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It is impossible talk about war without the knowledge of history, especially European history.

Michael Howard, War in European History updated edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Showing history of war as well as European history from the perspective of war.

B. H. Liddell Hart, Strategy, 2nd revised ed. (New York: Plume, 1991). If you want to focus on military strategy, read this before Clausewitz or Jomini.

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006). A well organized book on the Cold War.

Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981). A good book to understand deterrence and nuclear strategy.

2. Theory
The perspective to see the International Politics. Be aware that both realism and liberalism have futile meanings. They cannot be simply divided into two categories.

Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace, and Other Essays on Politics, History, and Morals (HPC Classics Series), trans. by Ted Humphrey (Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1983). Political liberalism is represented by Kant. This leads to the discussion of Democratic Peace theory.

Edward Hallet Carr, What Is History? (New York: Random House, 1961). Sir Harold George Nicolson, Diplomacy (Washington D.C.: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, 1988).

Contrary to the spreading of liberalism after the latter half of the 19th century, instability in Europe after WWI produced classical books on realism. The thought of Nicolson can be regarded as reassessing the classical diplomacy and restoration of traditional realism.

George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy, expanded ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985). He is one of the men who brought realism to the U.S. Good book to understand U.S. diplomacy during the Cold War.

Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics, 1st ed. (Illinois: Waveland Press, 2010). Waltz systematically organized the concept of realism, known as neo-realism. He played a crucial role in the development of international political studies.

Martin Wight, International Theory: The Three Traditions (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1994). Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics, 4th ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012). James Mayall, World Politics: Progress and Its Limits (Cambridge: Polity, 2000). Scholars of English School tried to look into history to find conditions for international stability in the realm of realism. You will see their discussions are quite different from Waltzs.

Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr., Power and Interdependence, 4th ed. (London: Pearson, 2011). After the end of the Cold War, liberalism became preponderant. Keohane and Nye explain changes of international relations caused by the expansion of economic activities, known as economic liberalism.

Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

You should read this book to think about the relationship between the liberalization of a political system and international peace, known as political liberalism.

3. Post-Cold War
The preponderance of the U.S.s military power.

G. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). ---, Liberal Order and Imperial Ambition: Essays on American Power and International Order (Cambridge: Polity, 2006). Ikenberry first esteems the order established by the U.S. in the former book. On the other hand, he shows awareness to the unilateral intervention of the U.S. in the latter book.

Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations 4th ed. (New York: Basic Books, 2006). Power preponderance made people think about just wars, which exclude unjust wars by finding principals to distinguish just wars from unjust wars.

Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, 3rd ed. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012). The origin of threat has also changed. We can see the new international situation after the Cold War in this book that not a realist, but a liberalist insists on the necessity of war.

Elie Kedourie, Nationalism, 4th ed. (Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell, 1993). Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, 2nd ed. (New York: Cornell University Press, 2009). Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, new ed. (London: Verso, 2006). Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger ed., The Invention of Tradition, reissue ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). It is obvious that nationalism is behind conflicts on identity. Kedourie and Gellner consider nationalism as a runaway of political ideology of mass. Anderson pointed out the aspect of fiction in the concept of nation. Hobsbawm and Ranger also show the manmade character of


4. Introduction to International Conflict

Joseph S. Nye Jr. and David A. Welch, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation: An Introduction to Theory and History, 9th ed. (London: Pearson, 2012). The best book to start studying international conflict.