Henry R. Nau is professor of political science and international affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. His many books include "The Myth of America s Decline," "At Home Abroad," and "Perspectives on International Relations."
Henry R. Nau was born in 1941 and has an academic affiliation as follows - George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs,.
Reviews - What do customers think about Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, And Ideas?
Wonderful IR Theory Textbook Jun 17, 2008
I found it to be a wonderful international relations theory textbook, very well targeted at its audience compared to some of the other international relations theory textbooks I came across. Its merit, especially for the undergraduate body, is that it is mostly through examples that the major IR theories are taught. Liberal, realist and constructivist explanations are presented for each of the following: WWI, WWII, the Cold War - beginning & end, Globalization (several chapters, including rise of the West and of Asia), global security and global governance. Graduate students may learn a thing or two as well. Very well balanced and well done. Oh, and it got a good review by Robert Keohane, Peter Katzenstein AND John Mearsheimer (see back cover).
An excellent text for Intro IR Jan 19, 2008
Nau has written a very useful text for introductory IR courses. He is able to utilize IR theories simply and interweave them with more far-ranging hIstory than most texts. I also appreciate that the new "touchy feely" topics that Enlarge most intro texts are kept to a minimum.
The previous reviewer is correct that it is written at a fairly simple level, but when teaching students who have no background in IR this is strength not a weakness. The cure for this is to supplement this text with an edited volume reader the exposes students to real and more complex arguments. This text coiuld usefully be teamed up with either the Art & Jervis or the Betts readers to great effect.
It also exhibits admirable balance between topics. The theoretical versus empirical balance is good, as is the security versus IPE balance.
The other strength is that CQ press has avoided the "USA Today" photo color pages that makes texts so expensive. By sticking to three color graphics this text does not break the bank.
In my experience students do best when they have one sources that is easily accesible and then are challeneged by more complex material. This text is an excellent candidate for that accesible source.
Too elementary Dec 10, 2007
While it may be a good starting point for students unfamiliar with international politics, for people with a knowledge of the subject beyond an elementary level, there is very little of interest or value to be found in Nau's book. Possibly the most irritating thing about "Perspectives on International Relations" is the writing style, which is reminiscent of a middle school civics text. For a college text, the language is almost insulting. Advice: for poli-sci majors who are truly interested in expanding their knowledge of international relations, buy a used copy and supplement the course material with Morgenthau's "Politics Among Nations", Henry Kissinger's "Diplomacy", Waltz's "Theory of International Politics", or Keohane's "After Hegemony".