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Über dieses Buch

In honour of Prof. Kalevi Holsti’s 80th birthday, this collection presents 15 of the renowned Political Scientist’s major essays and research projects. It also offers a collection of his writings and essays on theories of international relations, foreign policy analysis, security and the world order. These previously published works address issues that remain “hot topics” on the international agenda, such as the changing nature of warfare and the causes of failed states; major essays also evaluate the current search for international order. Prof. Holsti is the author of a major textbook that has been translated into Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Bahasa Indonesian. Thousands of undergraduates around the world are acquainted with his work.



On Kalevi Holsti


Chapter 1. Biography

I do not believe in genetic determinism, but there was probably more than just chance that led to an academic career in the field of International Relations. My brother Ole and I were both born in Geneva in the 1930s. Our father, Rudolf Holsti, was at that time Finland’s ambassador to the League of Nations. Between 1919 and 1922 he had served as that country’ s foreign minister, with the same post between 1936 and 1938.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 2. Bibliography

2.1 Books
2.2 Chapters in Edited Books
2.3 Journal Articles
Kalevi Holsti

Texts by Kalevi Holsti on International Theory


Chapter 3. Introduction on International Theory

Nothing in my academic writing on international theory matches the magisterial works of Kenneth Waltz, Alexander Wendt, Robert Keohane, Hedley Bull, Barry Buzan, or James Rosenau. My contribution has been primarily in the realm of appraisal and critique. The essays that follow summarize my concerns about the problems of the theoretical enterprise.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 4. Hegemony and Challenge in International Theory

International theory is in a state of disarray. In the past decade, the three-centuries-long intellectual consensus which organized philosophical speculation, guided empirical research, and provided at least hypothetical answers to the critical questions about international politics has broken down.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 5. The Problem of Change in International Relations Theory

Most theories of international relations have a central concern with historical change. Surprisingly, however, few have seriously addressed how we should identify and measure change. This selection is intended to begin a serious examination of this problem.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 6. Along the Road of International Theory in the Next Millennium: Four Travelogues

If the study of international relations in the 1970s was characterized by a breakdown of its three centuries of concern with the problems of peace, war, and order, scholarship in the 1990s and into the twenty-first century has confronted an explosion of theoretical ferment and philosophical disagreement. It is often punctuated by hyperbole and by the loss of a unified scholarly craft. This essay looks at the scene, notes incompatibilities, and laments some of its excesses.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 7. Hindrances to Understanding in International Relations

Many of the participants in robust debates about theories of international relations are, in a sense, talking past each other. The incompatibilities and occasional excesses of debate arise from serious misunderstandings of what our craft is all about, what we do, and what we should be doing.
Kalevi Holsti

Texts by Kalevi Holsti on Foreign Policy Analysis


Chapter 8. Introduction on Foreign Policy Change

The field of comparative foreign policy was launched in the 1960s with a theoretical study by James Rosenau. One of his hopes was that we could ultimately develop not just a field of comparisons between the foreign policy behavior of states, but also explanations of why and under what circumstances states significantly change those policies. The selections in this section explore this question.
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 9. Restructuring Foreign Policy: A Neglected Phenomenon in Foreign Policy Theory

Between 1963 and 1965 the government of Burma undertook a series of domestic measures and foreign policy decisions that fundamentally altered its orientation toward the outside world. Except for maintaining essential trade and participating in several minor foreign aid projects, the Burmese government drastically reduced its external contacts and imposed a variety of measures which were designed to end external penetration into Burmese society, economics and politics. How can we explain this change?
Kalevi Holsti

Chapter 10. Exceptionalism in American Foreign Policy: Is It Exceptional?

Thanks to the policies advocated by America’s ‘neo-cons’ and often pursued by the George W. Bush administration during its first term in office, there has been a revival of discussion about exceptionalism as a theme in American foreign policy. Is exceptionalism a type of foreign policy? If so, what are its sources?
Kalevi Holsti


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