This section of the site provides a series of articles that seek to make the complex and ever-changing world of international relations and foreign policy accessible to people outside the field. (See this page for a fuller explanation.) Listed on the left side of this page are those articles. They do not have to be read in the order they appear in the list, but if you are fairly new to this, I would suggest starting with IR & Theory, and then Realism & Idealism, and then Neoconservatism. The article on IR Constructivism and the English School is not ready yet, but it was necessary to create the page in the meantime. From time to time I will add articles to this series on “understanding international relations (IR) and foreign policy (FP),” with particular focus on the United States and Middle East states.Others will follow in due course.
The articles provide a good feel for the theoretical filters and multi-dimensionality of international relations and why leaders choose certain foreign policies instead of others. The material was adapted and developed for this site from my research into the new book I’m writing. The articles also pull duty as a necessary background for understanding the wisdom-based alternative approaches to international relations and foreign policy that are being developed by The Wisdom Project. If alternatives are to be offered, they really have to be alternatives, and to know if they are, an adequate awareness of reigning paradigms is first necessary. As one wit has said, even rampant imperialism appears wise to the emperor.
Related articles on important recent issues, events, situations, and political actors can be found at On International Relations.
To get in touch about permission to quote from an article, or other questions, please use the Contact Form, below.