Review of the Week: 5/15/2017

This Review of the Week focuses on the timely topic of influence and politics.

Power and international relations : a conceptual approach

Baldwin, David A. Princeton, 2016
223p bibl index afp, 9780691170381 $95.00, 9780691172002 $29.95, 9781400881000

Baldwin (Princeton Univ.) provides a valuable guide for political science upper-division and graduate students for thinking about power and international politics. From historical and analytic perspectives, he conducts a conceptual analysis beginning with Robert Dahl’s rational concept of power from the mid-1950s. He then traces the Dahlian impact over the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century on the study of international relations in the US. In careful and clear argument, Baldwin provides rigor and precision for those who think about social power literature and world politics. Then he applies that skill in the exploration of “twelve controversial issues in power analysis.” He successfully explicates how three principal theoretical traditions in international relations theory—realism, constructivism, and neoliberalism—view power and how those views lead to different policy outcomes. An essential holding for all college and university libraries.

Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
Reviewer: J. A. Rhodes, Luther College
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Political Science – International Relations
Choice Issue: Aug 2016