International relations theory- the body of literature that seeks to define & explain the nature of the international system and the behavior of the actors within it. International security- traditionally has involved the study of conflict and war and attempts to prevent or control it. Recently includes ethnic & religious conflicts, the proliferation of weapons, and the line between the environment and security. International political economy- focuses on international affairs in terms of trade, finance, debt, poverty, and economic crises. International organization- examines international institutions and instruments of cooperation such as regimes, agreements among states, groups or individuals, and the development of international law. This includes institutions such as the united nations. This involves a debate concerning systems and actors, structures and agents. *the state: a distinctive political community with its own set of rules and practices and which is more or less separate from other such communities.