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Theory of International Politics

Theory of International Politics Author Riley Quinn
ISBN-10 9781351353533
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 96
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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.



Imperialism A Study

Imperialism  A Study Author Riley Quinn
ISBN-10 9781351352352
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 98
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English economist John Hobson’s 1902 Imperialism: A Study was an epoch-making study of the politics and economics of imperialism that shook imperialist beliefs to their core. A committed liberal, Hobson was deeply sceptical about the aims and claims of imperialistic thought at a time when Britain’s empire held sway over a vast portion of the globe. In order to critique what he saw as a falsely reasoned and immoral political view, Hobson’s book took a cuttingly analytical approach to the idea of imperialism – setting out to dissect and understand the arguments for empire before subjecting them to withering evaluation – a process that led him to the key insight that the then widely-accepted claim that imperialism was essentially a question of nationalism was, in fact, quite weak. Instead, Hobson’s close analysis of the implicit and hidden reasons for imperialist projects demonstrated that, at root, they were all products of capitalism. It became increasingly clear to him that imperialism was less a political ideology, and more the product of the urgent need to open up new markets and remedy economic stagnation at home. Deeply provocative at the time, Hobson’s book shows just how powerful the critical thinking skills of analysis and evaluation can be when applied to deconstruction of even the most widely accepted of ideas.



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.



Politics Among Nations

Politics Among Nations Author Ramon Pacheco Pardo
ISBN-10 9781351352697
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 92
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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.



China Rising Peace Power and Order in East Asia

China Rising  Peace  Power and Order in East Asia Author Matteo Dian
ISBN-10 9781351352079
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 96
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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.



Nations and Nationalism

Nations and Nationalism Author Dale J Stahl
ISBN-10 9781351352536
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 108
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To the dismay of many commentators – who had hoped the world was evolving into a more tolerant and multicultural community of nations united under the umbrellas of supranational movements like the European Union – the nationalism that was such a potent force in the history of the 20th-century has made a comeback in recent years. Now, more than ever, it seems important to understand what it is, how it works, and why it is so attractive to so many people. A fine place to start any such exploration is with Ernest Gellner's seminal Nations and Nationalism, a ground-breaking study that was the first to flesh out the counter-intuitive – but enormously influential – thesis that modern nationalism has little if anything in common with old-fashioned patriotism or loyalty to one's homeland. Gellner's intensely creative thesis is that the nationalism we know today is actually the product of the 19th-century industrial revolution, which radically reshaped ancient communities, encouraging emigration to cities at the same time as it improved literacy rates and introduced mass education. Gellner connected these three elements in an entirely new way, contrasting developments to the structures of pre-industrial agrarian economies to show why the new nationalism could not have been born in such communities. He was also successful in generating a typology of nationalisms in an attempt to explain why some forms flourished while others fizzled out. His remarkable ability to produce novel explanations for existing evidence marks out Nations and Nationalism as one of the most radical, stimulating – and enduringly influential – works of its day.



Reconstruction in America

Reconstruction in America Author Jason Xidias
ISBN-10 9781351352741
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 102
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‘Reconstruction’ is the name given to the period that, beginning shortly before the end of the American Civil War and running until 1877, saw the frustration of federal government's attempts to integrate the newly freed slaves into the American political and economic system. It ended in frustration, disillusionment and also violence, with individual southern states denying rights to freed slaves, preventing them from voting, and largely forcing them back into roles that exploited their labor and prevented them from gaining access to education. For much of the 20th century, the predominant view of the Reconstruction period was that of the Dunning School, which argued that former slaves were unprepared for the responsibilities of voting and holding office, and that it was their incapability of handling such responsibilities – and not the racist actions of whites – that was largely responsible for the failures of the Reconstruction period. Eric Foner's great work reverses those judgements. Foner adopts a problem-solving approach, asking productive questions of state archives and generating and assessing alternative possibilities to assess the views of the Dunning School in a much wider context. His verdict – that slaves and freedmen were often key figures who shaped the eventual emergence of a more progressive American democracy – is backed up by persuasive reasoning which explains how these results came about and shows how the white establishment, led by President Andrew Johnson, was primarily responsible for the disasters of the Reconstruction era.



The Anti Politics Machine

The Anti Politics Machine Author Julie Jenkins
ISBN-10 9781351352932
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 99
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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 Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance

Competitive Strategy  Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance Author Pádraig Belton
ISBN-10 9781351352123
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 118
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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.



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 96
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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.



The Gift

The Gift Author The Macat Team
ISBN-10 9781351351331
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Marcel Mauss's 1925 essay The Gift is an enduring classic of sociological and anthropological analysis by a thinker who is one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology. The Gift exploits Mauss's high-level analytical and interpretative skills to produce a brilliant investigation of the forms, meanings, and structures of gift-giving across a range of societies. Mauss, along with many others, had noted that in a wide range of societies - especially those without monetary exchange or legal structures - gift-giving and receiving was carried out according to strict customs and unwritten laws. What he sought to do in The Gift was to analyse the structures that governed how and when gifts were given, received, and reciprocated in order to grasp what implicit and unspoken reasons governed these structures. He also wanted to apply his interpretative skills to asking what such exchanges meant, in order to explore the implications his analysis might have for modern, western cultures. In Mauss's investigations, it became clear that gift-giving is, in many cultures, a crucial structural force, binding people together in a web of reciprocal commitments generated by the laws of gifting. Indeed, he concluded, gifts can be seen as the 'glue' of society..



