Key Concepts in Politics & International Relations

2nd Edition (2015)

Concepts have a particular importance for students of politics and international relations. Political argument often boils down to a struggle over the legitimate meaning of terms. Enemies may argue, fight and even go to war, each claiming to be ‘defending freedom’, ‘upholding democracy’ or ‘supporting justice’. The problem is that words such as ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’ have different meanings to different people, making the concepts themselves problematic.

This book provides an accessible and comprehensive guide to the major concepts encountered in political analysis. Each term is defined clearly and fully, and its significance for political argument and practice is explored in the light of historical and contemporary debates. An introductory section reflects on the challenges and controversies that beset the understanding political concepts, and a glossary of key political thinkers appears at the end.

The text of this second edition has been updated and expanded to take much fuller account of the international and global dimensions of political analysis, with over 70 additional concepts being featured. Renowned for its lively, engaging style and user-friendly approach, the new edition is an invaluable companion to the study of politics and international relations.