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Presentation on theme: "FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS"— Presentation transcript:


Foreign policy analysis (FPA) is a branch of political science dealing with theory development and empirical study regarding the processes and outcomes of foreign policy.

3 FPA… Foreign policy analysis involves the study of how a state makes foreign policy. As it will be analyzing the decision making process, FPA involves the study of both international and domestic politics.

4 FPA also draws upon the studyof diplomacy, war, intergovernmental organisations, and economic sanctions, each of which are means by which a state may implement foreign policy. 8/15/14

5 In academia, foreign policy analysis is most commonly taught within the disciplines of public policy within political science or political studies, and study of international relations. 8/15/14

6 Fpa… decision-making in either a comparative or case-specific manner.
According to, "As a field of study, foreign policy analysis is characterized by its actor-specific focus. In the simplest terms, it is the study of the process, effects, causes, or outputs of foreign policy decision-making in either a comparative or case-specific manner.

7 The underlying and often implicit argument theorizes that human beings, acting as a group or within a group, compose and cause change in international politics." 8/15/14

8 Fpa… The making of foreign policy involves a number of stages:
Stages in decision making The making of foreign policy involves a number of stages: 1. Assessment of the international and domestic political environment .

9 Foreign policy is made and implemented within an international and domestic political context, which must be understood by a state in order to determine the best foreign policy option. For example, a state may need to respond to an international crisis. 8/15/14

10 Fpa… 2. Goal setting - A state has multiple foreign policy goals. A state must determine which goal is affected by the international and domestic political environment at any given time. In addition, foreign policy goals may conflict, which will require the state to prioritize.

11 Fpa… 3. Determination of policy options - A state must then determine what policy options are available to meet the goal or goals set in light of the political environment.

12 This will involve an assessment of the state's capacity to implement policy options and an assessment of the consequences of each policy option. 8/15/14

13 Fpa… 4. Formal decision making action - A formal foreign policy decision will be taken at some level within a government. Foreign policy decisions are usually made by the executive branch of government. Common governmental actors or institutions which make foreign policy decisions include:

14 Common governmental actors or institutions which make foreign policy decisions include: the head of state (such as a president) or head of government (such as a prime minister), cabinet, or minister. 8/15/14

15 Fpa… 5. Implementation of chosen policy option - Once a foreign policy option has been chosen, and a formal decision has been made, then the policy must be implemented. Foreign policy is most commonly implemented by

16 specialist foreign policy arms of the state bureaucracy, such as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs or State Department. Other departments may also have a role in implementing foreign policy, such as departments for: trade, defence, and aid. 8/15/14

17 Key Approaches 1. Rational actor model The rational actor model is based on rational choice theory. The model adopts the state as the primary unit of analysis, and inter-state relations (or international relations) as the context for analysis. The state is seen as a

18 monolithic unitary actor, capable of making rational decisions based on preference ranking and value maximization. According to the rational actor model, a rational decision making process is used by a state. 8/15/14

19 Key approaches… • Goal setting and ranking.
This process includes: • Goal setting and ranking. • Consideration of options. • Assessment of consequences. • Profit-maximization.

20 Key approaches… The rational actor model has been subject to criticism. The model tends to neglect a range of political variables, of which Michael Clarke includes: "political decisions, non-political decisions, bureaucratic procedures, continuations of previous policy, and sheer accident."

21 RATIONAL ACTOR MODEL Rational Actor Theory is a way of looking between a number of potential courses of action, in which "rationality" of one form or another is used either to decide which course of action would be the best to take, or to predict which course of action actually will be taken.

22 Such a perspective finds itself in models for both human behavior and behavior of non-human but nonetheless potentially rational entities, such as corporations. 8/15/14

23 Rational Actor Model.... Obviously, what is taken as "rational" is of chief importance here. Usually, "rational" is defined in a formal, mathematical way, along the lines of

24 Game theory; this often means making a choice is taken to be equivalent to solving a mathematical optimization problem 8/15/14

25 Rational Actor Model... Often, to simplify calculation and ease prediction, some rather unrealistic assumptions are made about the world. These can include:

26 An individual has precise information about exactly what will occur under any choice made. (Alternatively, an individual has a reliable probability distribution describing what will happen under any choice made.) 8/15/14

27 An individual has time and ability to weigh every choice against every other choice · An individual is fully aware of all possible choices 8/15/14

28 Why rational actor or choice theory?
One question that can be asked is why people try to base their models on concepts such as "reason", "preferences", and what is implied by them, free will. Some potential reasons: · They see people as "rational" beings, and thus believe that a model in which they are represented as such should be reasonably accurate · Assumptions of rationality have useful formal properties

29 Key approaches… • Inter-branch politics model
Other models • Inter-branch politics model • Bureaucratic politics model- In this model decision making is divided among more than one group. Different government agencies make decisions competitively • Organizational process model

30 • Self-aggrandizement model- In this model one leader acts on behalf of his or her interests. • Political process model- In this model the decision making body is effected by many non-governmental actors such as NGOs or the media 8/15/14

31 Interbranch Politics Model...
The study of separation of powers once was a backwater in the study of American constitutionalism. Often separated powers discussions focused on the constitutional technicalities of litigation about presidential misdeeds such as Watergate or affairs with bimbos.

