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Bill McSweeney addresses the central problem of international relations - security - and constructs a novel framework for its analysis. He argues for the unity of the interpersonal, societal and international levels of human behaviour and outlines a concept of security which more adequately reflects the complexity and ambiguity of the topic. This book introduces a new way of theorizing the international order, within which the idea of security takes on a broader range of meaning, inviting a more critical and interpretative approach to understanding the concept and formulating security policy. The recent shift to sociology in international relations theory has not as yet realized its critical potential for the study of security. Drawing on contemporary trends in social theory, Dr McSweeney argues that human agency and moral choice are inherent features of the construction of the social and thus international order, and hence of our conception of security and security policy.

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