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Global Politics

A New Introduction

Edited by Jenny Edkins, Maja Zehfuss

Routledge – 2009 – 568 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $68.95
    November 28th 2008
  • Add to CartHardback: $178.00
    November 27th 2008


Global Politics:A New Introduction is an innovative new textbook that provides a completely original way of teaching and learning about world politics. The book engages directly with the issues in global politics that students are most interested in, helping them to understand the key questions and theories and also to develop a critical and inquiring perspective.

Key features of Global Politics: A New Introduction:

  • Examines the most significant issues in global politics – from war, peacebuilding, terrorism, security and authority to poverty, development, postcolonialism, human rights, gender, inequality, ethnicity and what we can do to change the world
  • Each chapter is written to a common structure which is ideal for teaching and learning and features a key question, an illustrative example, general responses and larger issues
  • Integrates theory and practice throughout the text, by presenting theoretical ideas and concepts in conjunction with a global range of historical and contemporary case studies
  • Draws on theoretical perspectives from a broad range of disciplines including international relations, political theory, postcolonial studies, sociology, geography, peace studies, development
  • Extensively illustrated throughout with 169 maps, photos, figures and cartoons as well as extensive pedagogic features to further learning, including a support website which provides podcast interviews with contributors, weblinks and downloadable maps
  • Features an international line-up of leading scholars.

Global Politics: A New Introduction is an original, groundbreaking, engaged and intellectually stimulating textbook for core courses on world politics, international politics and international relations.


'The greater depth and tighter focus means that authors can explain special controversies in a genuinely interesting way without becoming side-tracked by raw theory or reductive historical examples. The generous provision of asides in special boxes and marginal notes helps to bring out the mutual relevance of the chapters, as case studies within the broader discipline of global political studies. The standard structure makes great intuitive sense. Students will be able to follow the discussion and navigate the text with ease. It is refreshing to see such an attempt to improve clarity and prompt further reading without resorting to crude oversimplification and jargon.' - James Wakefield, e-International Relations, March 2012

'Global Politics: A New Introduction explodes the tired axioms, sloppy analogies, common assumptions, and conventional wisdoms of International Relations. This collection, unlike any other, asks all the right questions, troubles the easy answers, and provides a common intellectual strategy for tackling the most pressing global issues of today.' - James Der Derian, Professor of International Studies, Brown University

'One of the freshest, most engaging texts on international politics I've read in ages! … Jenny Edkins and Maja Zehfuss have done the almost impossible - created a text that is globally aware, conceptually rich AND positively engaging. I can imagine students (and their professors) plunging into these enticing questions, making surprising connections between the cases, testing and refining proposed answers and coming up with fresh insights of their own.' - Cynthia Enloe, Clark University, USA, and author of Globalization and Militarism

'Global Politics: A New Introduction is without doubt an outstanding textbook that will revolutionise the way in which IR is taught. It meets the demands of enquiring minds who all too often come to study IR only to be frustrated and distracted by the parochialism of intra-disciplinary squabbles. The question-based approach is a stunning innovation that opens up the field of IR: overall a teaching and learning aid worthy of its title.' - Nick Vaughan-Williams, University of Exeter, UK

'This text takes students on an important intellectual journey … it offers a fresh perspective with a different purpose, especially in its focus on political questions. The chapters are of a high standard written by scholars with established reputations for critical-creative thought.' - David Campbell, Durham University, UK

'A very good text that deals with current concerns in an engaging way. The conceptual depth of the chaptersis sometimes really wonderful. Because of the range of authors and the organization of each chapter, it presents many theoretical and ideological points of view.' - Mary Ann Tetreault, Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

‘[This] book is different from most other introductory texts on IR published during the 2000s and offers probably one of the most innovative reconsiderations of the field to emerge during this period… The skill to engage in thoughtful intellectual interrogation while still making it accessible to neophytes (without dumbing it down) is very rare, and Edkins and Zehfuss need to be congratulated for pulling it off with aplomb.’ – Emilian Kavalski, University of Western Sydney, Political Studies Review, Vol 10:3, Sept. 2012


1. Introduction: What does this Introduction to global politics do? Jenny Edkins and Maja Zehfuss 2. How do we begin to think about the world? Véronique Pin-Fat

3. What happens if we don’t think in human terms? Simon Dalby 4. Who do we think we are? Annick T.R.Wibben 5. How do religious beliefs affect politics? Peter Mandaville 6. Why do we obey? Jenny Edkins 7. How do we find out what’s going on in the world? Debbie Lisle 8. Why is people’s movement restricted? Roxanne Lynn Doty 9. Why is the world divided territorially? Stuart Elden 10. How does the nation-state work? Michael J Shapiro 11. Do colonialism and slavery belong to the past? Kate Manzo 12. How is the world organised economically? V Spike Peterson 13. Why are some people better off than others? Paul Cammack 14. How can we end poverty? Mustapha Kamal Pasha 15. Why do some people think they know what is good for others? Naeem Inayatullah 16. Why does politics turn to violence? Joanna Bourke 17. What makes the world dangerous? Michael Dillon 18. What can we do to stop people harming others? Anne Orford 19. Can we move beyond conflict? Roland Bleiker 20. Conclusion: What can we do to change the world? Maja Zehfuss

Author Bio

Jenny Edkins is Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University and has taught at the Universities of Manchester and Aberystwyth and at the Open University. She has published widely, including most recently, Sovereign Lives: Power in Global Politics (edited with Véronique Pin-Fat and Michael J. Shapiro, Routledge, 2004), Trauma and the Memory of Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Whose Hunger? Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid (University of Minnesota Press, 2000, 2008). She is co-editing a textbook (with Nick Vaughan-Williams) entitled Critical Theorists and International Relations, forthcoming with Routledge.

Maja Zehfuss is Professor of International Politics at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Constructivism in International Relations: The Politics of Reality (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Wounds of Memory: Politics of War in Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Her current research examines the politics of ethics in the contexts of war. She is a member of the National Academy of Teaching. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the International Studies Association for 2008-9.


Name: Global Politics: A New Introduction (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: Edited by Jenny Edkins, Maja Zehfuss. Global Politics:A New Introduction is an innovative new textbook that provides a completely original way of teaching and learning about world politics. The book engages directly with the issues in global politics that students are most interested in,...
Categories: International Relations, Politics & International Relations, International Relations Theory