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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The foundations of Neorealism are found with Waltz
Written as a doctoral thesis some 45 years ago, Kenneth Waltz's MAN, THE STATE AND WAR continues to be a staple in the field of international relations theory. Waltz's groundbreaking piece is a thorough analysis of the difficulties associated with the war-peace continuum. Through his exhaustive research of some noted theorists such as Thucydides, Morgenthau and others,...
Published on 14 Mar 1998

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11 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simplistic argument, so crude as to be absurd
Waltz's central argument is that the world is comprised solely of states (which are autonomous and rational) bouncing off each other in a billiard ball model. After reading this book, I was surprised that so many people accepted it so uncritically. In Waltz's analysis, there is no room for nationalism, ideology, bureaucracy, guerilla's, media or even capitalism. Take for...
Published on 1 May 2001 by Mr C S JOHN


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The foundations of Neorealism are found with Waltz, 14 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis (Paperback)
Written as a doctoral thesis some 45 years ago, Kenneth Waltz's MAN, THE STATE AND WAR continues to be a staple in the field of international relations theory. Waltz's groundbreaking piece is a thorough analysis of the difficulties associated with the war-peace continuum. Through his exhaustive research of some noted theorists such as Thucydides, Morgenthau and others, Waltz articulates the need to look beyond the individual and state level causes of war, and look to the system for the answers. MAN, THE STATE AND WAR continues the tradition of realism through its emphasis of a state centric system and by analysing the field of international politics through power arrangements. Where Waltz goes beyond the classical realist is through his assertion of the importance of systemic influences in international politics. His later work, THEORY OF INTRENATIONAL POLITICS is a much more indepth analysis into the need for a structural theory of politics, however this piece lays the groundwork for all other material. For students of international politics, or for those who are interested in deeper questions as to why world politics sometimes does not seem to make much sense, Waltz will provide you with some answers in an articulate and interesting fashion. Despite its relative age, it still bears reading today.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a must-read in the field of International Relations, 7 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis (Paperback)
Look, it's this simple: if you are a serious student of international relations, you should read and know this book thoroughly. Waltz looks at three levels of analysis: Man (Individual), the State, and War (the international system). Along with Morgenthau, Waltz is one of the key writers representing the realist paradigm of IR. Despite all the revisions and attacks against this text, it's still a classic in the field.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to know how the world works, this book is it, 14 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis (Paperback)
Kenneth Waltz's book is the best book that I have ever read. I have an extensive collection of books about international relations and political theory and thus far, this book is the best in its field. If you ever wandered why the United States (a democracy) and/or Iraq (an authoritarian state) act the way they do in the international system, this book will be very useful. Waltz introduces people to the "levels of analysis," a theoretical concept in international relations that describes why countries act the way they do in an international system that is considered to be "anarchic" and in a "state of war." In short, the three levels are: 1) the individual, 2) the nation-state, and 3) the international system. He goes into each levels to see which one of these is the best level that explains why countries (democracies and authoritarian) go to war. To understand why countries go to war, do we need to look at the persons that are in pow! ! er, do we look at the nation-state and its political, historical, and social formation, or do we need to look at the international system? Read and find out! You'll be surprised! The best quote (paraphrase) from this book (which are many) is one that says to the effect: "There is no such thing as total victory [in war], only different levels of defeat." In other words, for example, a country or a coalition of countries may win a war, but this victory is temporary (in space and time) until the next confrontation. The problems between the United States and Iraq comes into mind. Again, this is the best book in this field for anyone interested in political science/international relations and for those who are interested in a very good and enlightening read. Let me know what you think.
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11 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simplistic argument, so crude as to be absurd, 1 May 2001
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Mr C S JOHN (Aberystwyth, Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis (Paperback)
Waltz's central argument is that the world is comprised solely of states (which are autonomous and rational) bouncing off each other in a billiard ball model. After reading this book, I was surprised that so many people accepted it so uncritically. In Waltz's analysis, there is no room for nationalism, ideology, bureaucracy, guerilla's, media or even capitalism. Take for example the Vietnam war. The fact that a communist guerrilla group had a good chance of gaining power (through the ballot box), was deemed a threat to the US. The US bueaucracies (the CIA being the exeption), being in the whole culture of the cold war, argued that this was a huge threat, yet could be easily quashed. The US believed that they needed a rightwing quasi-fascist regime because they would be more open to capitalist exploitation by western companies. After years of fighting, US public opinion shifted, influenced heavily by the American media. In other words, the nature of the domestic state changed, and had an effect on international politics - something which Waltz maintain could not happen). Indeed, everything about why the Vietnam war began and why it ended, is an example of society affecting international politics.
Waltz's dichotomy between orderly internal politics and disorderly international politics is absurd. From the third world perspective (where 80% of people live) its domestic politics which is disorderly and international politics that is structured, orderly and controlled. The whole theory would be more realistic if it was turned on its head.
Waltz's theory is borne out of positivism, which believes that truth and knowledge is seperate from the world, and objective knowledge is achievable. In other words, Waltz's believes that a fundamental Rabbi and a Hamas guerilla can agree on whats 'really' going on in Israel, and what is the most appropriate solution to the problem. This is obviously absurd. Nazi Germany is probably the most studied period in history, yet historians still argue (and will continue to do so) what 'really' caused the second world war. They all depend on facts, its just that their interpretation of the fact is subjective. History is about selecting facts, so how can it be anything but selective? Many will disagree with my analysis of the Vietnam War, but that in itself proves the point that knowledge is subjective.
In short, there are over six billion people in this world, each with their own sexuality, gender, nationality, ethnicity, class, identity, ideology, religion etc,etc. There are power agents other than states e.g. corporations, media, institutions, guerilla's, capitalism. Waltz's analysis can't incorporate any of these things, yet any realistic theory of what the world is like must do just that
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Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis
Man, the State and War: Theoretical Analysis by K Waltz (Paperback - 1 July 1965)
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