International Relations by Paul Wilkinson

International Relations by Paul Wilkinson was published in 2007 – part of The Oxford Very Short Introductions Series. It fully deserves the 1 star I gave it not because it’s outdate, which it is, but because the style is poor, and his views are imperialistic when it comes to Eastern Europe. There is some whataboutism too, which explains why the west reacted so poorly to the threats from countries such as Russia.

International Relations by Paul Wilkinson

For a short, introductory book, I would have expected more analysis and less faffing. For understanding IR this book is not up to standard, there is little theory and a lot of examples, which are biased. It’s understandable why the west is poorly prepared when it comes to Eastern Europe if the government advisors have so little knowledge of the area and their default view is that Russia must be listened to, but not the rest.

At one point in the book he said that NATO expansion was what made Putin scared of a war and thus expanded the military. So, Putin blew up Russians, as it was shown in a book published in 2002 and a government adviser should have been aware of it and read it.

He also said that NATO shouldn’t have included countries that were in the Russian sphere of influence. Isn’t that just delightful. Throw Romania, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia under the bus, like Ukraine, so Russia can keep their imperialistic views intact. I mean… who even cares about those people, they are pro-Russian anyway… He didn’t even consider the sheer joy people felt when the countries joined NATO. I was so happy when I knew that a NATO base was opening close to my childhood home. I knew that it will be safe under American influence. Most of us wanted that, most of us wanted that while we were under the iron curtain, that’s why some risked their lives to flee to the west. But, good to know that a so-called pacifist is spurting down Russian propaganda and he is heard by people in power, who, wrongly, believe that he is right.

So, from a primary source point of view, this book is good. His work can be analysed to see how influenced he was by Russian propaganda for example.

International Relations by Paul Wilkinson

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 1/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes, as a primary source for a historian, no if you want to read on IR
Published by: Oxford University Press
Year it was published: 2007
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Politics
Pages: 144

About the author: Paul Wilkinson was a terrorism expert and an Emeritus Professor of International Relations and Director of the University of St Andrews Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV).
Dubbed “Britain’s leading academic specialist in the study of terrorism”, he was a frequent commentator in mainstream British media and an advisor to the UK government.
Website & Social Media Links: –



2 thoughts on “International Relations by Paul Wilkinson”

    • Unfortunately I didn’t as I’m not studying IR views in history, which is the only way this book would be helpful. It was a short book that I read on the tube while commuting, so it wasn’t a waste of time from that perspective.

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