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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Specialized Handbooks


Handbooks are useful for obtaining background information about contemporary theories, concepts, issues, events, or topics and for understanding how scholars have debated war and conflict and peacebuilding. These handbooks are available either electronically and/or located on the book shelves in the Medicine Crow Center Library for International and Public Affairs.

Conflict and War

Dietze, Carola, and Claudia Verhoeven, editors. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Terrorism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.
The volume presents terrorism as a historically specific form of political violence that was generated by modern Western culture and then transported around the globe, where it interacted with and was transformed in accordance with local conditions. Contributor present arguments and case studies that support a reading of terrorism as a modern phenomenon, as well as sustained analyses of the challenges involved in the application of the theories and practices of modernity and terrorism to non-Western parts of the world, both for historical actors and for academic commentators. The volume presents an overview of terrorism’s antecedents in the pre-modern world, analyzes the emergence of terrorism in the West, and presents a series of case studies from the non-Western world that together constitute terrorism’s global reception history.

Delgado-Caicedo, Jeronimo. Handbook of Regional Conflict Resolution Initiatives in the Global South. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This handbook explores the relation between a country’s involvement in conflict resolution initiatives and its positioning in the international system with an emphasis on changing conditions after the end of the Cold War where rapid changes to the existing international hierarchies took place, as new countries from the so-called “developing world” began to emerge as crucial actors capable of questioning and altering the power dynamics of the world., which includes Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Vietnam.

Malley-Morrison, Kathleen, Sherri McCarthy, and Denise Hines. International Handbook of War, Torture, and Terrorism. New York: Springer, 2013.
This handbook synthesizes historical backgrounds, current trends, and findings from the Personal and Institutional Rights to Aggression and Peace Survey, administered in forty countries over nine global regions. Contributors examine the social, cognitive, and emotional roots of people’s thinking on war and national security issues, particularly concerning the role of governments in declaring war, invading other countries, or torturing prisoners. By focusing on the cultural traditions and colonial histories of broad regions rather than of individual nations, the book demonstrates how context shapes ordinary citizens’ views on what is justifiable during times of war, as well as more nebulous concepts of patriotism and security. It also defines war-related concepts from the perspectives of Western Europe, U.K./U.S., Middle East, Gulf States, Russia/Balkans, Africa, Latin America, South/Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

Matei, Florina Cristiana, Carolyn Halladay, and Thomas C. Bruneau, editors. The Routledge Handbook of Civil-Military Relations. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This book offers a wide-ranging, internationally focused overview of the field of civil-military relations and provides a conceptual framework to analyses about how the armed forces are central actors in most societies engaged in peace operations, support the police in fighting crime, support civilian authorities in dealing with natural disasters, and fight against terrorists and in internal conflicts. It expand upon existing literature that is limited in its discussion of war fighting and thus does not do justice to the variety of roles.

May, Larry. The Cambridge Handbook of the Just War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018. [Medicine Crow Library bookstacks U22 .C354 2017]
The tradition of Just War Theory has provided answers to these questions since at least 400 AD, yet each shift in the weapons and strategies of war poses significant challenges to Just War Theory. This book assembles scholars from around the world to reflect on the most pressing problems and questions in Just War Theory, and engages with all three stages of war: jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and jus post bellum. Providing detailed historical context as well as addressing modern controversies and topics including drones, Islamic jihad, and humanitarian intervention, the volume will be highly important for students and scholars of the philosophy of war as well as for others interested in contemporary global military and ethical issues.

Meijer, Hugo and Marco Wyss, editors. The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.
This volume provides a comprehensive analysis of national security and defense policies, strategies, doctrines, capabilities, and military operations, as well as the alliances and partnerships of European armed forces in response to the security challenges Europe has faced since the end of the Cold War. The six parts focus on: country-based assessments of the evolution of the national defense policies of Europe’s major, medium, and lesser powers since the end of the cold war; the alliances and security partnerships developed by European states to cooperate in the provision of national security; the security challenges faced by European states and their armed forces, ranging from interstate through intra-state and transnational; the national security strategies and doctrines developed in response to these challenges; the military capabilities, and the underlying defense and technological industrial base, brought to bear to support national strategies and doctrines; and, the national or multilateral military operations by European armed forces.

Onwurah, Charles P. and Usman A. Tar, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Small Arms and Conflicts in Africa. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
This handbook provides critical analyses of the theory and practices of small arms proliferation and its impact on conflicts and organized violence in Africa. It examines the terrains, institutions, factors and actors that drive armed conflict and arms proliferation, and further explores the nature, scope, and dynamics of conflicts across the continent, as well as the extent to which these conflicts are exacerbated by the proliferation of small arms. The chapters dissect the challenges of small arms and light weapons in Africa with a view to understanding roots causes and drivers, and generating analysis that adds value to the existing conversation on conflict management and peacebuilding in Africa.

