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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $65.00
  • October 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92195-3
  • 528 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Essentials of International Relations

Sixth Edition


Karen A. Mingst (Author, University of Kentucky), Ivan M. Arreguín-Toft (Author, Boston University)


A brief, teachable introduction to the core concepts and theories of international relations.

The text that instructors trust has been updated and redesigned for today’s classroom. Contemporary topics in international relations are thoroughly covered, and a new full-color design and new features get students engaged and thinking critically.


Endorsements & Reviews

“The textbook is well-written and reflects up-to-date scholarship in the IR field. The IR theoretical approaches are skillfully and effectively integrated into the chapters.” — Abdalla Battah, Minnesota State University-Mankato

“The Global Perspectives box and Theory in Brief is solid. Great content, good presentation.” — Selwyn Samaroo, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

A simple framework covers the main concepts and theories in international relations

Contending theoretical perspectives of realism, liberalism, radicalism, and constructivism are presented in Chapter Three. In each subsequent chapter, these contending perspectives are explicitly applied to the topic at hand. And three levels of analysis—the international system level, the state level, and the individual level—help structure the student’s understanding of world politics.  

New coverage of human rights and major transnational issues

A new chapter, Chapter 10, discusses the evolution of the international human rights regime, from the nineteenth century abolition movement to the internationalization of the responsibility to protect human rights. Chapter 11 on transnational issues has been significantly expanded to cover international conflict and cooperation relating to the environment, world health, and transnational crime. 

New features get students thinking critically and analytically

All-new You Decide boxes pose provocative questions that get students to apply what they learned in the chapter and develop a more nuanced understanding of the topic. Theory in Brief boxes reinforce contending theoretical perspectives on major topics, such as the nature of state power and the causes and consequences of international organizations. In Focus boxes in every chapter help students synthesize and review important concepts, such as balance of power and collective goods. And a new full-color design makes photos, maps, and key terms stand out. 

A complete set of resources for students and instructors

The Coursepack includes chapter quizzes, focus questions, flashcards, simulations, and video exercises, which instructors can deploy for their students in the manner they wish within their Learning Management System. The video exercises stress the real-world application of theories presented in the text, and each video is accompanied by open-ended critical thinking questions.

The Instructor’s Manual contains a wealth of teaching ideas and activities—including contemporary applications and discussion questions, and the Lecture PowerPoints offer a clear and succinct outline of the main concepts in each chapter.

    1. Approaches to International Relations
    2. The Historical Context of Contemporary International Relations
    3. Contending Perspectives: How to Think about International Relations Theoretically
    4. The International System
    5. The State
    6. The Individual
    7. Intergovernmental Organizations, International Law, and Nongovernmental Organizations
    8. War and Strife
    9. International Political Economy
    10. Human Rights
    11. Transnational Issues: The Environment, World Health, and Crime