For upper-level undergraduate courses in International Relations and graduate-level courses in International Relations Theory Field Surveys.
Unique in approach, this text explores all aspects of an important scholarly debate over whether the contemporary theory of the balance of power as presented by Kenneth Waltz is a scientifically acceptable theory. This text allows students to examine and analyze the different views (in their original form) by all those in the debate and to come to their own conclusions. Part I presents the initial debate, including reprinted material. Parts II and III feature original pieces where scholars from different views review the debate. The resulting analyses, along with the initial exchanges, provide varying answers to the theoretical, empirical, and philosophy of science questions raised by the debate.
Provides instructors and students with a less expensive, more convenient access to the full range of materials available on the debate.
Helps students trace the shifting terms and perspectives on the accuracy and efficacy of a realist understanding of international relations, in general, and balance of power theory, in particular.
Collects some of the subsequent reactions to the original debate and more formally relates them to the original set of exchanges.
Shows students how the new debate stands as an important example of how scholars can disagree about methods and results and nevertheless learn from one another.
Provides the essential background that those new to the subject will need to understand the debate.
Teaches students how to read and assess scholarly work and strengthens their critical analytical skills.
Gives key terms defined for students.
1.Introduction: Appraising Balance of Power Theory, Colin Elman.
I. THE INITIAL DEBATE.2. The Realist Paradigm and Degenerative versus Progressive Research Programs: An Appraisal of Neotraditional Research on Waltz's Balancing Proposition, John Vasquez.
II. NEW CONTRIBUTIONS9. Why Realism Does Not Work Well for International History (Whether or Not It Represents a Degenerate IR Research Strategy), Paul W. Schroeder.
III. CONCLUSIONS17. Closing Dialogue, Colin Elman and John Vasquez.
JOHN A. VASQUEZ is professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. He has published eleven books, including The Power of Power Politics: From Classical Realism to Neotraditionalism; The War Puzzle; and, most recently, What Do We Know about War? (editor). His scholarly articles have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, World Politics, Security Studies, American Political Science Review, Journal of Peace Research, IO, Journal of Politics, International Political Science Review, Millennium, and British Journal of Political Science, among others. He has been president of the Peace Science Society (International) and the International Studies Association.
COLIN ELMAN is assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University. His work has appeared in American Political Science Review, International Security, Security Studies, International History Review, and International Studies Quarterly, and he is the co-editor (with Miriam Fendius Elman) of Bridges and Boundaries: Historians, Political Scientists, and the Study of International Relations (2001) and Progress in International Relations Theory: An Appraisal of the Field (forthcoming). Elman is currently executive director of the Consortium for Qualitative Research Methods.
"Vasquez and Elman have assembled a treasure of lucid, penetrating analyses of realist theorizing about the balancing of power. Framed by the question of how we should evaluate contending theories, this incisive volume should be required reading for everyone in the field, not just students enrolled in courses on international relations theory." - Gregory A. Raymond, Boise State University