Eric Shiraev, Ph.D. Books, Publications, Research, Teaching, and Collaborative Projects

International Relations. Eric Shiraev and Vladislav Zubok. New York: Oxford University Press.

What do we study in international relations? How do we study it? And how do we apply it?

Using these guiding questions as a framework, International Relations shows how to think critically about issues in world politics. In each chapter, a brief opening case is followed by a description of key developments, an explanation of the main approaches to analyze them, and applications of those approaches in individual, state, and global contexts. The book provides extensive historical information throughout, giving  a holistic frame of reference from which to understand current events.


* A consistent analytical framework organized around three questions encourages critical thinking

* Three full chapters on key approaches--realism (Ch. 2), liberalism (Ch. 3), and constructivist and other modern perspectives (Ch. 4)--along with coverage of relevant theories and levels of analysis in each chapter introduce students to a broad spectrum of approaches

* Two chapters give unique emphasis to cultural and identity factors (Ch. 8) and predictions for the future (Ch. 12)

* "Visual Review" summaries enable students to visualize how all the material fits together

* Concluding "Past, Present, and Future" sections apply each chapter's material to both classic and contemporary challenges

* "Debate" boxes focus on controversial questions and issues and ask students to consider their own views

* "Case in Point" features provide in-depth examinations of current or historical events and include critical-thinking questions that ask students to think about these events, using the approaches they have learned

* An Instructor's Resource Manual, a Computerized Test Bank, Videos, and a Companion Website provide additional resources for students and instructors

Accompanying site:

Organization, Coverage, and Supplements

The book contains twelve chapters divided into three parts:

·      Part I, Studying International Relations (Chapters 1–4), introduces the field. It offers key definitions, introduces essential historical facts, and describes major methods used in this field. Main actors, including states, international governmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations are introduced in the section. This section also presents the major approaches to international relations—realism, liberalism, and constructivism—as well as several other approaches, including conflict theories, feminism, and political psychology.

·      Part II, Three Facets of a Global World (Chapters 5–7), discusses three major, classic facets of international relations: international security, international law, and international political economy. Main concepts, including international security, war, economic policy, free trade, territoriality, universal jurisdiction, and human rights—to name a few—are discussed in this section.

·     Part III, Twenty-First Century Challenges (Chapters 8–12), explores domestic and global challenges of today’s world that are likely to continue into the future. These topics include terrorism and nonstate violent radicalism, global environmental problems, and humanitarian challenges. Final two chapters emphasize the importance of knowledge and global understanding in practice of international relations. It underlines the necessity of critical knowledge and understanding the “hearts and minds” of today’s global world. The concluding section of the book provides critical evaluations of various predictions about the future of international relations.


Chapter 1. Introducing International Relations

·      Defines international relations as a discipline.

·      Identifies major actors and decision makers in international relations and the main areas in which they interact.

·      Discusses the main challenges and problems confronting the world today.

·      Introduces the methodology of international relations and the ways critical thinking might be applied to study and analyze information.

·      Applies the knowledge in a critical analysis of a concluding case related to the question whether democracy can be “exported.”

Chapter 2. The Realist Perspective

·      Defines the concept of power in international relations.

·      Explains the key principles of realism in international relations and shows how these principles have evolved over time.

·      Explains the meaning of states’ interests, balance of power, deterrence, polarity, and international order.

·      Explains and interprets realpolitik as a key application of realism.

·      Critically applies realism within three contexts of international relations to demonstrate its strength and weaknesses.

·      Applies the knowledge of realism in a critical analysis of a concluding case on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Chapter 3. The Liberal Perspective

·      Describes the key features of liberalism in international relations.

·      Explains why and how liberals criticize the principles of power politics.

·      Introduces and compares different approaches and traditions within liberalism.

·      Applies the key principles of the liberal approach to individual decisions, specific policies of states, and global developments.

·      Applies the knowledge of liberalism in a critical analysis of the case of the European Community and the Limits of the Liberal Project.

Chapter 4. Alternative Views

·      Emphasizes the shortcomings of realism and liberalism and the necessity of other interpretations of world politics.

·      Explains alternative views to international relations including constructivism, conflict theories, feminism, and political psychology.

·      Shows how perceptions, social norms, conflicts, inequality, gender, race, and psychological factors shape international relations.

·      Applies theory to interpret international behavior of leaders, states, and international organizations.

·      Applies the knowledge of international relations theory in a critical analysis of the Cuban Missile crisis.

Chapter 5. International Security

·      Defines and describes national and international security.

·      Discusses security from realist, liberal, constructivist, and alternative perspectives.

·      Explains variation in security policies.

·      Applies major views of security to realities of international relations at each context of analysis.

·      Evaluates the effectiveness of particular security policies.

·      Applies the knowledge of security in a critical analysis of a concluding case about ending the Cold War.

Chapter 6. International Law

·      Explains the principles, sources, and the evolution of international law.

·      Discusses the applications as well as limitations of international law.

·      Demonstrates and discusses the principal differences among various views and approaches to international law.

·      Applies key principles of international law to individual decisions, particular policies of states, and global developments.

·      Applies the knowledge of international law in a critical analysis of a concluding case about war crimes and genocide.

