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Explaining and Understanding International Relations


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Two Traditions; The Growth of a Discipline; Explaining; Understanding; The International System; The Games Nations Play (1); Roles and Reasons; The Games Nations Play (2); Explaining and Understanding; Guide to Further Reading

About the Author

Martin Hollis is the co-author, with F. Hahn, of the 1979 OUP book Philosophy and Economic Theory which sold 4000 copies before going out of print.


`Steve Smith's books are always written clearly, and in a straight-forward way - ideal for undergraduates.' Dr M. O'Neill, Nottingham Polytechnic `It is an impressive book which will test international relations students.' Tony Thorndike, Staffordshire Polytechnic `This book should be of considerable interest to those in the sub-fields of foreign policy analysis and decision-making theory, as well as those wrestling with the philosophical bases of international relations, making this work an important contribution to the study of international relations in the 1990s' Political Studies `An excellent book.' Dr Aldrich, University of Nottingham 'There are very few books that can serve both as an introduction to theoretical debates in international relations and as a contribution to those debates. This is one of them, and a very good one. Jointly authored books rarely work, but this is emphatically not the case here. All the chapters are well structured and clearly written, and some are exceptional ... this is a first-rate addition to the literature of internatioanl theory, and the authors should be congratulated.' International Affairs 'It is an excellent introduction to IR, defining major terms and presenting major controversies in readily understandable language. Its clarity and precision make it an excellent candidate for an introductory text.' Pauline Vaillancourt-Rosenau, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canadian Journal of Political Science `this book by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith is a very useful guide to intellectual navigation in the fearful sphere of IR ... This book by Hollis and Smith is a comprehensive account and discussion of the options, dilemmas, controversies and perspectives that constitute the dispute. It provides a platform for more conscious and potentially better choices between existing and potential meta-theoretical approaches.' Cooperation and Conflict 'thoughtful and stimulating discourse ... The main value of this book is that it offers a thoughtful, step-by-step review of the literature using a common set of questions and concerns. Idealism, Realism ... and Behavioralism are clearly assessed ... a splendid contribution to the study of international relations and the authors deserve a good readership.' Ashok Kapur, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Perspectives on Political Science, Fall '93

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