These two volumes attest to the vitality of current theorizing in international relations. In the first book, a nation's choice between international cooperation and conflict is seen as set by circumstances and, more importantly, by a range of decisions involving the struggle for advantage, willingness to enter alliances and therefore entanglements, and the like. The second, by a group of British scholars, is an erudite deconstruction of Kenneth Waltz's influential "neorealist" Theory of International Politics. There is much debate that only the careful reader of Waltz will appreciate, but that seems to be important within the theoretical world. Thus the last chapter states, "Structural Realism seeks to construct an ordering principle by which the previously dispersed 'islands' of international relations theory can be viewed as an 'archipelago.' "
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