Pant, Harsh V., editor. The Routledge Handbook of Indian Defence Policy: Themes, Structures and Doctrines. 2nd edition. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
This work examines India's defense policy and contemporary military history, mapping the country’s political and military profile in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, and analyzes its emergence as a global player. This edition of the handbook: Canvasses over sixty years of Indian defense policy, it's relation to India's rising global economic profile, as well as foreign policy shifts; discusses several key debates that have shaped defense strategies through the years; military doctrine and policy; internal and external security challenges; terrorism and insurgencies; explores the origins of the modern armed forces in India; evolution of the army, navy and air forces; investments in professional military education, intelligence and internet-cntric warfare; reforms in paramilitary forces and the Indian police; comments on India's contemporary strategic interests, focusing on the rise of China, nuclearization of India and Pakistan's security establishments, and developments in space security and missile defense.

Sheehan, Michael A., Erich. Marquardt, and Liam. Collins. Routledge Handbook of U. S. Counterterrorism and Irregular Warfare Operations. London: Taylor and Francis Group, 2021.
This handbook comprises essays by leading scholars and practitioners on the topic of U.S. counterterrorism and irregular warfare campaigns and operations around the globe and that have evolved substantially since 9/11. The book explains why it is necessary to take a broader view of counterterrorism which can, and often does, include irregular warfare. The volume is divided into three thematic sections: Part I examines modern terrorism in the Islamic world and gives an overview of the major terrorist groups from the past three decades; Part II provides a wide variety of case studies of counterterrorism and irregular warfare operations, spanning from the 1980s to the irregular warfare campaign against the Islamic State in northern Syria in 2018; Part III examines the government instruments used to combat terrorism and wage irregular warfare, such as drones, Theater Special Operations Commands, and Theater Commands.

Tar, Usman A., editor. Routledge Handbook of Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Africa. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2021.
This book illuminates how Africa's defense and security environments have been radically altered by dramatic changes in world politics and local ramifications. The contributions highlight the transnational dimensions of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in Africa, and reveal the roles played by African states and regional organizations in the global war on terror. The wok also critically evaluates the emerging regional architectures of countering terrorism and insurgency and organized violence on the continent through the African Union Counter-Terrorism Framework and Regional Security Complexes. It examines the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency structures and mechanisms established by specific African states to contain, degrade, and eliminate terrorism, insurgency, and organized violence on the continent, particularly, the successes, constraints, and challenges of the emerging counter-terrorism mechanisms. Finally, the volume highlights the entry of non-state actors, such as civil society, volunteer groups, private security companies and defense contractors, into the theater of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in Africa through volunteerism, community support for state-led operations, and civil-military cooperation.


Cante, Freddy and Hartmut Quehl. Handbook of Research on Transitional Justice and Peace Building in Turbulent Regions. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2016. [Medicine Crow Center Library bookstacks JC 571 .H34757 2016]
This book focuses on issues facing nations and regions where poverty and conflict are endangering the lives of citizens as well as the socio-economic viability of those regions, highlighting theoretical discussions about conflict, violence, nonviolence, transitional justice, and peace building from different views and disciplines. Content includes explanations of some particular cases of transitional justice and peace building like Germany, Nicaragua, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Cambodia.

Charbonneau, Bruno and Maxime Ricard, editors. Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This handbook surveys and analyses peacebuilding as it operates in this specifically African context. The book begins by outlining the evolution and the various ideologies, conceptualizations, institutions, and practices of African peacebuilding. It identifies critical differences in how African peacebuilders have conceptualized and operationalized peacebuilding. The book then considers how different actors sustain, construct and use African infrastructure to identify and analyse converging, differing or competing mandates, approaches, and interests. Finally, it analyses specific thematic issues such as gender, justice, development, democracy, and the politics of knowledge, before ending with in-depth analyses of case studies drawn from across the continent.

Hampson, Fen Osler, Alpaslan Ozerdem, and Jonathan Kent, editors. Routledge Handbook of Peace, Security, and Development. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2020.
This work offers a comprehensive examination of the peace, security, and development nexus from a global perspective, and investigates the interfaces of these issues in a context characterized by many new challenges. The volume is split into three thematic sections: Concepts and approaches; New drivers of conflict, insecurity and developmental challenges; Actors, institutions, and processes. For ease of use and organizational consistency, each chapter provides readers with an overview of each research area, a review of the state of the literature, a summary of the major debates, and promising directions for future research.

Howlett, Charles F., et al, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Peace History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023.
The book examines the distinctive dynamics of peacemaking across time and place, and analyzing how past and present societies have created diverse cultures of peace and applied strategies for peaceful change. The analysis draws upon the expertise of scholars from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, international relations, journalism, peace studies, sociology, and theology. A central theme throughout is that the quest for peace is far more than the absence of war or the pursuit of social justice ideals.

Kuwali, Dan, editor. The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainable Peace and Security in Africa. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.
This handbook takes stock of the African Unions Vision 2020 to rid the African continent of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters including violent conflicts and the prevention of genocide, and to provide recommendations on how to address contemporary threats to peace and security in Africa. It explores the continents current peace and security landscape, including new actors, emerging threats, and the prospects for achieving sustainable peace. With contributions from both academics and practitioners, the volume unpacks the sources of conflict, instability and the challenges of peace and development, and provides research-based policy advice to guide and inform African governments, policy makers, practitioners.

