Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

Martha Finnemore

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pp. ix-xiv

The premise of this book is that much of international politics is about defining rather than defending national interests. Political science has focused its attention on the problem of how states pursue their interests. Pursuing interests, however, is only a part of what international politics is about. Before states can pursue their interests, they have to figure out what those interests are. This book asks questions about how states know what they want. That process of defining interests is as intensely political and consequential as our subsequent efforts to pursue those interests. I believe this is always true, but it is more obviously true at some periods of...

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1. Defining State Interests

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pp. 1-33

How do states know what they want? One might think that this would be a central question for international relations scholars. After all, our major paradigms are all framed in terms of power and interest. The sources of state interests should matter to us. In fact, they have not-or not very mucho Aspirations to develop a generalizable theory of international politics modeled on theories in the natural sciences and economics have led most international relations scholars in the United States since the 1960s to assume rather than problematize state interests. Interests...

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2. Norms and State Structure: UNESCO and the Creation of State Science Bureaucracies

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pp. 34-68

The structure of states is continually evolving. Since their establishment in Europe sorne five hundred years ago and, in particular, since World War I, states have grown both in terms of the variety of tasks they perform and in terms of the organizational apparatus with which they perform these tasks. International relations theory has had little to say about this process of state change, even though states are the unit of analysis in many, if not most, of these theories. Neorealists are explicit about having no theory of the state.1 Neoliberal institutionalists who...

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3. Norms and War: The International Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

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pp. 69-88

International relations scholars have tended to think of war as a Hobbesian state of nature. In war, aboye all other situations, we should be able to treat states and soldiers as self-interested utility-maximizers simply because in times of war the most basic survival interests are at stake. In fact, however, war is a highly regulated social institution whose rules have changed over time. Interstate war could not even be conducted if survival were the paramount concern of soldiers and other individuals because in war the requirements of state survival and personal...

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4. Norms and Development: The World Bank and Poverty

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pp. 89-127

The notion of economic development as a goal of states is often treated as unproblematic in contemporary political discourse. Wealth is treated as a constant goal of states, and "development" in the twentieth century lexicon is the means to wealth. However, the concept of development leaves open questions about both the ends of the development process (develop into what? wealth for whom? wealth for what end?) and the means of the process (develop how?). States' understandings of the ends and means of development have shifted over time. The focus on...

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5. Politics in International Society

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pp. 128-150

States do not always know what they want. They and the people in them develop perceptions of interest and understandings of desirable behavior from social interactions with others in the world they inhabit. States are socialized to accept certain preferences and expectations by the international society in which they and the people who compose them live.

What does it mean to say that we live in an international society? It certainly does not mean that we live in a Wilsonian or ideal world. To say that social norms are at work internationally is not to pass judgment...

Index

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pp. 151-154