Chapter 7. International Political Economy 

·      Identifies economic aspects of international relations and explains the major factors of international political economy (IPE).

·      Explains the principles of mercantilism, economic liberalism, constructivism, and conflict theories in the context of IPE.

·      Applies major economic views to realities of international relations within three contexts of international relations.

·      Evaluates the impact of states on international economy, finances, and trade as well as the challenges of global economic interdependence.

·      Applies the knowledge of IPE in a critical analysis of the “Beijing Miracle.”

Chapter 8. International Terrorism

·      Defines terrorism, explains its logic, strategies, and methods.

·      Explains counterterrorism and discusses how states, international organizations, and the entire global system deal with the challenge of terrorism.

·      Compares and contrasts different views of terrorism and counterterrorist policies.

·      Applies theories about terrorism and counterterrorism within three contexts of international relations.

·      Applies the knowledge of terrorism in a critical analysis of al-Qaeda.

Chapter 9. Environmental Problems

·      Identifies key environmental problems of today and major policies to address them.

·      Explains how environmental problems and the debates around them affect international relations and policies of countries, international organizations, and NGOs.

·      Describes and focuses on similarities and differences among several approaches to environmental problems.

·      Applies the knowledge about environmental problems to individual decisions, policies of states, and global developments.

·      Applies the knowledge of environmental problems and politics in a critical concluding discussion of Greenpeace.

Chapter 10. Humanitarian Problems

·      Identifies and explains major humanitarian problems and their causes.

·      Discusses humanitarian policies to address these problems.

·      Outlines similarities and differences among key approaches to humanitarian problems and policies to address them.

·      Applies the knowledge to explain leaders’ choices, countries’ political conditions, and global contexts affecting humanitarian problems and policies.

·      Applies the knowledge of humanitarian problems and politics in a critical concluding discussion of “celebrity activism.”

Chapter 11. Hearts and Minds: Identity and Political Culture

·      Explains why values and identities are important in international relations.

·      Describes how political culture, cultural identities, and political attitudes affect international politics.

·      Describes key approaches to values and identities in the context of international relations.

·      Applies the knowledge to interpret international behavior of leaders, states, and international organizations in various contexts.

·      Applies the knowledge of identity and values factors in a critical concluding discussion of China’s foreign policy in the context of China’s changing identity.

Chapter 12. Forecasting the World of 2025

·      Evaluates predictions about the future of states, international and nongovernmental organizations, multipolarity, and international alliances.

·      Compares and contrasts several major theoretical approaches to and assumptions about the future of international relations.

·      Applies the knowledge about forecasting within three contexts of international relations.



Oxford University Press offers instructors and students a comprehensive ancillary package for qualified adopters of International Relations.

·      Companion Website at

                For instructors, this site includes the teaching tools described below, available for immediate download. Contact your local OUP sales representative for access.

                For students, the companion website includes a number of study tools, including learning objectives, key-concept summaries, quizzes and essay questions, Web activities, and Web links.

·      Instructor’s Resource Manual with Test Item File

                The Instructor’s Resource Manual includes chapter objectives, a detailed chapter outline, lecture suggestions and activities, discussion questions, video resources, and Web resources. Available on the Instructor’s Resource CD or as a download from the Web at

                The Test Item File includes over one thousand test items, including multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions. Questions are identified as factual, conceptual, or applied, and correct answers are keyed to the text pages where the concepts are presented.

·      Computerized Test Bank—Using the test authoring and management tool Diploma, the computerized test bank that accompanies this text is designed for both novice and advanced users. Diploma enables instructors to create and edit questions, create randomized quizzes and tests with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool, publish quizzes and tests to online courses, and print quizzes and tests for paper-based assessments. Available on the Instructor’s Resource CD.

·      PowerPoint–Based Slides—Each chapter’s slide deck includes a succinct chapter outline and incorporates relevant chapter graphics. Available on the Instructor’s Resource CD or as a download from the Web.

·      Instructor’s Resource CD—This resource puts all of your teaching tools in one place. The CD includes the Instructor’s Resource Manual with Tests, the Computerized Test Bank, the PowerPoint–based slides, and the graphics from the text.

·      CNN Videos—Offering recent clips on timely topics, this DVD provides up to fifteen films tied to the chapter topics in the text. Each clip is approximately five to ten minutes in length, offering a great way to launch your lectures. Contact your local OUP sales representative for details.

·      Ebook—This text is also available as a CourseSmart Ebook (978-0-19-9994772-0).Course Cartridges are also available.

Selected articles (2003-2005)

From the Cold War to a Lukewarm Peace: People Say, Advisers Advise, and Officials Decide: Toward a Comparative Analysis of Opinion-Policy Linkages    Published:  2005       read

Russian views of the September 11th and beyond (with Dr. Olga Makhovskaya, Russian Academy of Sciences).  Published: 2006   

Russian Decision-making Regarding Bosnia: Indifferent Public and Feuding Elites (with Dr. Deone Terrio)    Published: 2003          

Conclusion: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy. The Bosnia War Case (with Dr. Richard Sobel, Harvard University)    Published: 2003