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Mingst Karen Essentials of International Relations WW Norton Company London 1999 297pp 3350 0-393-97287-9 pbk Reviewed By Essentials of International Relations is a text that says the same thing as any good international relations textbook but in simpler more compact terms Karen Mingst does this by telling the reader exactly what he needs to know without any unnecessary extras Chapter one entitled Approaches to International Relations is basically an introduction history of International relations Mingst discusses the three major types of approaches in studying international relations traditional behavioral and alternative The author states These approaches emerge out of different academic disciplines and require us to use different methods of study Mingst 3 The author then proceeds to give examples of traditional approaches to conducting diplomacy including the Moscow summit Earlier philosophers including Plato Aristotle Thomas Hobbs and Jean-Jaques Rouseau are mentioned along with a brief description of their works Summing up the work of the philosophers the author states The tradition laid by these philosophers contributes to the development of international relations by calling attention to fundamental relationships those between the individual and society between individuals in society and between societies Mingst 6 The author sums up chapter one by calling the history of international relations as a result of scholarly dissatisfaction with prior approaches Mingst 15 Chapter two entitled The Historical Context of Contemporary International Relations is a historical description of the state and international system The author states that the predecessors of the current international system can be found in European centered western civilizations In order to justify this concept the author gives us a historical overview The purpose of this historical overview is to trace important trends over time- the emergence of the state and the notion of sovereignty the development of the international state system and the changes in distribution of power among
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