International Relations


International Relations - Research Guide International Law

International relations can be defined as political activities and other kinds and aspects of interactions among two or more states. The academic field of international relations is a branch of political science that is concerned with the study of relations between states, the foreign policy of nation-states, and the mechanisms and institutions (such as international organisations, inter-governemental organisations, international and national non-governmental organisations and multinational corporations) through which states interact. The study of international relations involves many subjects such as international and regional peace and security, international organizations, nuclear proliferation, globalization, human rights, economic development, intervention, international financial relations, and international trade relations.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Relations. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 445. International Relations: General Works and subject heading (keyword) International Relations are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.


Reference works


Leading articles


Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

1. The new member states and the European Union
The new member states and the European Union : foreign policy and Europeanization / edited by Michael Baun and Dan Marek. - London ; New York : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013. - XXII, 229 pagina's. ; 24 cm. - (Routledge advances in European politics ; 91) Met literatuuropgave en index. - 2013
Keywords: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, European Union, New members, Foreign policy, European integration,

2. Shattered hopes
Shattered hopes : Obama's failure to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace / Josh Ruebner. - London ; New York : Verso, 2013. - 354 pages. ; 24 cm References: page 299-342. - With index. - 2013
Keywords: United States of America, Middle East, International relations, Arab-Israeli conflict, Government, Politics,

3. Syria and the USA
Syria and the USA : Washington's relations with Damascus from Wilson to Eisenhower / Sami Moubayed. - Reprinted edition. - London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2013. - XVI, 207 pages, 8 unnumbered leaves of photos. ; 24 cm. - (Library of international relations ; vol. 56) 1st edition: 2012. - Bibliography: page 194-201. - Notes: page 176-193. - 2013
Keywords: Syria, United States of America, International relations,

4. Defining Borders and People in the Borderlands
Defining Borders and People in the Borderlands : EU Policies, Israeli Prerogatives and the Palestinians / Raffaella A. Del Sarto In: The JCMS Annual Review of the European Union in ... = ISSN 0021-9886: vol. 52, issue 2, page 200-216. - 2014
Keywords: Israel, Palestine, Arab-Israeli conflict, Occupied Arab territories, European Union, International relations, Borders, Visa,

5. The politics of international law
The politics of international law / Martti Koskenniemi. - Oxford ; Portland, Oregon : Hart Publishing, 2011. - XV, 371 pages Includes bibliographical references and index. - 2011
Keywords: Politics, International politics, International law, Public international law, Philosophy of law, Legal theory, Political philosophy, Legal reasoning, E-books,

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  • Ismael, T.Y. and G.E. Perry (eds.), The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East : Subordination and Beyond, Ismael, London, Routledge, 2014 [2013].

    The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East Subordination and Beyond

    The Middle East, a few decades ago, was seen to be an autonomous subsystem of the global international political system. More recently, the region has been subordinated to the hegemony of a singular superpower, the US, bolstered by an alliance with Israel and a network of Arab client states.

    The subordination of the contemporary Middle East has resulted in large part from the disappearance of countervailing forces, for example, global bipolarity, that for a while allowed the Arab world in particular to exercise a modicum of flexibility in shaping its international relations.The aspirations of the indigenous population of the Middle East have been stifled by the dynamics of the unequal global power relationships, and domestic politics of the countries of the region are regularly subordinated to the prerogatives of international markets and the strategic competition of the great powers.

    Employing the concept of imperialism, defined as a pattern of alliances between a center (rulers) in the Center (developed) country and a center (client regime) in the Periphery (underdeveloped country) – as an overall framework to analyse the subordination of the region, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of the Middle East, International Relations, and Politics in general.

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  • Bueno de Mesquita, B., Principles of International Politics, Washington, DC, CQ Press, 2014.

    Bueno de Mesquita, B., Principles of International Politics, Washington, DC, CQ Press, 2014.

