Using humanistic principles to strip away the jargon and narrowness inherent in much of modern-day political scholarship, this historical encyclopaedia reclaims the breadth of vision, the privileging of factual evidence over theory, and the moral tenor prevalent in classical political inquiry. Over 6000 alphabetically arranged entries accompanied by more than 29 maps make this single-authored set a comprehensive desktop reference work on international relations and international history. The book's primary focus is upon the rise of the Great Powers and the course of world civilizations, their formative wars and diplomatic, political and economic relations. But a serious effort is made to cover all of the smaller and less powerful regions and their local history, along with how progressive inclusion into the modern state system affected them, both for good and ill. Written with clarity and leavened by doses of professional scepticism and humour, this thoroughly cross-referenced work addresses general as well as specialized readers seeking clear and concise sketches of the topics, simple and complex, that have shaped political and historical developments in our world.