International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects

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9780230203150: International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects


From war, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, through environmental and economic crises, to epidemics, cyber-war and piracy, the twenty-first century world seems beset by a daunting range of international security problems.

At the same time, the academic study of security has become more fragmented and contested than ever before as new actors, issues and theories increasingly challenge traditional concepts and approaches.

This innovative new text focuses on the politics of international security: how and why issues are interpreted as threats to international security and how such threats are managed. After a brief introduction to the field and its major theories and approaches, the core chapters systematically analyze the major issues on the contemporary international security agenda. Each is examined according to a common framework that brings out the nature of the threat and the responses open to policy makers.

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About the Author:

MICHAEL E. SMITH is Professor of International Relations, University of Aberdeen, UK and was previously Associate Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University.

Review:

"Michael E. Smith's new textbook promises to reinvigorate the teaching of international security. Emphasizing the fundamental role of politics and avoiding the twin perils of excessively abstract grand theorizing and ungeneralizable explanations of unique events, it offers an original and insightful framework that facilitates analysis and comparison across the full range of traditional and non-traditional international security issues." —John S. Duffield, Georgia State University

"This welcome new text strikes just the right balance. It is innovative, fresh, and breaks new ground, but is comprehensive, careful, and covers the basics. It gives due regard to different schools of thought, but is admirably synthetic. And it is sophisticated and thoughtful, but eminently readable and accessible." —Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations

“A highly readable new introduction to the study of international security which provides students with a clear and comprehensive account of the main dynamics behind the key fault lines of the twenty-first century. Its great merits are that theory is deployed to illustrate empirical reality rather than as an end in itself, its skilful navigation between explanatory narrative and normative prescription, and that it sets international security firmly within the context of complex political processes being played out around the globe." —Jolyon Howorth, Yale University and University of Bath

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