Today, more than ever, we are buffeted by forces that originate from beyond our shores. Whether it’s war, economics, politics, or law, we live in a global world influenced by a complex landscape of international transactions. Esteemed academic Charles Jones ably provides the building blocks to understand the history of these interactions, outlining all the key actors — from the United States and China to the IMF and Google — and the competing theories that attempt to explain them. Arguing that the strength of international relations lies in its contradictions — it’s not a single discipline but a fascinating mess of history, politics, economics, sociology, law, anthropology, and cultural studies — this guide provides a lively discussion of the limitations of the field, as well as an explanation of why it is so essential. Covering globalization, conflict, history, and theory, this is the perfect primer for students of international relations, workers in an international context, and citizens across the globe.