Introduction: Aspects of Anarchy

  • Michael Nicholson


Peace and war; imperialism and nationalism; the wealth of some societies and the poverty of others; nuclear weapons and the possibility of extinction; the environment and global warming; human rights across the world; the merging and the splitting up of states; the European Union; international organizations; religions and their political impact; trade and the development of the multinational corporation; race and gender around the globe; globalization and the information revolution.


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Further Reading and Sources

  1. There are a number of introductory books which go into rather more detail than is possible in this short book. John Baylis and Steve Smith have edited Globalisation of World Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997),Google Scholar
  2. which is an excellent longer, multi-authored text as is Charlotte Bretherton and Geoffrey Ponton (eds), Global Politics: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996).Google Scholar
  3. An Australian introduction is by Ralph Pettman, International Politics: Balance of Power, Balance of Productivity, Balance of Ideologies (Melbourne: Cheshire, 1991).Google Scholar
  4. There are some rather longer American books such as Bruce Russett and Harvey Starr, World Politics: The Menu for Choice (New York: W. H. Freeman, 1996, 5th edn),Google Scholar
  5. Joshua S. Goldstein, International Politics (New York: HarperCollins, 1996, 2nd edn),Google Scholar
  6. and Charles W. Kegley and Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend and Transformation (New York: St Martin’s Press and London: Macmillan, 1997, 6th edn). All provide good and detailed introductions to the subject.Google Scholar
  7. Many important pieces which mark the development of international relations are published in Classics of International Relations, ed. John Vasquez (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986) which is a very useful reference. The development of international relations theory and approaches to the discipline are interestingly discussed by William Olson and A. J. R. Groom, International Relations Then and Now: Origins and Trends in Interpretation (London: HarperCollins, 1991).Google Scholar
  8. Prominent in this chapter, and in international relations in general, are various national income figures. The gross domestic product (GDP) figures in the text came from the 41st edition of the United Nations Statistical Yearbook (New York: United Nations 1996). In general this is a very useful source of data. Incomes per head come from The World Bank Atlas: Population, Per Capita Product and Growth Rates, (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1996), which is also helpful and vividly presented. Unfortunately not all sources agree, as I discuss in the appendix to the book.Google Scholar
  9. The population figures quoted in the text come from The Military Balance 1997/98 (London: Oxford University Press, 1997). This annual publication is valuable as a convenient source of basic figures about economies and a very detailed source of military information.Google Scholar
  10. A very useful and well laid-out source of statistics is Michael Kidron and Ronald Segal, The New State of the World Atlas (London: Simon & Schuster, 1991). I warmly recommend it, partly because of the clear way in which it presents the material, making its study a pleasurable or at least an endurable task, even for those who find statistics painful. There is the proviso that it came out in 1991 and things change. I have used it for the measure of inequality and other figures of poverty along with the United Nations Human Development Report (1995). The same source was used for illiteracy (particularly table 28). On the number of women ‘missing’ in the world, Amartya Sen is more cautious than Kidron and Segal in his article ‘More than 100 Million Women are Missing’ (New York Review of Books, 20 December 1990). The figure of £ 500 billion for the proceeds of drug trafficking (that is, the profits, not the volume of trade) was given by Ray Kindle, head of Interpol (reported in the Guardian, 10 September 1996).Google Scholar
  11. Figures about war and casualties come from Lewis Fry Richardson, Collected Works, Vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993),Google Scholar
  12. and Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993). There are many formidable collections of statistics about peace and war.Google Scholar
  13. A readable description of one of the major ones is given in David Singer, A Peace Research Odyssey (Ann Arbor Michigan: Michigan University Press, 1990), which gives further references.Google Scholar
  14. In general, an hour or two spent browsing through the annual statistical publications of bodies such as the United Nations is very illuminating. Another hour spent with an atlas is also much to be commended.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Nicholson 1998

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  • Michael Nicholson

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