Orofino, Elisa and William Allchorn, editors. Routledge Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism: Groups, Perspectives, and New Debates. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2023.
This handbook provides in-depth analysis of non-violent extremism across different ideologies and geographic centers, a topic overshadowed until now by the political and academic focus on violent and jihadi extremism in the Global North. Whilst acknowledging the potentiality of non-violent extremism as a precursor to terrorism, this book argues that non-violent extremism ought to be considered a stand-alone area of study. Focusing on Islamist, Buddhist, Hindu, far-right, far-left, environmentalist, and feminist manifestations, contributors highlight the ideological foundation of the 'war on ideas' against the prevailing socio-political and cultural systems in which they operate, as well as an empirical examination of their main claims and perspectives. This is supplemented by a global overview of non-violent extremist groups in Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East, attempting to decolonize knowledge that is especially prescient given both the complicity of non-violent extremists with authoritarian states and the dynamic of oppression towards more progressive groups in the Global South.

Paul, T. V. et al, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Change in International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
This handbook provides a thorough examination of research on the problem of change in the international arena and the reasons why change happens peacefully at times, and at others, violently. It contains over forty chapters, which examine the historical, theoretical, global, regional, and national foreign-policy dimensions of peaceful change, with analysis placed in the context of the rapid rise of China and the relative decline of the United States and why violent power transition conflicts occur and how peaceful changes happen in world politics.

Richmond, Oliver P. and Gëzim Visoka, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, and Peace Formation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
This handbook serves as an essential guide to peacebuilding and statebuilding as one of the main approaches for preventing, managing, and mitigating global insecurities; dealing with the humanitarian consequences of civil wars; and expanding democracy and neoliberal economic regimes. It offers a systematic overview of conceptual foundations, political implications, and tensions at the global, regional, and local levels, as well as key policies, practices, examples, and discourses underlining all segments of peacebuilding and statebuilding.

Richmond, Oliver P., Sandra Pogodda,  and Jasmin Ramovic. The Palgrave Handbook of Disciplinary and Regional Approaches to Peace. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. [Medicine Crow Center Library bookstacks JZ 5566.4 .P35 2016]
This handbook brings together a team of leading scholars and practitioners to map, synthesize, and assess key perspectives on cooperation and rivalry between regional and global organizations in world politics. A variety of inter-disciplinary theoretical and conceptual perspectives are combined in order to assess the nature, processes, and outcomes of inter-organizational partnerships and rivalries across major policy areas, such as peace and security, human rights, and democratization as well as finance, development and climate change.

Senehi, Jessica, editor. Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding and Ethnic Conflict. New York: Routledge, 2022.
This volume offers a comprehensive analysis of peacebuilding in ethnic conflicts, with attention to theory, peacebuilder roles, making sense of the past and shaping the future, as well as case studies and approaches. Part 1 focuses on critical dimensions of ethnic conflicts, including root causes, gender, external involvements, emancipatory peacebuilding, hatred as a public health issue, environmental issues, American nationalism, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 2 focuses on peacebuilders' roles, including Indigenous peacemaking, nonviolent accompaniment, peace leadership in the military, interreligious peacebuilders, local women, and young people. Part 3 addresses the past and shaping of the future, including a discussion of public memory, heritage rights and monuments, refugees, trauma and memory, aggregated trauma in the African-American community, exhumations after genocide, and a healing-centered approach to conflict. Part 4 presents case studies on Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation process, peacebuilding in Mindanao, transformative peace negotiation in Aceh and Bougainville, external economic aid for peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, Indigenous and local peacemaking, and a continuum of peacebuilding focal points.

Standish, Katerina, editor. The Palgrave Handbook of Positive Peace. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore, 2022.
This book represents an comprehensive exploration of the positive peace platform that engages with personal and collective forms of nonviolence, environmental sustainability, social justice, and positive relationships scholarship. The work locates inquiry and research outcomes in the field of positive peace and provides a thorough overview of the multiplicity of positive peace research in one location.

Vayrynen, Tarja et al, editors. Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research. London: Routledge, 2020.
This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of feminist approaches to questions of violence, justice, and peace. The volume argues that critical feminist thinking is necessary to analyse core peace and conflict issues and is fundamental to thinking about solutions to global problems and promoting peaceful conflict transformation. Contributions to the volume consider questions at the intersection of feminism, gender, peace, justice, and violence through interdisciplinary perspectives. The handbook engages with multiple feminisms, diverse policy concerns, and works with diverse theoretical and methodological contributions under five major themes: methodologies and genealogies (including theories, concepts, histories, methodologies); politics, power, and violence (including the ways in which violence is created, maintained, and reproduced, and the gendered dynamics of its instantiations); institutional and societal interventions to promote peace (including those by national, regional, and international organizations, and civil society or informal groups/bodies); bodies, sexualities, and health (including sexual health, biopolitics, sexual orientation); and, global inequalities (including climate change, aid, global political economy).

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.