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The National Interest in International Relations Theory Hardcover – 11 May 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2005 edition (11 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781403949790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403949790
  • ASIN: 1403949794
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,453,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'Scott Burchill has introduced a new and fresh approach to International Relations and conflicts between states. He is objective but also exceedingly insightful, and whoever reads his book will grasp the differences - as well as the weaknesses - between the various schools of thought on world affairs and war and peace.' - Gabriel Kolko, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, York University, Canada

'The topic of 'National Interest' has been central to the study of international affairs for a long time, and is of great current concern, as part of ongoing discussion and controversy concerning the role of the state in the evolving international political-economic order. To my knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study of the topic within the various frameworks of International Relations theory that have become a very productive area of research in the post-World War II period. Burchill provides a lucid critical account of leading ideas of the major perspectives that have been developed, tracing their origins back to the Enlightenment and beyond. He carefully analyzes the place of the concept of national interest within these perspectives, arriving at conclusions that are well-argued and thought-provoking. It is a very valuable study, with many implications for policy and interpretation.' - Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


This is the first systematic and critical analysis of the concept of national interest from the perspective of contemporary theories of International Relations, including realist, Marxist, anarchist, liberal, English School and constructivist perspectives. Scott Burchill explains that although commonly used in diplomacy, the national interest is a highly problematic concept and a poor guide to understanding the motivations of foreign policy.

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