The Core Competence of the Corporation

The Core Competence of the Corporation Author The Macat Team
ISBN-10 9781351351249
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel's 1990 The Core Competence of the Corporation helped redefine traditional ideas of management strategy. It did so by focusing companies on one of the key critical thinking skills: evaluation. In critical thinking, evaluation is all about judging the strengths and weaknesses of arguments - assessing their reasoning and the relevance or adequateness of the evidence they use. For Prahalad and Hamel, companies could gain a competitive edge by evaluating themselves: their own strengths and weaknesses. By sensitively evaluating core competencies - the collective knowledge inside the organization that distinguishes it from other corporations - they could target efforts and resources with strategic focus. For Prahalad and Hamel, managers need to be able to identify and evaluate their company's unique skill sets, and the technologies that distinguish them from others businesses. How well they then coordinate these elements defines a company's competitive strength and how quickly it can adapt to new challenges. As Prahalad and Hamel showed in their case studies, the critical thinking skill of evaluation - knowing what you do best, how well you do it, and how you might improve - is absolutely central to staying ahead of the crowd.



Theory of Justice

Theory of Justice Author Filippo Dionigi
ISBN-10 9781351353540
Release 2017-07-05
Pages 92
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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 doctine 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.



A General Theory of Crime

A General Theory of Crime Author William J Jenkins
ISBN-10 9781351350051
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Michael R. Gottfredson and Travish Hirschi's 1990 A General Theory of Crime is a classic text that helped reshape the discipline of criminology. It is also a testament to the powers of clear reasoning and interpretation. In critical thinking terms, reasoning is all about presenting a solid and persuasive case - and as many people instinctively understand, the most persuasive reasoning is that which bases itself on a single, simple hook. In Gottfredson and Hirschi's case, this hook was what has come to be known as the "self-control theory of crime" - the idea that the tendency to commit crime is directly related to an individual's level of self-control. While the dominant schools of thought of the time tended to focus on crime as the product of complex environmental factors, with little attempt to unify different theories, Gottfredson and Hirschi sought to interpret things so as to provide a single overarching concept that explained why crimes of all sorts were committed. Moreover, while other theories of crime concentrated on understanding and explaining specific types of law-breaking, the self-control model could, in Gottfredson and Hirschi's view, be seen as the basis for understanding the root cause for all crime in all contexts. While such simplicity inevitably attracted as much criticism as agreement, subsequent studies have provided real-world corroboration for the General Theory's persuasive reasoning.



A Theory of Human Motivation

A Theory of Human Motivation Author Stoyan Stoyanov
ISBN-10 9781351350099
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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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.



The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money

The General Theory of Employment  Interest and Money Author Professor John Collins, Dr
ISBN-10 9781351351324
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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John Maynard Keynes's 1936 General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money is a perfect example of the global power of critical thinking. A radical reconsideration of some of the founding principles and accepted axioms of classical economics at the time, it provoked a revolution in economic thought and government economic policies across the world. Unsurprisingly, Keynes's closely argued refutation of the then accepted grounds of economics employs all the key critical thinking skills: analysing and evaluating the old theories and their weaknesses; interpreting and clarifying his own fundamental terms and ideas; problem solving; and using creative thinking to go beyond the old economic theories. Perhaps above all, however, the General Theory is a masterclass in problem solving. Good problem solvers identify their problem, offer a methodology for solving it, and suggest solutions. For Keynes the problem was both real and theoretical: unemployment. A major issue for governments during the Great Depression, unemployment was also a problem for classical economics. In classical economics, theoretically, unemployment would always disappear. Keynes offered both an explanation of why this was not the case in practice, and a range of solutions that could be implemented through government monetary policy.



Politics

Politics Author Katherine Berrisford
ISBN-10 9781351350891
Release 2017-07-05
Pages
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Aristotle remains one of the most celebrated thinkers of all time in large part thanks to his incisive critical thinking skills. In Politics, which can be considered one of the foundational books of the western political tradition, the focus is on problem-solving, and particularly on the generation and evaluation of alternative possibilities Aristotle's aim, in Politics, is to determine how best to organize a society. He looks in turn at several different type of organization - kingship, oligarchy and the polity, or rule in the hands of many - and evaluates the arguments for each in turn. But he takes the exercise further than his predecessors had done. Having concluded that rule by the aristocracy would be preferable, since it would mean rule by citizens capable of taking decisions on behalf of the society as a whole, Aristotle subjects his solution to a further checking process, asking productive questions in order to make a sound decision between alternatives. Politics was ground-breaking in its approach. Unlike previous thinkers, Aristotle based all his ideas on a practical assessment of how they would play out in the real world. Ultimately, Aristotle argues, the problem of self-interest means that the adoption of a mixed constitution - one based on carefully considered laws which aims at a balance of power between the people and the elite - is most likely to bring eudaemonia (happiness). It's a conclusion firmly based on careful evaluation (not least the process of judging the adequacy of arguments) and the product of outstanding problem-solving skills.