' Dilemma, Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes - the book examines realist accounts of human nature and state motivation, international anarchy, system structure and the balance of power, international institutions, and morality in foreign policy. Donnelly argues that common realist propositions not only fail to stand up to scrutiny but are rejected by many leading realists as well. He argues that rather than a general theory of international relations, realism is best seen as a philosophical orientation or research program that emphasizes - in an insightful yet one-sided way - the constraints imposed by individual and national egoism and international anarchy. Containing chapter-by-chapter guides to further reading and discussion questions for students, this book offers an accessible and lively survey of the dominant theory in International Relations.

Reviews

‘Donnelly’s book produces a clear, but sophisticated, analysis of realism in international relations. It is one of the rate examples of a book of international relations theory that is approachable and easily understandable, but not lacking in original or noteworthy analysis. This book will be of use to both experienced academics and novices in the study of international relations. It provides an excellent, and very readable, starting point for the study of realism … Donnelly’s book is both an excellent starting off point and a significant contribution to this enduring debate.’

Source: The Journal of European Affairs

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