Concept

Theory of International Politics

Summary
Theory of International Politics is a 1979 book on international relations theory by Kenneth Waltz that creates a structural realist theory, neorealism, to explain international relations. Taking into account the influence of neoclassical economic theory, Waltz argued that the fundamental "ordering principle" (p. 88) of the international political system is anarchy, which is defined by the presence of "functionally undifferentiated" (p. 97) individual state actors lacking "relations of super- and subordination" (p. 88) that are distinguished only by their varying capabilities. Waltz challenges reductionist approaches to international politics, arguing that they fail to account for similar behaviors across states (Ch. 4). According to Waltz, system-level processes of socialization and competition lead states to behave in similar ways (p. 76). Waltz argues that broad patterns of state behavior can be understood as a consequence of states pursuing incentives provided by
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