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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $87.00
  • September 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91238-8
  • 648 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

World Politics

Interests, Interactions, Institutions

Second Edition


Jeffry A. Frieden (Author, Harvard University), David A. Lake (Author, University of California, San Diego), Kenneth A. Schultz (Author, Stanford University)


A contemporary, problem-oriented approach to international relations.

Why are there wars? Why do countries struggle to cooperate to prevent genocides or global environmental problems? Why are some countries rich while others are poor? Organized around the puzzles that draw scholars and students alike to the study of world politics, this book gives students the tools they need to think analytically about compelling questions like these.

In the Second Edition, two new chapters—one on civil war and terrorism and one on international law—bring the book’s successful approach to additional topics. Added features stress real-world applications and provide extensive study and review help, making the authors’ analytical approach even more accessible and engaging.


A contemporary, problem-oriented approach

Each chapter is organized around a compelling puzzle in international relations. For each topic, Frieden, Lake, and Schultz introduce a question or set of questions that lack obvious answers and then use the concepts and analytical tools, contemporary research findings, and illustrative cases to lead students to a deeper understanding of world politics. 

A flexible analytical framework based on interests, interactions, and institutions

World Politics equips students with a simple framework for understanding and analyzing any topic in international relations, which is carefully developed in Chapter 2. This framework is then used explicitly in every subsequent chapter and highlighted in the “Core of the Analysis” section that previews how interests, interactions, and institutions will be relevant in the chapter’s analysis. 

Contemporary research is incorporated fully

New chapters on international law and on civil war and terrorism take account of important recent scholarship. “How Do We Know?” boxes in every chapter present the empirical evidence behind a finding reported in the chapter, explaining how political scientists know what they know about that topic.  

Expanded “Controversy” units engage students

Recognizing that many students come to the introductory international relations course with a strong interest in contemporary policy questions, World Politics includes “Controversy” units on some of today’s most pressing policy debates. This popular feature applies the analytical tools to real-world issues students care about, such as child labor and global climate change. For the Second Edition, new topics have been added, and the Controversy units have been expanded to two pages.  

    Part One: Foundations
    Chapter One: What Shaped Our World: A Historical Introduction
    Chapter Two: Understanding Interests, Interactions, and Institutions

    Part Two: War and Peace
    Chapter Three: Why Are There Wars?
    Chapter Four: Domestic Politics and War
    Chapter Five: International Institutions and War
    Chapter Six: Violence by Nonstate Actors: Civil War and Terrorism

    Part Three: International Political Economy
    Chapter Seven: International Trade
    Chapter Eight: International Financial Relations
    Chapter Nine: International Monetary Relations
    Chapter Ten: Development: Causes of the Wealth and Poverty of Nations

    Part Four: Transnational Politics
    Chapter Eleven: International Law and Norms
    Chapter Twelve: Human Rights
    Chapter Thirteen: The Global Environment

    Part Five: Looking Ahead
    Chapter Fourteen: The Future of International Politics

Sample Media