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Global Politics as if People Mattered

Second Edition

Mary Ann Tétreault and Ronnie D. Lipschutz

What would international relations look like if our theories and analyses began with individuals, families, and communities instead of executives, nation-states, and militaries? After all, it is people who make up cities, states, and corporations, and it is their beliefs and behaviors that explain why some parts of the world seem so peaceful while others appear so violent, why some societies are so rich while others are so poor.

Now in a fully updated and revised edition, this unique text on contemporary global politics begins with people, treating them as "social individuals" with free will and human agency even as they are limited and disciplined by rules and rulers. Offering a fresh approach to global politics, this dynamic author team trades perspectives with each other and with such eminent social theorists as Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt to develop their resonant theme.

Using practical examples as well as theory, the authors show students how they can take charge of their lives and the politics that affect them, even in the context of a vast global economy and impersonal international forces that sometimes seem out of control. Filled with idealism, yet firmly grounded in current realities,
Global Politics as if People Mattered is a fresh take on the proper place and potential of individuals in world politics—front and center, actively engaged in a way of life that is as politically personal as it is politically powerful. This distinctive text, a perfect reading for lower-division politics courses, helps students to carve out their own political space in the contemporary global order.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 272Size: 7 x 10 1/4
978-0-7425-6657-6 • Paperback • April 2009 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7425-6658-3 • eBook • May 2009 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Mary Ann Tétreault (1942–2015) was the Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at Trinity University.
Ronnie D. Lipschutz is professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Chapter 1: Global Politics Because People Matter
Chapter 2: People, Households, and the World
Chapter 3: People and Power
Chapter 4: People and Economy
Chapter 5: People and States
Chapter 6: People and Borders
Chapter 7: People and War
Chapter 8: People and Justice
Chapter 9: People and Globalization
Chapter 10: People Matter
The authors masterfully weave international relations, political theory, history, sociology, gender studies, and economics into a holistic understanding of global politics. My students in Intro to IR found the first edition challenging, compelling, and empowering.
Mary K. Meyer McAleese, Eckerd College

The people-centered approach is very helpful, putting global politics in a more holistic context for students.
Kelly Rae Kraemer, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

[This] work consolidates important critiques of traditional IR theories for absorption by a beginner undergraduate audience. This is an important task, and the book covers an admirable amount of literature. The authors' use of many examples to support their critiques is useful and fitting. Overall, the book addresses important issues and an important audience. (Previous Edition Praise)
Journal of Peace Research

The authors' gift to us is that 'people' are the focal point of theoretical departure for their well-referenced exploration of this area of study, turning the normal approaches to the study of international relations on its head. . . . Many thanks are . . . due to these two enterprising and engaging scholars for providing a much-needed guidebook to enable us to enact the Great Commission both compassionately and competently. (Previous Edition Praise)
Anglican Theological Review

It is unusually refreshing to see a volume on global politics that keeps real people and their agency, in addition to abstract concepts, at its centre. This book makes an admirable attempt to do just that while keeping international theory to the fore. For these reasons, it should serve as both a standalone and companion volume in courses on global politics. . . . This seems to me a great book for stimulating discussion, critical reflection and further research. (Previous Edition Praise)
Political Studies Review

Finally, a textbook that reflects the broad spectrum of international studies scholarship! Tétreault and Lipschutz offer a fresh perspective on global politics that places the social individual at the center. Their book integrates insights from a broad spectrum of scholarly perspectives and presents them in a way that is both accessible and engaging. This book will undoubtedly empower students by enabling them not only to situate themselves in relation to multiple global processes, but also to see themselves as agents in the face of restricting but malleable structural constraints. I can't wait to teach this book. (Previous Edition Praise)
Sita Ranchod-Nilsson, Denison University

Presents a brief and engaging introduction to global politics for students

Offers a succinct overview of international relations with an emphasis on the "social individual" level of analysis

Introduces students to a wide range of social and political theorists essential to understanding contemporary world affairs as well as social science—all with a minimum of jargon

Brings home the meaning of big concepts and events including globalization and capitalism, power politics, borderlands, and the War on Terror

Uses "small narratives" and everyday examples from news events as well as popular culture to illustrate how people can make a difference in world politics

Provides concrete examples of how to practice politics and confront cynicism with a sensitivity to the ethics of decisions, actions, and systems

Centers people within the theoretical and material constructions of global politics

Invites students to think critically about how they and "others" exist and participate in the world