The national interest in international relations theory

Burchill, Scott 2005, The national interest in international relations theory, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, England.

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Title The national interest in international relations theory
Author(s) Burchill, Scott
Publication date 2005
Total pages viii, 224
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Place of Publication Houndmills, England
Keyword(s) national interest
public interest
international relations
political ideologies
foreign policy
overseas item
Summary The concept of the 'national interest' is an ever-present feature of contemporary diplomatic discourse, and has been widely analysed by historians and political scientists. However, there has not been a systematic investigation of the term from the range of theoretical perspectives which comprise the discipline of International Relations. This book fills this gap by explaining how the term is variously understood by realist, Marxist, anarchist, liberal rationalist (English School) and constructivist theories of International Relations. It is argued that far from having a clear and unambiguous meaning, 'the national interest' is a problematic term which is largely devoid of substantive content. While realists traditionally, and constructivists more recently, claim that 'the national interest' is a key explanatory tool in the analysis and understanding of contemporary foreign policy.
Scott Burchill argues that beyond the narrow aspect of security policy, the national interest has little residual value as an insight into the motivations of state policy in the external realm.
Notes 1. Origins and antecedents -- 2. Conventional perspectives : realist approaches -- 3. Critical perspectives : Marxist and anarchist approaches -- 4. Progressive perspectives : liberal approaches -- 5. Progressive perspectives : the English school -- 6. Progressive perspectives : constructivism.
ISBN 9781403949790
1403949794
Language eng
Field of Research 160607 International Relations
HERDC Research category A1 Books - authored - research
Copyright notice ©2005, Palgrave Macmillan
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30000413

Document type: Book
Collection: School of International and Political Studies
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