International Studies

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues

Sheldon Anderson, Mark Allen Peterson, and Stanley W. Toops

Fourth Edition • July 25, 2017 • 512 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813350493 • $54.00 USD$69.99 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350721 • $35.99 USD$45.99 CAN

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This core text is the first to provide a much-needed interdisciplinary approach to international studies. Emphasizing the interconnected nature of history, geography, anthropology, economics, and political science, International Studies details the methodologies and subject matter of each discipline then applies these discipline lenses to seven regions: Europe; East Asia and the Pacific; South and Central Asia; sub-Saharan Africa; the Middle East and North Africa; Latin America; and North America. This disciplinary and regional combination provides an indispensable, cohesive framework for understanding global issues.

The fully updated fourth edition includes four new global issues chapters: The Refugee Crisis in Europe; The Syrian Civil War and the Rise of the Islamic State; Global Climate Change; and The Globalization of Modern Sports.


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Sheldon Anderson is professor of history at Miami University. He is the author of five books: The Politics and Culture of Modern Sports, Condemned to Repeat It, A Cold War in the Soviet Bloc, A Dollar to Poland Is a Dollar to Russia, and the forthcoming The Forgotten Legacy of Stella Walsh.

Mark Allen Peterson is professor of anthropology and international studies at Miami University. He is the author of Connected in Cairo and Anthropology and Mass Communications.

Stanley W. Toops is associate professor of geography and international studies at Miami University. He is coauthor of The Routledge Atlas of Central Eurasian Affairs and co-editor of Understanding Contemporary China.



1. The Past in the Present: Historical Interpretation in International Conflict
What Is History?
Historians and Their Tools
Politics, Power, and History
History and International Conflicts
What Is Good History?
Theories of History
Are There Lessons of History?
Further Reading

2. Peoples, Places, and Patterns: Geography in International Studies
What Is Geography?
Development of Geography
Components of Geography
Maps: Tools for International Studies
Further Reading

3. Anthropology and Intercultural Relations
Cultural Misunderstandings in an International Milieu
What Is Culture?
Levels of Culture
Intercultural Relations
Studying Culture: The Anthropological Perspective
Further Reading

4. Economics and International Development
What Is Economics?
Liberal Economics
Economic Nationalism
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Development Economics
Non-Western Economics
Further Reading

5. Power, Conflict, and Policy: The Role of Political Science in International Studies
What Is Political Science
Comparative Politics
International Politics
Further Reading

6. North America and International Studies
A Brief History of the United States in the World
Global Challenges for the United States
The United States in the World Economy: Too Big to Fail
The American Dream
Canada and the World
Geography, Trade, and the Globalization of North America
Transforming the Environment
Timeline of Modern North American History
Further Reading

7. Europe and the Modern World
What Is Europe?
Europe’s Slow Progress Toward Liberal Democracy
From the Scourge of National Conflict to the
European Union
The Terrorist Threat in Europe
The Role of Europe in the World
Timeline of Modern European History
Further Reading

8. East Asia, the Pacific, and International Studies: Demography and Development
Introduction: Why Study East Asia and the Pacific?
Geographical Dimensions
Historical Trends
Cultural Complexities
Economic Impact
Political Tensions
Demographic Issues
Asian Economic Development
The Role of East Asia in the World
Timeline of Modern East Asian and Pacific History
Further Reading

9. South and Central Asia and International Studies: Environment and Population
Introduction: Why Study South and Central Asia?
Geographical Realities
Historical Challenges
Cultural Complexities
Economic Opportunities
Political Risks
The Silk Road
Demographic Issues
Environmental Challenges in India
Political Ecology in South and Central Asia
The Future of India
Asia Matters: Global Connections
Timeline of Modern South and Central Asia
Further Reading

10. Sub-Saharan Africa and the International Community
African Geography and Culture
Africa in World History
Challenges to African Political and Economic Development
African State Building and Global Economic Integration:
The Cases of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic
of the Congo
Africa and Globalization: Relations with the United States, Europe, and Asia
African Prospects
Timeline of Modern African History
Further Reading

11. The Middle East and North Africa
The Middle of Where?
From Past to Present
Diversity and Division
From Empires to Nation-States
The Richest and the Poorest
The Problem of Palestine
Political Turmoil in the Middle East
Middle East Prospects
Timeline of Modern Middle Eastern History
Further Reading

12. Latin America
What Is Latin America?
A Shared History
Latin American Economic Development
Latin America’s Path to Democracy
Latin America’s Future
Timeline of Modern Latin American History
Further Reading

13. International Terrorism
14. The Global Refugee Crisis
15. The Syrian Civil War and the Rise of the Islamic State
16. The Veil Controversy
17. Global Population Projections
18. Global Climate Change
19. The Globalization of Modern Sports
Adopting the Interdisciplinary Approach
Solution-Oriented Analysis
Sources of Innovative Solutions
Further Reading


Praise for Prior Editions

International Studies does what textbooks in comparative and international politics too often fail to do adequately—explain big ideas while delivering the context and color to tickle the imagination and appreciate what is at a stake and why it matters. Chapters on the disciplines of history, politics, geography, anthropology, and economics provide the tools for effective social science thinking.”
—Dylan Bennett, University of Wisconsin – Waukesha

International Studies teaches students to think as historians, economists, anthropologists, political scientists and geographers, while guiding them through every major region in the world and a variety of key global issues. Its accessibility, breadth of coverage, and clarity of writing all make it an ideal choice for use in an introductory course.”
—James R. Stocker, Trinity Washington University

“An ideal introduction to humanities and social science views of the world and the international issues that confront us.”
—Heidi Hobbs, North Carolina State University

“There are numerous international politics books but this is the only one that I have found that really focuses on international studies in a distinct manner. What is particularly important is the first five chapters that help define the disciplines from which International Studies draws. It also does an admirable job of touring students throughout the world. Many of my students cannot believe how much territory we have covered by the end of the semester.”
—Christopher Scholl, California State University, Channel Islands

International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues stands out as a major contribution to the methodology of International Studies . . . This book should be compulsory reading for all researchers and students in International Studies.”
Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria

“Everyone agrees that international studies should be interdisciplinary, but almost no one knows how to teach that on their own. An innovative collaboration between professors of anthropology, economics, geography, history, and political science, this book is fundamentally driven by the importance of interdisciplinary work. The combination of its overview chapters on all five of these disciplines as well as its comprehensive regional approach and contemporary focus on specific global issues should appeal to anyone teaching an introduction to international studies course.”
—Scott Pegg, Director of International Studies Program, IUPUI

“Finally! A book that gives me the courage to teach a genuinely interdisciplinary international studies course. Cross cutting disciplinary, geographic and policy issues, International Studies draws upon the authors’ considerable experience to provide a holistic approach to analyzing the international arena. This book will be successful as a core text for an introductory class or as an addition to an upper level international studies course, ensuring that students appreciate the multiple lenses critical to understanding global problems.”
—Patrice Franko, Colby College

“This book is long overdue. Finally, we have a text that introduces students to the complexity of the global system through a multidisciplinary cross-regional approach to international studies. In an era of globalization, narrow disciplinary and regional methodologies and foci are insufficient. [The authors’] contribution fills an important methodological and heuristic void. Moreover, this book’s broad but sophisticated approach highlights and enriches the critical but often ignored relationship between intellectual analysis and public policy. Professors and their international studies undergraduates will find this text indispensable.”
—Frank O. Mora, National War College, National Defense University

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