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Rational Theory of International Politics: The Logic of Competition and Cooperation

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This is destined to be one of the most important books on international relations theory. Glaser brings crystal clarity to a core problem that has vexed thinkers for centuries: under what conditions will the very structure of international politics drive states to adopt policies that raise the specter of war? Anyone who wants to know what contemporary international relations theory has to say about the prospects for peace must read this book."--William C. Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

"Glaser offers a rich but economical explanation for how states would choose their national security strategies if they were rational. He challenges realism's prediction of a generally conflictual world while capturing those specific constellations of factors that do contribute to intense competition. A must-read for theorists of international conflict."--Barry R. Posen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Glaser, in his usual penetrating and meticulous fashion, explains how states' leaders should behave if they have their wits about them. Impressively integrating and extending insights from his seminal articles, he anchors his rational theory in the security dilemma and the distinction between greedy and security-seeking states. Rationalists and realists of every kind will find their arguments sharpened by his analysis, and others will be gratified by the pristine clarity of his reasoning."--Jack Snyder, Columbia University

"Charles Glaser has one of the finest analytical minds on the planet and it is on full display in Rational Theory of International Politics, where he makes a sophisticated and sustained case for a more refined version of realism."--John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago

"Charles Glaser is one of the leading theorists of international relations today and this book presents the most comprehensive and persuasive statement of one of the main contending schools of thought. Glaser develops the realist tradition into a coherent though non-formal rationalist international relations theory that has much to offer scholars of world politics as well as aspiring practitioners."--Andrew H. Kydd, author of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations

"This is one of the most interesting books in security studies from the last ten years. Glaser takes on a huge, significant subject that scholars have been working on for decades. The theoretical analysis at the core of the book is nuanced, careful, and original."--Stephen G. Brooks, author of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict

Synopsis:

"This is destined to be one of the most important books on international relations theory. Glaser brings crystal clarity to a core problem that has vexed thinkers for centuries: under what conditions will the very structure of international politics drive states to adopt policies that raise the specter of war? Anyone who wants to know what contemporary international relations theory has to say about the prospects for peace must read this book."--William C. Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

"Glaser offers a rich but economical explanation for how states would choose their national security strategies if they were rational. He challenges realism's prediction of a generally conflictual world while capturing those specific constellations of factors that do contribute to intense competition. A must-read for theorists of international conflict."--Barry R. Posen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Glaser, in his usual penetrating and meticulous fashion, explains how states' leaders should behave if they have their wits about them. Impressively integrating and extending insights from his seminal articles, he anchors his rational theory in the security dilemma and the distinction between greedy and security-seeking states. Rationalists and realists of every kind will find their arguments sharpened by his analysis, and others will be gratified by the pristine clarity of his reasoning."--Jack Snyder, Columbia University

"Charles Glaser has one of the finest analytical minds on the planet and it is on full display in Rational Theory of International Politics, where he makes a sophisticated and sustained case for a more refined version of realism."--John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago

"Charles Glaser is one of the leading theorists of international relations today and this book presents the most comprehensive and persuasive statement of one of the main contending schools of thought. Glaser develops the realist tradition into a coherent though non-formal rationalist international relations theory that has much to offer scholars of world politics as well as aspiring practitioners."--Andrew H. Kydd, author of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations

"This is one of the most interesting books in security studies from the last ten years. Glaser takes on a huge, significant subject that scholars have been working on for decades. The theoretical analysis at the core of the book is nuanced, careful, and original."--Stephen G. Brooks, author of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict

Synopsis:

Within the realist school of international relations, a prevailing view holds that the anarchic structure of the international system invariably forces the great powers to seek security at one another's expense, dooming even peaceful nations to an unrelenting struggle for power and dominance. Rational Theory of International Politics offers a more nuanced alternative to this view, one that provides answers to the most fundamental and pressing questions of international relations.

Why do states sometimes compete and wage war while at other times they cooperate and pursue peace? Does competition reflect pressures generated by the anarchic international system or rather states' own expansionist goals? Are the United States and China on a collision course to war, or is continued coexistence possible? Is peace in the Middle East even feasible? Charles Glaser puts forward a major new theory of international politics that identifies three kinds of variables that influence a state's strategy: the state's motives, specifically whether it is motivated by security concerns or "greed"; material variables, which determine its military capabilities; and information variables, most importantly what the state knows about its adversary's motives.