32 The study of separation of powers once was a backwater in the study of American constitutionalism. Often separated powers discussions focused on the constitutional technicalities of litigation about presidential misdeeds such as Watergate or affairs with bimbos. 8/15/14

33 . Yet, during the past decade or so there have appeared a series of new studies of interbranch constitutional politics (Barnes 2004; Gillman 2004; Graber 1993; Lovell 2003; Whittington 1999, 2003). Either influenced by or developed in reaction to the advent of positive political theory and separation of models games (Eskridge 1991; 8/15/14

34 Ferejohn and Weingast 1992; Gely and Spiller 1990), these studies present a serious challenge to traditional depictions of checks and balances and the counter-majoritarian thesis about judicial power articulated by Alexander Bickel (1962). 8/15/14

35 More and more a collaborative or interactive political model of interbranch relations and the judicial review of federal policy has emerged 8/15/14

36 Interbranch Politics Model...
This first-rate collection of original essays edited by Mark Miller and Jeb Barnes provides additional and more comprehensive support for a sophisticated, interactive political model of separated powers. Although used at times as strawman by some of the authors, the primary theme of all the essays is the insufficiency of what they label the “standard” or “textbook” model of separated powers and interbranch relations. Best defined in the concluding essay by Miller and Barnes (p.202, Chapter 12) and in a separate chapter by Barnes (Chapter 2), the standard model assumes a type of principal-agent relationship defines interactions between the federal judiciary and the Congress and presidency. In the relationship the judiciary is an agent charged with the enforcement of the statutes and policy choices of the “political branches” and the occasional correction of the violation of basic constitutional principles. Judicial policymaking or revision of the policies adopted by the other branches is counter-majoritarian and of dubious legitimacy.

37 Together with the evidence provided by the other authors, this reader finds that the alternative model introduced by Miller and Barnes rests on at least the following principles: 1. The federal judiciary is not just an implementer [*761] or enforcer of the policies of the “political branches.” 2. The federal judiciary functions as an agenda- setter, catalyst for policy action by others, policy entrepreneur, and, especially, as a policymaker.

38 4. The fragmentation of institutional power designed by the Framers, the growth of federal programs, and expanded interest group political activity has further blurred the boundaries of power between the branches. 5. There is extensive interbranch political dialogue, discussion, and occasional turf warfare about overlapping powers and duties, and the judiciary participates in these.

39 6. Because of multiple modes of representation found in the Constitution, during interbranch political activity none of the branches can claim to be more representative of the public and more democratic than any other branch 7. There is no final judicial determination of the powers and duties of each branch.

40 8. Instead, the judiciary is involved in a “colloquy” that engages the justices in ongoing debates raised by politicians, citizens, and groups who often want federal policy action to address their needs but who— paradoxically—distrust government.

41 9. There is variation in institutional roles and influence in interbranch relations or colloquies across policy arenas or political orders. 10. The legal culture of adversarial legalism that has developed in the United States nourishes the judicial role in the colloquy.

42 With one exception, the authors employ institutional analysis to make the case for some or all of the principles of the alternative model. Neglecting the editors’ arrangement, I find that three of the chapters address the value of the alternative model by an examination of interbranch relations, two examine the judicial and executive construction of statutes, and one addresses the construction of the Constitution by the three branches.

43 Although the other chapters also consider the value of the alternative model, these six chapters especially posit both more political limitations on the judiciary and more subtle judicial influence on public policy than the standard model proposes.

44 Organizational process models of decision-making:
Where formal organizations are the setting in which decisions are made, the particular decisions or policies chosen by decision- makers can often be explained through reference to the organization's particular structure and procedural rules. Such explanations typically involve looking at the distribution of responsibilities among organizational sub-units, the activities of committees and ad hoc coordinating groups, meeting schedules, rules of order etc.

45 The notion of fixed-in-advance standard operating procedures (SOPs) typically plays an important role in such explanations of individual decisions made.(From Paul M. Johnson, Glossary of Political Terms, Auburn University).

46 “The organizational process" model propositions:
· When faced with a crisis, government leaders don't look at it as a whole, but break it down and assign it according to pre-established organizational lines. · Because of time and resource limitations, rather than evaluating all possible courses of action to see which one is most likely to work, leaders settle on the first proposal that adequately addresses the issue, which Simon termed "··satisficing."

47 The organizational process model...
· Leaders gravitate towards solutions that limit short-term uncertainty (emphasis on "short-term"). · Organizations follow set "repertoires" and procedures when taking actions. · Because of the large resources and time required to fully plan and mobilize actions within a large organization (or government), leaders are effectively limited to pre-existing plans.

48 The organizational process model:
1. Because the Soviets never established nuclear missile bases outside of their country at the time, they assigned the tasks to established departments, which in turn followed their own set procedures. However, their procedures were not adapted to Cuban conditions, and as a result, mistakes were made that allowed the U.S. to quite easily learn of the program's existence.

49 Continued.... Such mistakes included such gaffes as supposedly undercover Soviet troops decorating their barracks with Red Army Stars viewable from above.

50 2. Kennedy and his advisors never really considered any other options besides a blockade or air strikes, and initially, were almost unanimously in favor of the air strikes. However, such attacks created massive uncertainty because the U.S. Air Force couldn't guarantee it would disable all the nuclear missiles.

51 Continued... Additionally, although Kennedy wanted a "surgical" air strike that would destroy the missiles without inflicting extensive damage, the existing Air Force plan required extensive bombing that would have created more collateral damage than Kennedy desired.

52 Continued.... Because the U.S. Navy already had considerable strength in the field, because there was a pre-existing plan in place for a blockade, and because Kennedy was able to communicate directly with the fleet's captains, members fell back on the blockade as the only safe option

53 3. The Soviets simply did not have a plan to follow if the U. S
3. The Soviets simply did not have a plan to follow if the U.S. took decisive action against their missiles. Khrushchev's communications indicated a high degree of desperation. Without any back-up plan, the Soviets had to withdraw.


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