Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Theory of International Politics Paperback – January 1, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0075548522 ISBN-10: 0075548526 Edition: 1st

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, January 1, 1979
$57.40 $3.69

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (January 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0075548526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0075548522
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The late Kenneth Waltz was a towering figure in the academic study of the field of international relations. Waltz's theoretical insights and his seminal contribution to neorealism will remain an enduring part of our understanding of how the world works in years to come. There are few books that can match the rigor and theoretical depth of Waltz's Theory of International Politics." --Nader Entessar, University of South Alabama --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"This is one of the seminal texts in international relations. I'm thrilled to see it in print again. Thank you so much for committing to it!" -- Christopher Moore, Bethel University --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Peterson on October 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Theory of International Politics is truly a five-star book when it comes to academic impact; I give it four stars only because the writing can be obtuse. Nonetheless, and despite criticism from other Amazon reviewers, Waltz's book lays the foundation of the theoretical paradigm that is dominant among international relations scholars. Anyone wishing to understand the current academic debates among international relations scholars should read at least excerpts of Theory of International Politics.
The reason Waltz's book carries such weight, despite flaws, is that Waltz lays out a simple, theoretically "testable" version of a much broader and older theory (Political Realism). Political Realism, as perhaps best laid out by (the German-turned-American) scholar Hans Morganthau, views nations as the unitary actors in international affairs (in much the same way as Marx viewed economic classes as unitary actors in the political sphere): states have "interests" that they will act on, regardless of the interests, ideologies, cultures, religions, etc. of individual state leaders or even of the individuals who make up a state. This interest is "power," understood as control over one's own destiny and (perhaps incidentally) the destiny of others. It is a very broad idea has a certain gut appeal. After all, the Athenians of Thucydides were Realists when they replied to the Melians' "international law" arguments by saying, "The strong do what they will, the weak do what they must."
Despite this appeal, Morganthau's argument has serious theoretical and historical problems. First, power is so broadly defined that the theory is "untestable." Was Hitler power-hungry?
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Faruk Ekmekci on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
1. Waltz or `Politics without Policy'

The primary goal of Kenneth Waltz in developing a structural theory was its desire to make realism `scientific'. The classical realists had argued that the ultimate cause of war had to with man's evil, power-seeking nature: states formed by men inherently tend to seek power and this entails conflict among them (Morgenthau 1964, 4). However, for Waltz, this was a subjective (unfalsifiable) and thus unscientific argument to account for international politics. Like the classical realists, Waltz start by assuming that states are the major actors in international politics: "non-state actors must "rival" the states to be taken into account (1979, 88-9). He then focuses on the structure of the international system and emphasizes the difference between international and domestic systems. Unlike the domestic systems, the international system does not have an authority above the nation states to enforce the rule of law. Therefore, contrary to the `order' in domestic systems, it is "anarchy" that reigns in the international system (111). And it is this anarchic nature of the system that induces states to be always concerned about security and that leads them to seek power to ensure their survival (85). At a minimum, states seek their own preservation and, at a maximum they drive for universal domination (116). Hence, in Waltz's realism, `prudence' takes the place of `human nature' as the source of power-seeking behavior that which eventually results in conflict. "Anarchy" is therefore the key concept in Waltz's structural realism because all his following arguments derive from the assumption that the international system is anarchic.
Like the classical realists, Waltz assumes that states are rational entities as well (106).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the groundbreaking book that defined the Neorealist concept of International Relations.Some of the propositions set forth by Waltz are indisuputable: The results of anarchy on state behavior and how it limits interstate competition; How the system forces states to behave in certain ways, making the unit-level factors much less important. Also included is why security considerations always outweigh economic ones, and the benefits of internal balancing versus external balancing. Some of his precepts are more subject to critisicm: The benefits of bipolarity of multipolarity. N Nonetheless, this is the book that made the field of IR a real social science rather than a history-like humanities study. Any real student of International Relations needs to start here to understand both the academic discipline, and the real world of interstate relation.
Eric Gartman
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thosaphon Chieocharnpraphan on May 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a must-read book in international politics. It's easy to understand and convincingly. I recommend students of international relations to read this book as a key text.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By James A. Mccoy on February 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We used this book in a couple of my classes while studying for my MA in International Relations. Waltz was a leading thinker and theorist and I am glad that I studied his material and ideas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this classical work, because I was interested in the structural realism and its main theoretical tenets. Although the book was written in the late 1970s, I still find the volume very relevant if one is interested – like me – to better understand the structural realist thought. (One could of course criticize Waltz for not discussing unipolarity at a greater length (instead we find a rather long discussion on multipolarity and bipolarity), but the book still has many interesting insights relevant for the modern world.) Waltz is very clear about that he is not providing a theory of foreign policy; he is interested in the workings of international politics and his explicit aim is to provide a general theory of international politics. One does not have to agree with Waltz’s arguments, but one surely can agree that it is an accessible, eloquent and persuasive work on the role of structure in the international politics. In my opinion it is a must-read volume for anyone who is interested in the international politics.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa1359f78)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?