Abstract

The book, Rethinking Power, Institutions and Ideas in World Politics, by Amitava Acharya analyses three most important theoretical concepts used by political scientists namely power, institutions and ideas. It exposes their narrow meaning in the theory of International Relations (IR) and examines how these concepts, when applied to the world at large, are limited in capturing the contexts, experiences and agencies of the actors in the third world. The work seeks to identify the dynamics of power, institutions and ideas in the broader and more inclusive context of world politics. As a discipline, IR has seen endless contestations and compromises over its theories, paradigms and methods. The study of IR, has traditionally been dominated by Western ideas and practices, and marginalized the voice and experiences of the non-Western states and societies. As the world moves to a ―post-Western‖ era, it is imperative that the field of IR acquires a more global meaning and relevance. To make its point, the book critically discusses numerous examples and case studies concerning multilateral institutions, approaches to regional integration in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, and the creation and diffusion of ideas and norms like nonintervention, cooperative security, and humanitarian intervention.