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International Politics on the World Stage, Brief 4/e
World Politics: International Politics on the World Stage, Brief, 4/e
John T. Rourke, University of Connecticut - Storrs
Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut - Storrs

Levels of Analysis

Chapter Introduction

The discussion in chapter 1 of how to study international politics introduced levels of analysis as an analytical concept. The issue is where to focus our study of world politics. Is it most fruitful to study the nature of the world (system-level analysis), to study how countries make foreign policy (state-level analysis), or to study people as individuals or as a species (individual-level analysis)? The best answer is to understand all three levels. The preceding chapter began our survey of system-level analysis through a brief survey of the evolution of the current world system. This chapter will continue examining system-level analysis by discussing it as a theory and then focus on state-level analysis, followed by individual-level analysis.