    Renowned scholar Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, who set the standard for the scientific approach to international relations and transformed the field, has returned with a reformulated fifth edition based on extensive reviewer feedback and guided by an emphasis on questions about the causes and consequences of war, peace, and world order. More than ever before, the strategic perspective in international relations is examined with complete clarity, precision, and accessibility. What hasn’t changed is Bueno de Mesquita’s commitment to covering the fundamentals of IR. The foundational topics and examination are all there: the major theories of war, the domestic sources of international politics, an exploration of the democratic peace, the problems of terrorism, the role of foreign aid, democratization, international political economy, globalization, international organizations, international law, and the global environment. No other introductory text delivers such an easily-understood contemporary explanation of international politics, while truly enabling students to learn how to mobilize the key concepts and models themselves-thus develop a new method for thinking about world affairs. More than ever before, Principles provides a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of international affairs, systematically compares the accuracy of competing approaches to international relations, and walks students through the simple, intuitive models and games that capture the essence of the strategic, selectorate viewpoint.

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  • Dunoff, J.L. and M.A. Pollack (eds.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: the State of the Art, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Dunoff, J.L. and M.A. Pollack (eds.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: the State of the Art, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    International Law and International Relations: Synthesizing Insights from Interdisciplinary Scholarship brings together the most influential contemporary writers in the fields of international law and international relations to take stock of what we know about the making, interpretation, and enforcement of international law. The contributions to this volume critically explore what recent interdisciplinary work reveals about the design and workings of international institutions, the various roles played by international and domestic courts, and the factors that enhance compliance with international law. The volume also explores how interdisciplinary work has advanced theoretical understandings of the causes and consequences of the increased legalization of international affairs.

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  • Viotti, P.R. and M.V. Kauppi, International Relations and World Politics, Boston, MA, Pearson, 2013.

    Viotti, P.R. and M.V. Kauppi, International Relations and World Politics, Boston, MA, Pearson, 2013.

    Updated in its 5th edition, International Relations and World Politics is a toolkit that offers an authoritative survey of the field and practical ways to analyze current and future world problems. Drawn from the authors’ experience as scholars and practitioners, this new edition was completely rewritten to focus on an enduring teaching and learning goal-how individuals can apply theory, history, geography, and more for a lifetime of understanding politics in a globalized world. Whether as actors themselves in world politics, participants in the global economy, or simply readers of world news, those reading International Relations and World Politics not only get more help to master the field’s concepts but also get more help to understand that these are real-world ideas with real-world implications.

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  • Koivisto, M., Normative State Power in International Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Koivisto, M., Normative State Power in International Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    While the relationship between norms and the state is an omnipresent research theme in International Relations, most international theory – from classical liberalism to recent constructivism – continues to treat ‘normative state power’ as an analytical impossibility. Scholarship within the fields of human rights, global civil society, and globalization remains primarily focused on moral evaluations and the mitigation of the geopolitical power of the state. Rarely are the normative institutional capacities of the state the focus of analysis. This book offers a new theory of normative state power in global politics. Marjo Koivisto argues that normative state power is distinct from the fiscal or military might of states. It is usually institutionalized and internalized within the state as a set of cultural norms relating to the role of statehood in local and global practice. By deploying both theoretical inquiry and substantive analysis of the Nordic model, the book offers a deep, institutionalist account of normative state power as exercised in relation to the welfare state. A case study of the internationalist networks of the Nordic states in times of economic crises (both the 1930s and 1990s) illustrates how, thanks to the persistence of normative state power, state forms tend to outlast political and economic transformations.

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  • Devetak, R. (et al.) (eds.), An Introduction to International Relations, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Devetak, R. (et al.) (eds.), An Introduction to International Relations, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Invaluable to students and those approaching the subject for the first time, An Introduction to International Relations, Second Edition provides a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to international relations, its traditions and its changing nature in an era of globalisation. Thoroughly revised and updated, it features chapters written by a range of experts from around the world. It presents a global perspective on the theories, history, developments and debates that shape this dynamic discipline and contemporary world politics. Now in full-colour and accompanied by a password-protected companion website featuring additional chapters and case studies, this is the indispensable guide to the study of international relations.

