World Politics: Theory and Practice - Politics 200, Tufts University-The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Professor Pfaltzgraff, Fall 1994


  • Weeks 1-2:
    • The Nature and Objectives of International Relations;
    • The Nature of Theory in International Relations;
    • The Levels of Analysis: Normative Theory;
    • The Traditional and Contemporary Paradigms
  • Week 3: The Units of Analysis: Power, Political Realism, and the State as an Actor
  • Weeks 4-5: The Units of Analysis: Decisional and Bureaucratic Units and Foreign Policy Formation
  • Week 6: The Nature of the International System: Its Structure and Operation
  • Week 7: The Management of Power: Theories of Balance of Power, Collective Security and World Government
  • Week 8: The International System: Environmental Factors
  • Weeks 9-10: Integration at the National and International Levels: Alliance Cohesion
  • Weeks 11-12: Conflict, Deterrence and International Interaction
  • Week 13: Theories of Conflict: The Control of Armaments
The purpose of this course is to survey international relations theory not only as an exercise in the study of theory itself, but also to sharpen our analytical capacity for understanding more adequately the issues of our time. Therefore, this course is structured to enable the student: 
  1. to gain an understanding of how major scholars, past and contemporary, have theorized about International Relations;
  2. a) What kinds of theory have they sought to develop and why?
  3. to formulate a series of questions about past, contemporary, and hypothetical future international systems;
  4. to seek tentative answers to such questions, where possible, from the literature of international relations theory and, where appropriate, to understand the limitations of international relations theory in providing such answers.
Although members of the course are invited to propose questions for investigation, the following preliminary questions are posed for our consideration during the semester: 
  1. What are the essential causes of conflict in the international system?
  2. What are the means for the resolution of conflict?
  3. What are the essential conditions for political community at the international level?
  4. What is the relationship between the structure of the international system and the patterns of conduct among the major actors?
During the semester, students will be scheduled to report briefly on topics listed for discussion. The purpose of these reports is to provide students with an opportunity to develop expertise on a specific topic of interest and to make a presentation to the class. These reports should be regarded as a contribution to the quality of our classroom discussion. After presentation in class, but not necessarily on the day presented in class, reports should be submitted in written form. Reports should be typewritten, double-spaced, and should, as a rule, range in length between 10 and 20 pages. Students who are in doubt as to the proper form of documented papers should consult Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Fourth Edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973).

 Reports, oral and written, should contain: 

  1. A concise survey of the thought of the theorist. 

  2. An assessment of the kind of theory contained in the writer's work. 

  3. An evaluation of the internal consistency of the writer's work. 

  4. A series of policy-relevant questions and tentative answers. 

  5. A critique of the work of the theorist and assessment of the contribution of the theorist to international relations theory.
Basic readings for the course will be assigned from the following books. The most important readings for each week have been marked with an asterisk: 
Baldwin, David A. (ed.)
Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993)
Carr, E.H.
* The Twenty Years' Crisis, 1919-1939 (New York: Harper Torchback, paperback)
Claude, Inis L., Jr.
Power and International Relations (New York: Random House, 1962)
Dougherty, James E. and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.
* Contending Theories of International Relations, 3rd ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1990)
Ferguson, Yale H. and Richard W. Mansbach
* The Elusive Quest: Theory and International Politics (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1988)
Holsti, K.J.
The Dividing Discipline: Hegemony and Diversity in International Theory (Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1987)
Keohane, Robert O., ed.
* Neorealism and Its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986)
Olson, William Clinton
The Theory and Practice of International Relations (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994)

In addition, students may wish to familiarize themselves with as many of the following books as possible, some of which contain assigned readings for the course:

