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Responsibility in Foreign Policy Week 8: Concepts and Approaches in Politics and International Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Responsibility in Foreign Policy Week 8: Concepts and Approaches in Politics and International Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Responsibility in Foreign Policy Week 8: Concepts and Approaches in Politics and International Relations

2 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Agency and International Relations Agency and International Relations Role of FPA Role of FPA Agency means individual human beings taking decisions and implementing them on behalf of entities which possess varying degrees of coherence, organization and power – of which the most effective are generally states. Agency means individual human beings taking decisions and implementing them on behalf of entities which possess varying degrees of coherence, organization and power – of which the most effective are generally states.

3 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Two sides to foreign policy: Two sides to foreign policy: Foreign policy making Foreign policy making Who is responsible? Who is responsible? Foreign policy implementation Foreign policy implementation Who is responsible? Who is responsible?

4 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers FPA concentrates on two levels: FPA concentrates on two levels: the interactions between a states international position and domestic context, and the interactions between a states international position and domestic context, and the particular issue and the nature of the decision- making process set to resolve it. the particular issue and the nature of the decision- making process set to resolve it.

5 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Who are the foreign policy actors? Who are the foreign policy actors? Traditionally a small group Traditionally a small group How many individuals are shaping domestic policy? How many individuals are shaping domestic policy? And how many are shaping foreign policy? And how many are shaping foreign policy? Who is the foreign policy chief? Who is the foreign policy chief? Foreign Minister? Foreign Minister? Prime Minister? Prime Minister? Chancellor? Chancellor?

6 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Are there other actors? Are there other actors? There are other figures which vary from country to country such as certain other ministries (agriculture, energy, home office). There are other figures which vary from country to country such as certain other ministries (agriculture, energy, home office). In general, ministers are discovering an external dimension to their job, but it would be wrong to suggest that many of them make it their priority or indeed that they have an international conception of public policy. In general, ministers are discovering an external dimension to their job, but it would be wrong to suggest that many of them make it their priority or indeed that they have an international conception of public policy. Other actors: Chief of the foreign intelligence service, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Other actors: Chief of the foreign intelligence service, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

7 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Should we be looking at formal office holders? Should we be looking at formal office holders? No: Business, NGOs, Religious Groups No: Business, NGOs, Religious Groups Yes: we should look at formal office holders, especially at those at the top since the have the power to dispose of a great deal of influence. At the same time, we should not expect that decisions are made as the official flow charts would have it. There are even changes between governments, with the rise and fall of certain personalities and preferences. Yes: we should look at formal office holders, especially at those at the top since the have the power to dispose of a great deal of influence. At the same time, we should not expect that decisions are made as the official flow charts would have it. There are even changes between governments, with the rise and fall of certain personalities and preferences.

8 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Which factors make the difference how small and powerful this group is? Which factors make the difference how small and powerful this group is? Personalities Personalities State structure State structure

9 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Who makes foreign policy? The foreign policy executive Who makes foreign policy? The foreign policy executive Who is in this role may not always be the same for every policy, but there is usually a core. Who is in this role may not always be the same for every policy, but there is usually a core. It most political systems any given area of policy will be conducted at the highest level by a combination of the head of government, free of any particular portfolio, and the departmental minister, the specialist. It most political systems any given area of policy will be conducted at the highest level by a combination of the head of government, free of any particular portfolio, and the departmental minister, the specialist.

10 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Who makes foreign policy? The foreign policy executive Who makes foreign policy? The foreign policy executive Two things can be said about the nature of foreign policy making: Two things can be said about the nature of foreign policy making: expectations are particularly high expectations are particularly high expertise is not easily learnt. expertise is not easily learnt. Generally, the foreign policy executive consists of the head of government and the foreign minister (as well as their entourage). Generally, the foreign policy executive consists of the head of government and the foreign minister (as well as their entourage). Sometimes, however, the latter spot may be filled by others such as finance ministers. Sometimes, however, the latter spot may be filled by others such as finance ministers.

11 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Why is foreign policy usually directed by such a small group? Why is foreign policy usually directed by such a small group? On the one hand, most politicians spend much time looking over their shoulders to their domestic base, and do not wish to waste time on cultivating foreign contacts from which there might be little return. On the one hand, most politicians spend much time looking over their shoulders to their domestic base, and do not wish to waste time on cultivating foreign contacts from which there might be little return. On the other hand, the international environment still presents a long and steep learning-curve for any politician wishing to feel at home in it. On the other hand, the international environment still presents a long and steep learning-curve for any politician wishing to feel at home in it.

12 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Furthermore, the variety of issues seen in the foreign policy arena is disproportionately high, giving the advantage in policy-making to those who hold the power of initiative and response. Furthermore, the variety of issues seen in the foreign policy arena is disproportionately high, giving the advantage in policy-making to those who hold the power of initiative and response. Finally, foreign policy problems are largely unstructured in advance in that they rarely depend on a certain time-table or manifesto like that of domestic policies. This means that responsibility fall to a small number of politicians with the special knowledge and flexibility to respond. Finally, foreign policy problems are largely unstructured in advance in that they rarely depend on a certain time-table or manifesto like that of domestic policies. This means that responsibility fall to a small number of politicians with the special knowledge and flexibility to respond.