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  • Ku, C., International law, International Relations, and Global Governance, London, Routledge, 2012.

    Ku, C., International law, International Relations, and Global Governance, London, Routledge, 2012.

    International Relations and International Law have developed in parallel but distinctly throughout the 20th Century. However in recent years there has been recognition that their shared concerns in areas as diverse as the environment, transnational crime and terrorism, human rights and conflict resolution outweigh their disciplinary and methodological divergences. This concise and accessible volume focuses on collaborative work within the disciplines of international law and international relations, and highlights the need to develop this collaboration further, describing the value for individuals, states, IGOs, and other non-state actors in being able to draw on the cross-pollination of international relations and international legal scholarship. Helping readers to examine and understand how accumulated actions over time have given rise to system-wide changes, this work is essential reading for all students of international law, international relations and global governance.

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  • Nuclear security: Dangers and Achievements

    Nuclear security is generally accepted to mean “the prevention of, detection of, and response to, criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities, or associated activities”. In short it is about preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive material or attacking nuclear facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, nuclear security concerns have been heightened, but how real is the danger and what are the legal instruments to combat nuclear terrorism?

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  • Themes of NSS 2014

    The Netherlands will be hosting the Nuclear Security Summit on 24 and 25 March 2014. Nuclear security involves implementing a series of pre-emptive measures to prevent internal and/or external threats directly or indirectly related to nuclear materials, radioactive sources, relevant facilities or other associated activities. Reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world, improving the security of all nuclear material and radioactive sources and improving international cooperation are the main themes of the 2014 Summit.

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  • A Justification for Russia’s Intervention?

    In the last week Russian military forces have occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula where the majority of the population is ethnic Russian and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is deployed in the city of Sevastopol. In the Russian constitution a few articles describe circumstances where a primacy of Russian constitutional law above international law may occur. How does Russia legally justify its intervention? Guest Blog by Anna K. Duszczyk.

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  • Ukraine, Moving East or West?

    Although Yanukovych has claimed many times to seek good ties with Russia and the EU simultaneously, it seems that by refusing to sign the Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU last November, the power balance is tipping towards Russia. As an alternative to further EU integration, Russia has been actively promoting Ukraine to join the Russian-led Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which in the future could progress towards a further integrated Eurasian Union.

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  • Unresolved Territorial Disputes: The Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Gulf

    Last week, the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, renewed his country’s demand for the restoration of sovereignty over three islands in the Persian Gulf region. Responding to the statement by the UAE, Iran’s representative reiterated his country’s full sovereignty over the islands and categorically rejected any claims to the contrary. The legal dispute about ownership and sovereignty of the three islands is based on rival historical claims by both sides.

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  • ARGO and the Follow-Up: Iran and the United States

    33 Years after the event, Hollywood has turned its attention to an episode that traumatized the United States for months: the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. As the US Embassy falls to a group of Islamist students and militants in support of the Iranian revolution and in retaliation for the USA’s sheltering of the recently deposed Shah, six diplomats slip out and seek sanctuary in the Canadian’s ambassador’s residence. It is up to the CIA’s Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to extract them from the country before they are discovered by the Revolutionary Guards. The plan? Create a fake movie, called Argo, and pretend they’re the crew.

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  • South Sudan: Birth Of A Nation

    On 9th July 2011, South-Sudan finally gained independence from Sudan after 50 years of conflicts in Northeasteren Africa. This blog will briefly discuss the most important obstacles that will lie ahead for the people of South-Sudan.

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  • North Korea Confirms Nuclear Test

    North Korea has conducted its second nuclear test, the country’s state news agency KCNA announced today. The nuclear test was expected. Earlier this year North Korea conducted a failed intercontinental missile test.

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See also

More Research guides on International Organizations and Relations

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