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Theory of International Politics

Theory of International Politics Author Riley Quinn
ISBN-10 9781351353533
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 100
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Kenneth Waltz’s 1979 Theory of International Politics is credited with bringing about a “scientific revolution” in the study of international relations – bringing the field into a new era of systematic study. The book is also a lesson in reasoning carefully and critically. Good reasoning is exemplified by arguments that move systematically, through carefully organised stages, taking into account opposing stances and ideas as they move towards a logical conclusion. Theory of International Politics might be a textbook example of how to go about structuring an argument in this way to produce a watertight case for a particular point of view. Waltz’s book begins by testing and critiquing earlier theories of international relations, showing their strengths and weaknesses, before moving on to argue for his own stance – what has since become known as “neorealism”. His aim was “to construct a theory of international politics that remedies the defects of present theories.” And this is precisely what he did; by showing the shortcomings of the prevalent theories of international relations, Waltz was then able to import insights from sociology to create a more comprehensive and realistic theory that took full account of the strengths of old schemas while also remedying their weaknesses – reasoning out a new theory in the process.



After Hegemony

After Hegemony Author Ramon Pacheco Pardo
ISBN-10 9781351350112
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Robert O. Keohane's After Hegemony is both a classic of international relations scholarship and an example of how creative thinking can help shed new light on the world. Since the end of World War II, the global political landscape had been dominated by two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, and the tense stand-off of the Cold War. But, as the Cold War began to thaw, it became clear that a new global model might emerge. The commonly held belief amongst those studying international relations was that it was impossible for nations to work together without the influence of a hegemon (a dominant international power) to act as both referee and ultimate decision-maker. This paradigm - neorealism - worked on the basis that every nation will do all it can to maximize its power, with such processes only checked by a balance of competing powers. Keohane, however, examined the evidence afresh and came up with novel explanations for what was likely to come next. He went outside the dominant paradigm, and argued for what came to be known as the neoliberal conception of international politics. States, Keohane said, can and will cooperate without the influence of a hegemonic power, so long as doing so brings them absolute gains in the shape of economic and cultural benefits. In Keohane's highly-creative view, the pursuit of national self-interest leads naturally to international cooperation - and to the formation of global regimes (such as the United Nations) that can reinforce and foster it.



The Anti Politics Machine

The Anti Politics Machine Author Julie Jenkins
ISBN-10 9781351352932
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 100
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The Anti-Politics Machine (1990) examines how international development projects are conceived, researched, and put into practice. It also looks at what these projects actually achieve. Ferguson criticizes the idea of externally-directed ‘development’ and argues that the process doesn’t take proper account of the daily realities of the communities it is intended to benefit. Instead, they often prioritize technical solutions for addressing poverty and ignoring its social and political dimensions, so the structures that these projects put in place often have unintended consequences. Ferguson suggests that until the process becomes more reflective, development projects will continue to fail.



Competitive Strategy

Competitive Strategy Author Pádraig Belton
ISBN-10 9781351352123
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 120
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Michael E. Porter’s 1980 book Competitive Strategy is a fine example of critical thinking skills in action. Porter used his strong evaluative skills to overturn much of the accepted wisdom in the world of business. By exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the accepted argument that the best policy for firms to become more successful was to focus on expanding their market share, he was able to establish that the credibility of the argument was flawed. Porter did not believe such growth was the only way for a company to be successful, and provided compelling arguments as to why this was not the case. His book shows how industries can be fragmented, with different firms serving different parts of the market (the low-price mass market, and the expensive high-end market in clothing, for example) and examines strategies that businesses can follow in emerging, mature, and declining markets. If printing is in decline, for example, there may still be a market in this industry for high-end goods and services such as luxury craft bookbinding. Porter also made excellent use of the critical thinking skill of analysis in writing Competitive Strategy. His advice that executives should analyze the five forces that mold the environment in which they compete – new entrants, substitute products, buyers, suppliers, and industry rivals – focused heavily on defining the relationships between these disparate factors and urged readers to check the assumptions of their arguments. Porter avoided technical jargon and wrote in a straightforward way to help readers see that his evaluation of the problem was strong. Competitive Strategy went on to be a highly influential work in the world of business strategy.