Rational Theory of International Politics demonstrates that variation in motives can be key to the choice of strategy; that the international environment sometimes favors cooperation over competition; and that information variables can be as important as material variables in determining the strategy a state should choose.

About the Author

Charles L. Glaser is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He is the author of "Analyzing Strategic Nuclear Policy" (Princeton).

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Chapter One: Introduction 1

Chapter Two: Setting Up the Theory 23

Chapter Three: The Theory 51

Chapter Four: Extensions of the Theory 93

Chapter Five: Counterarguments 127

Chapter Six: Placing the Theory in the IR Theory Landscape 148

Chapter Seven: Evaluating the Theory from Within 172

Chapter Eight: Evaluating the Theory--Important Cases and Useful Comparisons 206

Chapter Nine: Applying the Theory to Arms Races; Testing It with Counterfactuals 228

Chapter Ten: Summary and Policy Implications 269

Bibliography 283

Index 305

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691143729
Author:
Glaser, Charles L.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
International cooperation
Subject:
Competition, international
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 2010
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 tables.
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Textbooks » General

Rational Theory of International Politics: The Logic of Competition and Cooperation New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$33.25 In Stock
Product details 328 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691143729 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "This is destined to be one of the most important books on international relations theory. Glaser brings crystal clarity to a core problem that has vexed thinkers for centuries: under what conditions will the very structure of international politics drive states to adopt policies that raise the specter of war? Anyone who wants to know what contemporary international relations theory has to say about the prospects for peace must read this book."--William C. Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

"Glaser offers a rich but economical explanation for how states would choose their national security strategies if they were rational. He challenges realism's prediction of a generally conflictual world while capturing those specific constellations of factors that do contribute to intense competition. A must-read for theorists of international conflict."--Barry R. Posen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Glaser, in his usual penetrating and meticulous fashion, explains how states' leaders should behave if they have their wits about them. Impressively integrating and extending insights from his seminal articles, he anchors his rational theory in the security dilemma and the distinction between greedy and security-seeking states. Rationalists and realists of every kind will find their arguments sharpened by his analysis, and others will be gratified by the pristine clarity of his reasoning."--Jack Snyder, Columbia University

"Charles Glaser has one of the finest analytical minds on the planet and it is on full display in Rational Theory of International Politics, where he makes a sophisticated and sustained case for a more refined version of realism."--John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago

"Charles Glaser is one of the leading theorists of international relations today and this book presents the most comprehensive and persuasive statement of one of the main contending schools of thought. Glaser develops the realist tradition into a coherent though non-formal rationalist international relations theory that has much to offer scholars of world politics as well as aspiring practitioners."--Andrew H. Kydd, author of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations

"This is one of the most interesting books in security studies from the last ten years. Glaser takes on a huge, significant subject that scholars have been working on for decades. The theoretical analysis at the core of the book is nuanced, careful, and original."--Stephen G. Brooks, author of Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict

"Synopsis" by , Within the realist school of international relations, a prevailing view holds that the anarchic structure of the international system invariably forces the great powers to seek security at one another's expense, dooming even peaceful nations to an unrelenting struggle for power and dominance. Rational Theory of International Politics offers a more nuanced alternative to this view, one that provides answers to the most fundamental and pressing questions of international relations.

Why do states sometimes compete and wage war while at other times they cooperate and pursue peace? Does competition reflect pressures generated by the anarchic international system or rather states' own expansionist goals? Are the United States and China on a collision course to war, or is continued coexistence possible? Is peace in the Middle East even feasible? Charles Glaser puts forward a major new theory of international politics that identifies three kinds of variables that influence a state's strategy: the state's motives, specifically whether it is motivated by security concerns or "greed"; material variables, which determine its military capabilities; and information variables, most importantly what the state knows about its adversary's motives.

Rational Theory of International Politics demonstrates that variation in motives can be key to the choice of strategy; that the international environment sometimes favors cooperation over competition; and that information variables can be as important as material variables in determining the strategy a state should choose.

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