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Steven L Spiegel (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
World Politics in a New Era, Fourth Edition, provides the basic knowledge and skills needed to appreciate the full range of international politics in contemporary affairs. Integrating a theme of Globalization and Fragmentation throughout, the book enables students to see beyond the notion of "globalization" as a buzzword and to become aware of the trade-offs and tensions that result from a "global community." Furthering this theme, the authors introduce the concept of Conflict and Cooperation so that students can see how world leaders balance their relationships with other countries. World Politics in a New Era introduces the predominant theories used to explain international relations in Chapter Two. This thorough foundation is followed by discussions of these various theories, which appear throughout the narrative. In addition, "At a Glance" features are integrated throughout the text; these summaries help students to see how the theories work and also how they intersect with individual, domestic, and systemic levels of analysis. Four chapters in the text are devoted to reviewing key historical events, providing students with the context necessary to grasp world politics. A new chapter on non-western hisotry--Chapter 5. Imperialism and Its Victims--allows students to move beyond the typical "western" understanding of world events. Each chapter offers a role-playing exercise called "What Would You Do?" that gives students the opportunity to play the decision-maker during the midst of a crisis. This feature profiles real-life situations and asks students to plan a course of action using the material they've learned in the course. This experience of analyzing a crisis and proposing solutions is a skill that students can use in other political science courses as well as in their daily lives.
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