Understanding Global Politicstakes a pragmatic approach to international relations, with each chapter being written by an expert in their respective field:
Part I provides the historical background that has led to the current state of world affairs. It also provides clear outlines of the major yet often complex theories of international relations.
Part II is dedicated to the main actors in global politics. It discusses actors such as the most important nation states, the UN, EU, international organizations, NGOs and multinational companies.
Part III considers important contemporary themes and challenges in global politics, including non-state centered challenges. Chapters focus on international terrorism, energy and climate change issues, religious fundamentalism and demographic changes.
The comprehensive structure of this book makes it particularly viable to students who wish to pursue careers in international organizations, diplomacy, consultancy, the think tank world and the media.
This new volume moves beyond the limits of current debate to show how today’s foreign policy is increasingly about values rather than interests and why ethics are now playing a central role.
Rather than counterposing interests and ethics, trying to find ‘hidden agendas’ or emphasizing the double-standards at play in ethical foreign policy, this book brings together leading international theorists, and a variety of stimulating approaches, to develop a critical understanding of the rise of ethical foreign policy, and to analyze the limits of ethical policy-making on its own terms. They deal with the limits of ‘ethical foreign policy’ both in the light of the internal dynamic of these policies themselves, and with regard to the often unintended consequences of policies designed to better the world.
This book also shows how the transformation of both the domestic and the international spheres of politics means that ethics has become a rallying point for non-state actors and experts who gather around values and norms in order to force institutions to justify their behavior. This process results from different structural changes and the transformation of the international system, the individualization of Western societies and the growing importance of expertise in the justification of decisions in risk adverse societies. It leads to a transformation of norms and to a redefinition of a global ethical framework that needs to be clarified.
This book will be of great interest to all students and researchers of foreign policy formation, politics and international relations.
"This is a worthwhile and engaging volume. Political psychology is gaining ground as an essential perspective to consider when analyzing international relations, and the book's focus on constructivism provides key insights into the relationship between identity, norms, and behavior---bedrock concepts in understanding the social underpinnings of global politics."
---Mira Sucharov, Carleton University
"An indispensable guide to understanding what distinguishes and what unites psychology and constructivism. A wonderful resource for political psychologists, constructivists, and their critics."
---Jonathan Mercer, University of Washington
Constructivist IR scholars study the ways in which international norms, culture, and identities---all intersubjective phenomena---inform foreign policy and affect the reaction to and outcomes of international events. Political psychologists similarly investigate divergent national self-conceptions as well as the individual cognitive and emotional propensities that shape ideology and policy. Given their mutual interest in human subjectivity and identity politics, a dialogue and synthesis between constructivism and political psychology is long overdue.
The contributors to this volume discuss both theoretical and empirical issues of complementarity and critique, with an emphasis on the potential for integrating the viewpoints within a progressive ideational paradigm. Moreover, they make a self-conscious effort to interrogate, rather than gloss over, their differences in the hope that such disagreements will prove particularly rich sources of analytical and empirical insight.
Jacket illustration © Ocean Photography/Veer