Chapters 1-5 Summaries
Previewing the Global Drama
1. This book’s primary message is captured by Shakespeare’s line, “All the world’s a stage, and
all the men and women merely players.” This means that we are all part of the world drama
and are affected by it. It also means that we should try to play a role in determining the course of
the dramatic events that affect our lives.
2. This text is organized to refl ect the theme that the world system is evolving. The traditional
path would have countries pursue their national interests as far as their power permits within a
largely anarchical international system. The alternative, evolving path would have states abandon
their pursuit of short-term self interest and take a more cooperative, globalist approach to world
The Importance of World Politics to Each of Us
3. Economics is one way that we are all affected. The word
has been coined to
symbolize the merging of
national and do
concerns, especially in the area of
economics. Countries and their citizens have become increasingly interdependent.
4. Economically, trade both creates jobs and causes the loss of jobs. International investment
practices may affect your standard of living in such diverse ways as perhaps helping fund your
college scholarship or creating employment for you or someone in your family. The global
economy also supplies vital resources, such as oil. Exchange rates between different currencies
affect the prices we pay for imported goods, the general rate of inflation, and our country’s
international trade balance.
5. Our country’s role in the world also affects decisions about the allocation of budget funds.
Some countries spend a great deal on military functions. Other countries spend relatively little
on the military and devote almost all of their budget resources to domestic spending.
6. World politics also plays an important role in determining the condition of your living space.
Politics, for the most part, has not created environmental degradation, but political cooperation
almost certainly will be needed to halt and reverse the despoiling of the biosphere.
7. Your life may also be affected by world politics. You may be called on to serve in the military.
Whether or not you are in the military, war may cost you your life.
8. There are many things any one of us can do, individually or in cooperation with others, to
play a part in shaping the future of our world. Think, vote, protest, support, write letters, join
organizations, make speeches, run for office—do something!
Thinking Theoretically: Putting Events in Context
9. We improve our understanding of world politics by putting events within the context of
theory to see patterns and make generalizations about the conduct of international affairs.
10. Realism, liberalism, constructivism, postmodernism, feminism, and a variety of economic