An Introduction to Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics

Kenneth Waltz's 1979 book An Introduction of International Politics used game theory and rational calculation to discuss international relations. Learn more about the ways states rely on trust to interact with each other, and how large movements by one government with an extensive military can affect even the smallest countries in the world.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the video to introduce a unit on government systems or superpowers
  • Extend the symbol, and have small groups pair countries in historical or current conflicts to the billiard balls with short explanations of their choices
Classroom Considerations

  • Video features a short overview of Waltz's theory; refer to the publisher's website for an extended analysis that is available with a free trial or paid subscription
  • Comment section is open to the public and is full of differing opinions
Pros

  • Employs a pool table image to represent the interactions between superpowers and smaller governments
  • Explains very complex ideas in an understandable and relatable way
Cons

  • None