Politics Among Nations

Politics Among Nations Author Ramon Pacheco Pardo
ISBN-10 9781351352697
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 102
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Hans Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations is a classic of political science, built on the firm foundation of Morgenthau’s watertight reasoning skills. The central aim of reasoning is to construct a logical and persuasive argument that carefully organizes and supports its conclusions – often around a central concept or scheme of argumentation. Morgenthau’s subject was international relations – the way in which the world’s nations interact, and come into conflict or peace – a topic which was of vital importance during the unstable wake of the Second World War. To the complex problem of understanding the ways in which the post-war nations were jostling for power, Morgenthau brought a comprehensive schema: the concept of “realism” – or, in other words, the idea that every nation will act so as to maximise its own interests. From this basis, Morgenthau builds a systematic argument for a pragmatic approach to international relations in which nations seeking consensus should aim for a balance of power, grounding relations between states in understandings of how the interests of individual nations can be maximized. Though seismic shifts in international politics after the Cold War undeniably altered the landscape of international relations, Morgenthau’s dispassionate reasoning about the nature of our world remains influential to this day.



Theory of International Politics

Theory of International Politics Author Kenneth N. Waltz
ISBN-10 9781478610533
Release 2010-01-26
Pages 251
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From Theory of International Politics . . . National politics is the realm of authority, of administration, and of law. International politics is the realm of power, of struggle, and of accommodation. . . . States, like people, are insecure in proportion to the extent of their freedom. If freedom is wanted, insecurity must be accepted. Organizations that establish relations of authority and control may increase security as they decrease freedom. If might does not make right, whether among people or states, then some institution or agency has intervened to lift them out of natures realm. The more influential the agency, the stronger the desire to control it becomes. In contrast, units in an anarchic order act for their own sakes and not for the sake of preserving an organization and furthering their fortunes within it. Force is used for ones own interest. In the absence of organization, people or states are free to leave one another alone. Even when they do not do so, they are better able, in the absence of the politics of the organization, to concentrate on the politics of the problem and to aim for a minimum agreement that will permit their separate existence rather than a maximum agreement for the sake of maintaining unity. If might decides, then bloody struggles over right can more easily be avoided.



A Theory of Human Motivation

A Theory of Human Motivation Author Stoyan Stoyanov
ISBN-10 9781351351881
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 98
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US psychologist Abraham Maslow’s A Theory of Human Motivation is a classic of psychological research that helped change the field for good. Like many field-changing thinkers, Maslow was not just a talented researcher, he was also a creative thinker – able to see things from a new perspective and show them in a different light. At a time when psychology was dominated by two major schools of thought, Maslow was able to forge a new, third paradigm, that remains influential today. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis had developed the idea of understanding the mind through dialogue between patient and analyst. The behaviorism of Ivan Pavlov and John Watson had focused on comprehending the mind through behaviors that could be measured, trained, and changed. Maslow, however, generated new ideas, forging what he called “positive” or “humanistic psychology”. His argument was that humans are psychologically motivated by a series of hierarchical needs, starting with the most essential first. Maslow thought it important for the advancement of psychology to identify, group and rank these needs in terms of priority. His belief in the value of this third way was important in leading those who studied psychology to redefine the discipline, and so see it in new ways.



China Rising

China Rising Author Matteo Dian
ISBN-10 9781351352079
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 98
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David C. Kang’s China Rising is a fine example of an author making use of creative thinking skills to reach a conclusion that flies in the face of traditional thinking. The conventional view that the book opposed, known in international relations as ‘realism,’ was that the rise of any new global power results in global or regional instability. As such, China’s development as a world economic powerhouse worried mainstream western geopolitical scholars, whose concerns were based on the realist assumption that individual countries will inevitably compete for dominance. Evaluating these arguments, and finding both their relevance and adequacy wanting, Kang instead turned traditional thinking on its head by looking at Asian history without preconceptions, and with analytical open-mindedness. Producing several novel explanations for existing evidence, Kang concludes that China’s neighbors do not want to compete with it in the way that realist interpretations predict. Rather than creating instability by jockeying for position, he argues, surrounding countries are happy for China to be acknowledged as a leader, believing that its dominant position will stabilize Asia, and give the whole region more of a hand in international relations. ¶Though critics have taken issue with Kang’s conclusions, his paradigm-shifting approach is nevertheless an excellent example of developing fresh new conclusions through creative thinking.



World Order

World Order Author Bryan Gibson
ISBN-10 9781351352772
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 104
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Henry Kissinger’s 2014 book World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History not only offers a summary of thinking developed throughout a long and highly influential career–it is also an intervention in international relations theory by one of the most famous statesmen of the twentieth century. Kissinger initially trained as a university professor before becoming Secretary of State to President Richard Nixon in 1973 – a position in which he both won the Nobel Peace Prize and was accused of war crimes by protesters against American military actions in Vietnam. While a controversial figure, Kissinger is widely agreed to have a unique level of practical and theoretical expertise in politics and international relations – and World Order is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience of work in those fields. The product of a master of the critical thinking skill of interpretation, World Order takes on the challenge of defining the worldviews at play in global politics today. Clarifying precisely what is meant by the different notions of ‘order’ imagined by nations across the world, as Kissinger does, highlights the challenges of world politics, and sharpens the focus on efforts to make surmounting these divisions possible. While Kissinger’s own reputation will likely remain equivocal, there is no doubting the interpretative skills he displays in this engaging and illuminating text.



