A Review of Polities, Authority, Identities, and Change Essay

A Review of Polities, Authority, Identities, and Change Essay

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Polities, Authority, Identities and Change yielded after more than 20 years of productive cooperation of Yale H. Ferguson and Richard W. Mansbach. Several years before publishing Policies, in their previous book The Elusive Quest: Theory and International Politics, Ferguson and Mansbach exposed the need for displaying an alternative approach to perceiving and interpreting relations among different polities, which served as a foundation for this book. (Ferguson & Mansbach, 1988). This fourth collaborative book came into light of the day as the reaction to the perceived increasing disparity between international relations academic knowledge (theory) and international relations practice (reality), which international relations theory aims to explicate. These noted scholars question the framework of the Westphalian model of territorially bounded sovereign nation-states and share the opinion that the lack of forceful opponent led to continuous supremacy of the realism as “grand theory”. This situation promoted the model of the world based on the mainstream European tradition of power politics with main focus on structural determinants and states-as-actors, which had many weak points. In both authors’ opinion, these flaws had erosive effect on academic knowledge of international relations. Hence, both authors share sceptical view on how contemporary essential issues in international relations might be presented in the light of realism view. Their concern was focused on the practitioners and their view of the world moulded by the dominant theory: “It is no exaggeration to suggest that ordinary citizens who follow the daily news may have a better picture of the way the world actually works than the vast majority of blinkered IR theorists"...


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...omizing indeed widely divergent political systems with different political experiences. (McNeill, 1997).



Works Cited

Ferguson, Y. H. and Mansbach, R. W. (1996). Polities: Authority, Identities, and Change. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Ferguson, Y. H. and Mansbach, R. W. (1988). The Elusive Quest: Theory and International Politics. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
McNeill, W. H. (1997). Territorial States Buried Too Soon. Mershon International Studies Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 269-274. Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The International Studies Association. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/222670 Accessed: 21/10/2011 14:29
Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2001). Polities: Authority, Identities, and Change. (Review). American Political Science Review. URL:
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-73021487.html Accessed: 21/10/2013

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