Presentation on theme: "week 2: introduction to foreign policy analysis"— Presentation transcript:
1 week 2: introduction to foreign policy analysis U.S. FOREIGN POLICY POLS 425professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles
2 introduction to foreign policy analysis the study of foreign policy review of key points from last weekforeign policy analysis is concerned with a variety of questions: why-questions, who- and what questions, and how-possible questionsforeign policy analysis is interdisciplinary, drawing from a variety of theoretical approachesthere is a special relationship between foreign policy analysis and ir
3 special relationship between IR and foreign policy introduction to course the study of foreign policyreview: fields relevant to foreign policyinternational relationssocial psychologyrational choicecomparative politicspublic policycritical theoryothersspecial relationship between IR and foreign policy
4 introduction to course the study of foreign policy review: fields relevant to foreign policyauthors also believe that the new radical accounts of IR are important; even more …their own approach is based on critical political analysis
5 introduction to course the study of foreign policy so what is critical political analysis?
6 critical political analysis: six points introduction to course the study of foreign policycritical political analysis: six pointscritical foreign policy analysis should be empirical without being empiricist: norms and subjectivity matterboth structure and agency need to be consideredpolitics must be viewed broadly; not just what governments dosensitive to issues of social constructionforeign policy is never simply the “realm of necessity”being critical does not entail assuming bad faith about leaders
7 introduction to course the study of foreign policy critical political analysis“taken together, we believe that a critical approach to foreign policy offers significant potential for looking at foreign policy within a wider notion of politics than has traditionally been the case within FPA” (p. 6)
8 introduction to course the study of foreign policy confused?don’t worry (for now). things should become clearer as we proceed.
9 introduction to course the study of foreign policy some basics
10 introduction to course the study of foreign policy two basic definitionsforeign policy. the strategy or approach chosen by a national government to achieve its goals in relation with external entities (usually other governments)foreign policy analysis (FPA). a subfield of political science that seeks to explain foreign policy or foreign policy behavior; FPA is distinguished from IR in its focus on sub-national, actor-specific, and multi-casual and multi-level analysis
11 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysisforeign policy analysis is a relatively recent field that stands in sharp contrast to the grand theories of IR (e.g., realism)three seminal or paradigmatic worksDecision-Making as an Approach to the Study of International Politics by Richard SnyderPre-Theories and Theories of Foreign Policy by James RosenauMan-Mileau Relationship Hypotheses in the Context of International Politics by Harold and Margaret Sprout1.2.3.
12 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysiskey lessonsSNYDER. researchers need to look below the nation-state level of analysis to the players involved; focus should be on decision-making process, not just outcomesROSENAU. states are not all the same, but there are patterns and similarities among types of states that we can uncover making foreign policy behavior explainable and predictableSPOUTS. psychological factors (the psycho- mileau) and perceptions are important
13 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysiskey lessons led to further refinements, focusing on new research pathways …small group decision-making (“groupthink”)organizational process and bureaucratic politicscomparative foreign policypsychological (cognitive) influencessocietal milieux
14 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysissmall group decision-making (“groupthink”)Refers to the process and structure of groups making foreign policy decisions. Group decision making tends to have its own dynamic, but a particularly important aspect is the tendency by participants to maintain group consensus and personal acceptance. The result is often a deterioration of decision-making quality.
15 introduction to course the study of foreign policy organizational process and bureaucratic politicsBased on the idea that organizations and bureaucracies have their own interests and compete with other organizations to stay “on top.” Turf battles impact the decision-making process. Organizational dynamics (e.g., standard operating procedures) also shape responses and behavior.
16 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysiscomparative foreign policyFocused on foreign policy events on a cross-national basis as a way to analyze and predict foreign policy behavior for all nations for all time. Effort proved less than successful.
17 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysispsychological influences on foreign policyBased on the premise that individual perceptions and cognitive processes had a profound impact on the policy making process. Psychological approaches focused attention on the mind of the foreign policy decision-maker.
18 introduction to course the study of foreign policy intro: foreign policy analysissocietal milieux and foreign policyLooked at the overarching social context in which decisions are made: culture, history, geography, economics, political institutions, military power, ideology, demographics, media, and so on. Researchers believed all these factors could play a role in the making of foreign policy.
