A few weeks back, I pointed readers toward the book lists that I had compiled in past years for incoming students. Along the way, I was included (essentially for eavesdropping purposes) in an email discussion among a few professors, who were each considering what books might be included in a list of foundational readings for their corner of the International Affairs field. A more complete list may become a reality in the future, but for now, I wanted to share the introductory list.
Ian Johnstone, Fletcher’s academic dean, recommended this “short list of influential IR books that spill over into international law and organizations”:
Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics
Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence
Martha Finnemore and Michael Barnett, Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics
Rosalyn Higgins, Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It
Prof. Joel Trachtman noted:
“I would recommend Rethinking Social Inquiry, edited by Henry Brady and David Collier, as an introduction to how we know and argue in social science. For an introduction to international law, there’s Sean Murphy’s Principles of International Law.”
Prof. Michael Klein wrote:
“For a background book, I would suggest Alan Blinder’s book on the financial and economic crisis, After the Music Stopped.”
Finally, for this very short list, Prof. Alan Henrikson said:
“My top candidate for inclusion on such a list now is Robert Gates, Duty, a truly instructive book about American government and much more, including personal ethics and the dilemmas of public policy.”
Naturally, I’m still not assigning reading for blog readers, but I wanted to share what I had learned.