Art, Robert J. and Robert Jervis
The Nature of International Relations (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1972)
Baldwin, David A.
Economic Statecraft (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985)
Blainey, Geoffrey
The Causes of War (New York: Free Press, 1975)
Bobrow, Davis B.
International Relations: New Approaches (New York: Free Press, 1972)
Brodie, Bernard
War and Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1973)
Brown, Chris
International Relations Theory: New Normative Approaches (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992)
Brown, Seyom
International Relations in a Changing Global System: Toward a Theory of the World Polity (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992)
Bull, Hedley
The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977)
Burton, J.W.
International Relations: A General Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965)
Cashman, Greg
What Causes War? An Introduction to Theories of International Conflict (New York: Lexington Books, 1993)
Choucri, Nazli and Thomas W. Robinson, eds.
Forecasting in International Relations: Theory, Methods, Problems, Prospects (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1978.
Crosier, Brian
A Theory of Conflict (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1974)
Demko, George J., and William B. Wood (eds.)
Reordering the World: Geopolitical Perspectives on the 21st Century (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994)
Doran, Charles F.
Systems in Crisis: New Imperatives of High Politics at Century's End (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
Fox, William T.R.
The American Study of International Relations (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1968)
George, Alexander and Richard Smoke
Deterrence in American Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974)
George, Jim
Discourses of Global Politics: A Critical (Re)Introduction to International Politics (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994)
Gilpin, Robert
The Political Economy of International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987)
War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981)
Groom, A.J.R. and C.R. Mitchell, eds.
International Relations: A Bibliography (New York: Nichols Publishing Company, 1978)
Haas, Michael
Behavioral International Relations (Scranton, PA: Chandler, 1972)
Hoffmann, Stanley
Janus and Minerva: Essays in the Theory and Practice of International Politics (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987)
Holsti, K.J.
The Dividing Discipline: Hegemony and Diversity in International Theory (Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1987)
Howard, Michael
The Causes of Wars (London: Temple Smith, 1983)
Jervis, Robert
Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976)
The Logic of Images in International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970)
Kent, R.C. and G.P. Nielsson, eds.
The Study and Teaching of International Relations (New York: Nichols Publishing Company, 1980)
Keohane, Robert O.
After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984)
Kissinger, Henry A.
American Foreign Policy, 3rd ed. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1977)
Knorr, Klaus and James N. Rosenau
Contending Approaches to International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969)
Knutsen, Torbj”rn L.
A History of International Relations Theory: An Introduction (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992)
Krasner, Stephen D., ed.
International Regimes (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 1983)
Lieber, Robert J.
Theory and World Politics (Cambridge: Winthrop Publishers, 1972)
Luard, Evan
Types of International Society (New York: The Free Press, 1976)
Maghroori, Ray and Bennet Ramberg, eds.
Globalism Versus Realism: International Relations' Third Debate (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1982)
Mansbach, Richard W. and John A. Vasquez
In Search of Theory: A New Paradigm for Global Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981)
Yale H. Ferguson, and Donald E. Lampert
The Web of World Politics: Non-State Actors in the Global System (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976)
McClelland, Charles A.
Theory and the International System (New York: Macmillan, 1965)
Midlarsky, Manus I.
The Onset of World War (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988)
Morgan, Roger, ed.
The Study of International Affairs (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972)
Morgenthau, Hans J.
Politics Among Nations, 5th ed., revised (New York: Knopf, 1978)
Morse, Edward L.
Modernization and the Transformation of International Relations (New York: The Free Press, 1976)
Niou, Emerson M.S., Peter C. Ordeshook, and Gregory F. Rose
The Balance of Power: Stability in International Systems (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
North, Robert C.
War, Peace, Survival: Global Politics and Conceptual Synthesis (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990)
Northredge, R.F.S., ed. The Use of Force in World Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1974)
Peace in Parts: Integration and Conflict in Regional Organization (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1971)
Osgood, Robert E.
Ideals and Self Interest in America's Foreign Relations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953)
The Philosophy of International Relations: A Study in the History of Thought (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1977)
Pentland, Charles
International Theory and European Integration (New York: Macmillan, 1973)
Pfaltzgraff, Robert L., Jr., ed.
Politics and the International System (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1972)
The Study of International Relations (Detroit: Gale Research Publishing Co., 1977)
Platig, E. Raymond
International Relations Research (Santa Barbara: Clio Press for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1966)
Rosecrance, Richard N.
International Relations: Peace or War? (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1973)
Rosenau, James N., ed.
Comparing Foreign Policies: Theories, Findings, and Methods (New York: Halsted Press Division, John Wiley and Sons, 1974)
Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy (New York: The Free Press, 1967)
___________, ed.
International Politics and Foreign Policy: a Reader in Research and Theory (New York: The Free Press, 1969)
Linkage Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1969)
In Search of Global Patterns (New York: The Free Press, 1976)
_____________, Vincent Davis and Maurice A. East, eds.
The Analysis of International Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1972)
Singer, J. David, ed.
Human Behavior and International Politics: Contributions from the Social-Psychological Science (Chicago: Rand McNally and Co., 1965)
Quantitative International Politics: Insights and Evidence. (New York: The Free Press, 1968)
Sullivan, Michael P.
International Relations theories and Evidence (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976)
Thompson, Kenneth and Robert J. Myers, eds.
Truth and Tragedy: A Tribute to Hans Morgenthau (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1984)
Waltz, Kenneth N.
Man, the State and War: A Theoretical Analysis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969)
Zinnes, Dina A.
Contemporary Research in International Relations: A Perspective and a Critical Appraisal (New York: The Free Press, 1976)

Copyright © 1998 - Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Powered by Media Temple