The Prison Notebooks

The Prison Notebooks Author Lorenzo Fusaro
ISBN-10 9781351353311
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 100
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Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks is a remarkable work, not only because it was written in jail as the Italian Marxist thinker fell victim to political oppression in his home country, but also because it shows his impressive analytical ability. First published in 1948, 11 years after Gramsci’s death, Prison Notebooks ably demonstrates that the writer has an innate ability to understand the relationship between different parts of an argument. This is how Gramsci manages to analyze such wide-ranging topics – capitalism, economics and culture – to explain historical developments. He introduces the idea of “hegemony,” the means by which ruling classes in a society gain, keep hold of and manage their power, and, by carefully looking at how society operates, he reveals the manner in which the powerful deploy a combination of force and manipulation to convince most people that the existing social arrangement is logical and in their best interests ­– even when it isn’t. Gramsci shows exactly how the ruling class maintains power by influencing both political institutions like the courts and the police, and civil institutions, such as churches, family and schools. His powerful analysis led him to the conclusion that change can only take place in two ways, either through revolution or through a slow but constant struggle to transform the belief system of the ruling classes.



The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order Author Riley Quinn
ISBN-10 9781351352994
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 98
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The end of the Cold War, which occurred early in the 1990s, brought joy and freedom to millions. But it posed a difficult question to the world's governments and to the academics who studied them: how would world order be remade in an age no longer dominated by the competing ideologies of capitalism and communism? Samuel P. Huntington was one of the many political scientists who responded to this challenge by conceiving works that attempted to predict the ways in which conflict might play out in the 21st century, and in The Clash of Civilizations he suggested that a new kind of conflict, one centred on cultural identity, would become the new focus of international relations. Huntington's theories, greeted with scepticism when his book first appeared in the 1990s, acquired new resonance after 9/11. The Clash of Civilizations is now one of the most widely-set and read works of political theory in US universities; Huntington's theories have also had a measurable impact on American policy. In large part, this is a product of his problem-solving skills. Clash is a monument to its author's ability to generate and evaluate alternative possibilities and to make sound decisions between them. Huntington's view, that international politics after the Cold War would be neither peaceful, nor liberal, nor cooperative, ran counter to the predictions of almost all of his peers, yet his position – the product of an unusual ability to redefine an issue so as to see it in new ways – has been largely vindicated by events ever since.



Debt

Debt Author Sulaiman Hakemy
ISBN-10 9781351350372
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Debt is one of the great subjects of our day, and understanding the way that it not only fuels economic growth, but can also be used as a means of generating profit and exerting control, is central to grasping the way in which our society really works. David Graeber's contribution to this debate is to apply his anthropologists' training to the understanding of a phenomenon often considered purely from an economic point of view. In this respect, the book can be considered a fine example of the critical thinking skill of problem-solving. Graeber's main aim is to undermine the dominant narrative, which sees debt as the natural - and broadly healthy - outcome of the development of a modern economic system. He marshals evidence that supports alternative possibilities, and suggests that the phenomenon of debt emerged not as a result of the introduction of money, but at precisely the same time. This in turn allows Graeber to argue against the prevailing notion that economy and state are fundamentally separate entities. Rather, he says, "the two were born together and have always been intertwined" - with debt being a means of enforcing elite and state power. For Graeber, this evaluation of the evidence points to a strong potential solution: there should be more readiness to write off debt, and more public involvement in the debate over debt and its moral implications.



Leviathan

Leviathan Author Jeremy Kleidosty
ISBN-10 9781351352420
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 102
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Thomas Hobbes is a towering figure in the history of modern thought and political philosophy. He remains best remembered for his 1651 treatise on government, Leviathan, a work that shows at the very best the reasoning skills of a deeply original and creative thinker. Creative thinking is all about taking a novel approach to questions and problems – showing them in a new light. When Hobbes was writing Leviathan, the standard approach to understanding (and advocating for) monarchical government was to argue, using Christian theology, that kings and queens gained their power and legitimacy from God. At a time of intense political turmoil in England – with civil war raging from 1642-51 – Hobbes took the original step of basing a political theory upon reason alone, and focusing on human nature. His closely-reasoned arguments made the book a controversial best-seller across Europe at the time of its publication, and it has remained a cornerstone of political theory ever since. Though Hobbes argued for government by an absolute monarch, many of his ideas and precepts helped form modern liberal ideas of government, influencing, among others, the American Constitution.



