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Book report: Explaining and understanding in International Relations by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith


  1. Introduction.

There has been much written on the international relations and one can find any information on this subject but still, there are questions and problems that are fully or partially disclosed in the works of known scholars. Understanding and practicing international relations helps greatly in the work and the book by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith provides the information on this issue.

The paper is divided into three parts. The second part will give the analysis of the book of a researcher on the given topic in order to convey what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic and what are their advantages and disadvantages.

Thesis Statement: This book review will demonstrate what has been published on a topic “international relations” by acknowledged scholars and scientists having scanned the literature effectively to identify a set of useful books in brief.

  1. Explaining and understanding in International Relationsby Martin Hollis and Steve Smith.

The book Explaining and understanding in International Relations by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith is a very useful and extremely accessible book for people who are involved in international relations. It tends to give a practical judgment in certain situations. The accuracy of the theories mentioned in this guide depends not so much on research tests, but most probably on their possibility to apply it while helping people to apply their knowledge in an intelligent and skillful way.

The book mirrors the progress in technology and methodology and gives the necessary support to specialists in the new millennium. This is a marvelous guide for those who do not know where to start with their studying the topic. The book has a good grounding given the understandable summary of the material.

In the book Martin Hollis and Steve Smith discover such important aspects of international relations as realism, liberalism, behaviorism and others. They examine the international system, the state, bureaucracies, and the individual.

The authors of Explaining and understanding in International Relations explain the material so that even those readers who have no prior knowledge of international relations or experience of the subject will get the success. The guide is written in simple words and it takes the reader little by little through all the stages of understanding in international relations.

The authors state the problem of the book in the very first page writing that “the social sciences thrive on two intellectual traditions. One is founded on the triumphant rise of natural science since the 16th century. The other is rooted in 19th century ideas of history and the writing of history from the inside. This book is guided by our belief that both traditions are fertile for the study of international relations, despite a lively tension between them. In international affairs, and throughout the social world, there are two sorts of story to tell and a range of theories to go with each” (Hollis and Smith, 3).

The book Explaining and understanding in International Relations offers students who are involved in the international relations an understandable theoretical and practical guide on the topic. This book explains the reader the major aspects that are to be studied thoroughly.

Martin Hollis and Steve Smith speak directly to the reader, very often give the examples from the experience. The book is full of warnings concerning the pitfalls that a student should avoid. It is a practical guide for students who are involved in international relations study. This book sets a number of important aspects involved in the process of understanding international relations and by examples will help the student to understand the material.

Explaining and understanding in International Relations by Martin Hollis and Steve Smith is an example of masterly organized book on international relations. It is one of the more useful advanced teaching tools in the discipline. There are some general techniques stressed in the book that seem to give good results. This work examines the philosophical issues that underlie the theory of international relations.

Martin Hollis and Steve Smith’s Explaining and understanding in International Relations is a guide designed to help students in gaining the knowledge on the topic. There is no magic formula, studying any subject or material requires much work and concentration.

Using and applying the techniques from this guide will help you in gaining a valuable edge in order to understand material and prepare for tests, exams and other papers. This guide contains some of the most effective techniques of successful students. Overall, this is an easy book to read and contains all the necessary data for the student who has the task of studying international relations.

  1. Conclusion.

The given paper briefly analyzes the books on international relations. This book report demonstrates what has been published on a topic “International Relations” by acknowledged scholars and scientists. It summarizes several aspects of international relations: realism, liberalism and behaviorism and examines four factors commonly assumed to account for international behavior: the international system, the state, bureaucracies, and the individual.

Works Cited

Hollis, Martin and Smith, Steve. Explaining and Understanding International Relations. Oxford University Press, 1990.


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