Theories of International Relations

“Foundational” texts

c. 400 BC. Thucydides, The Pelopennesian War.
1532. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.
1625. Hugo Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis.
1651. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.
1760. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Abstract and Judgment of the Abbé de Saint-Pierre’s Project for Perpetual Peace.”
Stanley Hoffmann and David Fidler, ed., Rousseau on International Relations.
1776. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.
Andrew Walter, “Adam Smith and the Liberal Tradition in International Relations.”
1795. Immanuel Kant, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Essay.”

Studies of war and the state

Carl von Clausewitz, On War.
Michael Mann, States, War, and Capitalism.
Michael Mann, Sources of Social Power, vol. 1.
Quincy Wright, A Study of War.

Realists, neo-realists, and assorted folk

Michael E. Brown, ed. Rational Choice and Security Studies: Stephen Walt and His Critics.
Charles L. Glaser, “The Security Dilemma Revisited.” World Politics 50:1 (October 1997): 171-201.
Samuel Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs 72:3 (1993).
Robert Jervis, “Cooperation under the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 30:2 (January 1978).
Paul Kennedy, Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.
Robert Keohane, ed., Neorealism and Its Critics.
Robert Keohane, International Institutions and State Power: Essays in International Relations Theory.
Robert Keohane & Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence.
Stephen Krasner, Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investments, and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Stephen Krasner ed., International Regimes.
Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations.
Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict.
Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth.
Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political.
Stephen Walt, The Origins of Alliances.
Stephen Walt, Revolution and War.
Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics.


Michael W. Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” parts 1 and 2. Philosophy and Public Affairs 12: 3 (Summer 1983) 205-235 and 12:4 (Autumn 1983), 323-353.
Uday Singh Mehta, Liberalism and Empire: a Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought.
John Stuart Mill, “Of Nationality,” in Considerations on Representative Government.


Hayward Alker, Rediscoveries and Reformulations: Humanistic Methodologies of International Studies.
Barry Buzan, Ole Waever, & Jaap de Wilde, Security: A New Framework for Analysis.
Jeff Checkel. “The Constructivist Turn in International Relations Theory,” World Politics 50: 2, (January 1998), 324-48.
James Der Derian, On Diplomacy: A Geneology of Western Estrangement.
James Der Derian, ed. International/Intertextual Relations: postmodern readings of world politics.
John G. Ruggie, Constructing the world polity : essays on international institutionalization.
J. Ann Tickner. Man, the State, and War: Gendered Perspectives on National Security.
Gearóid Ó Tuathail, Critical Geopolitics: The Politics of Writing Global Space.
RBJ Walker, Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory.
Wendt, Alexander, “Anarchy is What States Make of It: the Social Construction of Power Politics,” International Organization 46:2 (Spring 1992): 391-425.

The “English School” and Grotians

Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society.
Hedley Bull, et al., Hugo Grotius and International Relations.
E. H. Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis.
Tim Dunne, Inventing International Society: A History of the English School.
David Fidler & Jennifer Welsh, eds., Empire and Community: Edmund Burke's Writings and Speeches on International Relations.
Jennifer Welsh, Edmund Burke and International Relations.
Martin Wight, International Theory: The Three Traditions.
Martin Wight, “The balance of power and international order” in Alan James (ed) The Bases of International Order.
Martin Wight, “Why Is There No International Theory?” in Herbert Butterfield and Martin Wight, eds. Diplomatic Investigations: essays in the theory of international politics.

Marxist and Quasi-Marxist Approaches

Giovanni Arrighi, Geometry of Imperialism.
Shlomo Avineri, Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization.
Vladimir Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.
Margot Light, The Soviet Theory of International Relations.
Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System.

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