Encounters with World Affairs: An Introduction to International Relations

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This book is designed to familiarise students with leading International Relations (IR) theories and their explanation of political events, phenomena, and processes which cross the territorial boundaries of the state. Thus, students will be exposed to the interplay between power, interest, ideas, identity, and resistance, in explaining continuity and change in international relations. Developed to provide students with the analytical tools and intellectual frameworks needed to understand the behaviour of different international actors in contemporary global affairs. This textbook responds to the challenges of a dynamic job market by assisting students to gain both thorough theoretical knowledge and training them to apply this knowledge to real world problems. In short, this textbook delivers: A comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the examination of national, regional and global trends in politics, economics and socio-cultural developments allowing students to understand: ¢ the practice and theory of contemporary international relations ¢ the politics, culture, history, and economies of different regions around the world ¢ the role played by international interactions, culture, and government in local, national, and global settings. Equipping students with the proficiency: ¢ to understand and interpret the dynamics, patterns, and issues of global affairs ¢ to know how to get more information about particular questions ¢ to evaluate that information independently and effectively. To these ends, the textbook provides a number of features that will appeal to students and avoids overwhelming students with chapters on topics which (in practice) are rarely on courses, while nonetheless providing a comprehensive overview of the field. Introduces students to the main debates, topics, and terms in the field and allows them to decide which they would like to focus on in their further studies.
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About the author

Dr. Emilian Kavalski is Associate Professor of Global Studies at the Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University.
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Additional Information

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Published on
Mar 9, 2016
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Philosophy / Political
Political Science / Political Economy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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India’s role in global politics draws increasing attention from the international community. Unprecedented economic growth, rising fundamentalism in national politics and the knife-edge of nuclear-fuelled tension with an unstable Islamic government in Pakistan are all bound up in Indian claims to geopolitical ascendance. At the same time, Central Asia has re-emerged as a site of international contestation or a ‘new Great Game’, with Russia, China and the US vying over security and energy interests in a politically unstable region. In this fresh and penetrating analysis of India’s foreign policy, particularly on Central Asia, Emilian Kavalski illuminates India’s international ambitions and capabilities, and its complex dynamics with great powers USA, China and Russia. India and Central Asia provides a timely and much-needed assessment of the foreign policy of a rising power. Drawing on theoretical perspectives in International Relations, Kavalski shows how India’s foreign policy is intimately related to its domestic politics. The 1998 nuclear tests marked a decisive break in India’s external affairs; policy formulations after the tests present a qualitatively different interpretation of the country’s role in and the character of the post-Cold War system. Key to these new policy narratives is assertive posturing on the global stage, an idea built on several symbolic ideas or ‘myths’ used to justify foreign policy to a domestic audience, such as a new ideology of national strength (Hindutva) and a prevailing narrative of self-aggrandizement. The case of Central Asia is especially revealing on the influence of India’s domestic mythmaking narratives on its foreign policy. Kavalski assesses the tension between assertiveness and regional cooperation in India’s ‘Look North’ policy and provides a unique understanding of Indian perceptions of the emergence of a ‘new Great Game’ in the region. He also traces India’s stance on the agency of Russia, China, the European Union, the USA and NATO in the region, with new insights not accessible through accounts of bilateral relations. India and Central Asia offers an indispensable account of the domestic sources of India’s emerging international agency. It is essential for scholars, researchers and policy makers interested in the changing patterns of global politics and the roles that both India and Central Asia play in these transformations, and all those interested in Asian studies, political science, international relations and security studies more widely.
The region of the Balkans has become one of the emblematic features of the post-Cold War geography of international relations. Yet, despite the substantial number of analyses dealing with regional developments, these have remained strikingly atheoretical and, oddly, removed from the advances in the study of world politics. Rectifying such trend, this book is distinguished both by the questions it poses and the way it responds to them: How is peace (i.e. a security-community-order) initiated in the Balkans? Who are the dominant agents of such peace-promotion? What processes suggest the initiation of (lasting) peace in the Balkans? Under what circumstances do regional states comply with international standards? Such examination of peace-promotion in the Balkans contends that the mainstream suggestion of a ‘nascent security community’ is suggestive of a rather developed pattern of order. Instead, this study develops the concept of an elite security community as the embryonic stage of security-community-building and proposes that the initiation of security communities is dependent on three propensities: (i) external actors, who initiate and maintain the process as a result of their perception that an area/region is a place where peace should be established; (ii) elites, representing state decision-making and who could be induced by the external actors to follow prescribed patterns of policy-behaviour; (iii) international socialisation - the complex process of various programs and dynamics employed by the external actors to condition the target state-elites into peaceful international relations. The novel assertion is that in the Balkans these features become operational as a result of the 1999 Kosovo crisis, which represents a watershed simplifying the institutionalisation of Europe’s security governance in a way that placed the EU and NATO central stage. In contrast to studies that examine the order-promoting effects of either the EU or NATO (mostly contextualised to the experience of Central and East European states), this book analyses the effects of both and compares their role in extending the European zone of peace to the Balkans. Moreover, unlike recent surveys on the pacification of the Balkans, which focus exclusively on the area of former Yugoslavia, this exploration provides a detailed comparative analysis of the role played by external actors in the Balkan region as a whole. This approach allows not only for making generalizations on the role of external agents in the Balkans, but also for problematising the involvement of the EU and NATO in the region and providing a well-informed discussion of their role in promoting security-community-practices to the region.
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