19 introduction to course the study of foreign policy foreign policy analysis: contemporary agendaforeign policy analysis in the post-cold war era is still evolving; there are, however, some clear commitments that most researchers sharecommitment to looking below the nation-state levelcommitment to build middle-range theorycommitment to pursue multi-causal explanations spanning multiple levels of analysiscommitment to utilize theory and findings from across the spectrum of social sciencecommitment to viewing the process of foreign policy decision-making (i.e., how policy gets made) as important as the output thereof
20 introduction to course the study of foreign policy changing gears …theories of foreign policy
21 introduction to theory the study of foreign policy general notes about theory: definitionssimply put, theories are explanations of how something or some process works; theories are used to identify cause-and-effect relationships and to make predictionsanother definition. a theory is a framework of analysis within which facts are not only selected, but also interpreted, organized, and fit together so that they create a coherent wholea theory helps us explain or better understand the world in which we live
22 introduction to theory the study of foreign policy general notes about theorytheories are necessarily simplifications of a more complex whole; theories are not reality, but they are designed to tell use something meaningful and important about the real world
23 introduction to theory the study of foreign policy general notes about theory: additional pointsfirst, the various theories of foreign policy are not dependent on whether they are accepted or even understood by policy makers themselvessecond, theory and practice may be mutually constitutivethird, the theories we study are sometimes compatible, but sometimes contradictory
25 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy key questionswhat is realism?how is it applied to the analysis and practice of foreign policywhat are the pitfalls in applying realist theories to foreign policy analysis?what is a useful set of guidelines for avoiding those pitfalls and using realist insights to sharpen the analysis of foreign policy?
26 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism?core principlesgroupism. humans are divided into groups and humans depend on their own groups for safety and survivalegoism. self-interest ultimately drives political behaviorpower-centrism. power is the fundamental feature of politicsto realists, these are all fundamental truths about the the world; they are the rules by which world politics operate. such rules have consequences; they shape human behavior in particular ways
27 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism?additional principlescentral questions focus on the causes of war and conflictthe structure of the international system is a necessary, but not always sufficient for explaining relations among statesprimary unit of analysis is the sovereign statestates are first and foremost guided by national interests defined in terms of powerstates are rational, unitary actors
28 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism? the key concept in realism in anarchydictionary definition: “absence of government; the state of society where there is no law or supreme power; a state of lawlessness; political confusion.”in realism, anarchy is not the absence of government per se, but is instead the absence of a sovereign authority that exists above the state. to (many) realists, moreover, the international system is not “confused,” but is governed by a structure of power dominated by the strongest states
29 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism? implications of anarchyin an anarchic system, an unavoidable logic prevails, one based on the notion,”survival of the fittest.”in an anarchic world, only the strong survive and prosper; you can only count on yourself for help: friends are friends only when it serves their interestsone of the clearest enunciations of the principles and implications of anarchy can be found in a few good men …
30 Video file intentionally removed introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policywhat is realism?a scene from a few good men: “you can’t handle the truth!”what is the “truth” that tom cruise’s character cannot handle?Video file intentionally removed
31 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism?theoretical schools within realism realism is a diverse school of thought that includes several variantsclassical realismneorealism (or structural realism)defensive realism (“inside-out” variant)offensive realism (“hyper-realism”)neoclassical realism (“foreign policy” realism)
32 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy what is realism?specific theories within realism the diversity of realism is also evident in specific theories of realismbalance of powerbalance of threathegemonic stability theorypower transition theory
33 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy realism: assumptions, conditions and theories: some caveatsdo not confuse assumptions (groupism, egoism, and power- centrism) with scope conditions (anarchy)anarchy is a variable condition; where it is strongest, the potential for conflict is highest; where it is attenuated, order is strongerdo not confuse assumptions with predictionsconflict is not an assumption, but a prediction: realists predict conflict under certain conditions of anarchy
34 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy using realism in analyzing foreign policyalong with caveats, using realism requires a careful integration of the deductive logic of realist principles and the on-the-ground dynamics of specific and concrete foreign policy situationsintegration is keyexamples. consider hegemonic stability theory and “anti-US counter-balancing” in the 1990s ----> next slide
35 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy using realism in analyzing foreign policyexample. anti-US counterbalancingprominent realists, such as waltz, predicted that the collapse of the soviet union would lead to immediate “counterbalancing” against the u.s.it did not happen, but the failure to “predict” correctly was less a problem with realism and more a problem with a misapplication of realist principles and a failure to consider the “concrete” details of the post-cold war era
36 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy using realism in analyzing foreign policy: key lessonforeign policy analysts must not be dogmatic realists--or anti- realists. they should know theories without becoming overly committed to any onethe best approach is to embrace a constant dialogue between case expertise and general theory whenever possibleremember this saying …the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing (Archilochus)
37 introduction to realism chapter 2: realism and foreign policy using realism in analyzing foreign policy: key lessonforeign policy analysts should be foxes and not hedgehogs