Can the Subaltern Speak

Can the Subaltern Speak Author Graham Riach
ISBN-10 9781351350235
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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A key theme of Gayatri Spivak's work is agency: the ability of the individual to make their own decisions. While Spivak's main aim is to consider ways in which "subalterns" - her term for the indigenous dispossessed in colonial societies - were able to achieve agency, this paper concentrates specifically on describing the ways in which western scholars inadvertently reproduce hegemonic structures in their work. Spivak is herself a scholar, and she remains acutely aware of the difficulty and dangers of presuming to "speak" for the subalterns she writes about. As such, her work can be seen as predominantly a delicate exercise in the critical thinking skill of interpretation; she looks in detail at issues of meaning, specifically at the real meaning of the available evidence, and her paper is an attempt not only to highlight problems of definition, but to clarify them. What makes this one of the key works of interpretation in the Macat library is, of course, the underlying significance of this work. Interpretation, in this case, is a matter of the difference between allowing subalterns to speak for themselves, and of imposing a mode of "speaking" on them that - however well-intentioned - can be as damaging in the postcolonial world as the agency-stifling political structures of the colonial world itself. By clearing away the detritus of scholarly attempts at interpretation, Spivak takes a stand against a specifically intellectual form of oppression and marginalization.



The Second Sex

The Second Sex Author Rachele Dini
ISBN-10 9781351351614
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 book The Second Sex is a masterpiece of feminist criticism and philosophy. An incendiary take on the place of women in post-war French society, it helped define major trends in feminist thought for the rest of the 20th century, and its influence is still felt today. The book's success owes much to Beauvoir's brilliant writing style and passion, but both are rooted in the clarity of her critical thinking skills. She builds a strong argument against the silent assumptions that continually demoted (and still demote) women to "second place" in a society dominated by men. Beauvoir also demonstrates the central skills of reasoning at their best: presenting a persuasive case, organising her thoughts, and supporting her conclusions. Above all, though, The Second Sex is a masterclass in analysis. Treating the structures of contemporary society and culture as a series of arguments that tend continuously to demote women, Beauvoir is able to isolate and describe the implicit assumptions that underpin male domination. Her demolition of these assumptions provides the crucial ammunition for her argument that women are in no way the "second" sex, but are in every way the equal of men.



Political Theory and International Relations

Political Theory and International Relations Author Charles R. Beitz
ISBN-10 9781400822928
Release 1999-07-01
Pages 264
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In this revised edition of his 1979 classic Political Theory and International Relations, Charles Beitz rejects two highly influential conceptions of international theory as empirically inaccurate and theoretically misleading. In one, international relations is a Hobbesian state of nature in which moral judgments are entirely inappropriate, and in the other, states are analogous to persons in domestic society in having rights of autonomy that insulate them from external moral assessment and political interference. Beitz postulates that a theory of international politics should include a revised principle of state autonomy based on the justice of a state's domestic institutions, and a principle of international distributive justice to establish a fair division of resources and wealth among persons situated in diverse national societies.



Theory of Justice

Theory of Justice Author Filippo Dionigi
ISBN-10 9781351353540
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 96
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John Rawls's A Theory of Justice is one of the most influential works of legal and political theory published since the Second World War. It provides a memorably well-constructed and sustained argument in favour of a new (social contract) version of the meaning of social justice. In setting out this argument, Rawls aims to construct a viable, systematic doctrine designed to ensure that the process of maximizing good is both conscious and coherent – and the result is a work that foregrounds the critical thinking skill of reasoning. Rawls's focus falls equally on discussions of the failings of existing systems – not least among them Marxism and Utilitarianism – and on explanation of his own new theory of justice. By illustrating how he arrived at his conclusions, and by clearly explaining and justifying his own liberal, pluralist values, Rawls is able to produce a well structured argument that is fully focused on the need to persuade. Rawls explicitly explains his goals. He discusses other ways of conceptualizing a just society and deals with counter-arguments by explaining his objections to them. Then, carefully and methodically, he defines a number of concepts and tools—“thought experiments”—that help the reader to follow his reasoning and test his ideas. Rawls’s hypothesis is that his ideas about justice can be universally applied: they can be accepted as rational in any society at any time.