13 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Are there others beside the foreign policy executive? Are there others beside the foreign policy executive? Often responsibility for large foreign policy decisions is spread out beyond the core foreign policy executive. Often responsibility for large foreign policy decisions is spread out beyond the core foreign policy executive. Foreign policy decisions are usually blank canvases with little structure. It is for the policy-makers to sketch the way forward. This is where the core foreign policy executive takes the initiative to outline proposals and to invite responses from colleagues which will inevitably deal more with matters of detail that with fundamental direction. (In other words, the core determines the direction; while the periphery creates the detail) Foreign policy decisions are usually blank canvases with little structure. It is for the policy-makers to sketch the way forward. This is where the core foreign policy executive takes the initiative to outline proposals and to invite responses from colleagues which will inevitably deal more with matters of detail that with fundamental direction. (In other words, the core determines the direction; while the periphery creates the detail)

14 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers How important is personality? How important is personality? Personality determines three things Personality determines three things Those that surround the foreign policy executive Those that surround the foreign policy executive Direction of foreign policy Direction of foreign policy Legacy, narcissism Legacy, narcissism

15 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers How important is the relationship between the prime minister and foreign minister? How important is the relationship between the prime minister and foreign minister? If a head of government does attempt to take over the role as foreign minister as well, there is no rule saying that he/she will end up in the dominant position. If a head of government does attempt to take over the role as foreign minister as well, there is no rule saying that he/she will end up in the dominant position. Some political cultures are more resistant to the cult of personality than others. Chris Hill points to the Scandinavian countries. Some political cultures are more resistant to the cult of personality than others. Chris Hill points to the Scandinavian countries.

16 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Hill offers three models of head of government – foreign minister relations: Hill offers three models of head of government – foreign minister relations: Equality (ex. Bush and Baker ): Weakness is appearing to become too dominant Equality (ex. Bush and Baker ): Weakness is appearing to become too dominant Subordinate foreign minister (ex. Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz from 1979): Weakness is the danger of an excessive concentration of power and an increasing arrogance of judgement. Subordinate foreign minister (ex. Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz from 1979): Weakness is the danger of an excessive concentration of power and an increasing arrogance of judgement. Established foreign minister (Attlee and Bevin ): Weakness is that it works badly when a head of government stops caring or is in competent. Established foreign minister (Attlee and Bevin ): Weakness is that it works badly when a head of government stops caring or is in competent.

17 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers What about cabinets, security councils and politburos? What about cabinets, security councils and politburos? When looking for actors in foreign policy, we generally think of the foreign policy executive first but the cabinet is second. Looking at the Cuban Missile Crisis, we see that the cabinet made a big difference. Also see Churchills War Cabinet, but also the institutionlisation of privy councillors. When looking for actors in foreign policy, we generally think of the foreign policy executive first but the cabinet is second. Looking at the Cuban Missile Crisis, we see that the cabinet made a big difference. Also see Churchills War Cabinet, but also the institutionlisation of privy councillors. Hill points out that regardless of how tyrannical a regime may be, all leaders need some forum in which to bring together senior individuals to share ideas and coordinate strategy. Hill points out that regardless of how tyrannical a regime may be, all leaders need some forum in which to bring together senior individuals to share ideas and coordinate strategy. Together, this is what Rhodes has called the core executive. Together, this is what Rhodes has called the core executive.

18 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers What is the role of intelligence? What is the role of intelligence? What makes foreign policy making a bit different than other policy areas is its reliance on intelligence. This can be gained both from foreign operations and domestic counter- intelligence. The relationship between intelligence and politics is what makes a foreign policy a success. What makes foreign policy making a bit different than other policy areas is its reliance on intelligence. This can be gained both from foreign operations and domestic counter- intelligence. The relationship between intelligence and politics is what makes a foreign policy a success. The role of intelligence brings in additional actors into the foreign policy making process. Both because the successes and the failures of intelligence are spectacular, the foreign policy executive has to pay the closest attention to the advance of intelligence chiefs. The role of intelligence brings in additional actors into the foreign policy making process. Both because the successes and the failures of intelligence are spectacular, the foreign policy executive has to pay the closest attention to the advance of intelligence chiefs.

19 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers What determines whether or not intelligence makes a good foreign policy decisions? What determines whether or not intelligence makes a good foreign policy decisions? The quality of the intelligence The quality of the intelligence Its ability to reach the political leaders Its ability to reach the political leaders Leaders judgements Leaders judgements The independent actions of the intelligence community The independent actions of the intelligence community

20 Actors: the Responsible Decision Makers Conclusion Conclusion What do we mean by responsible in the context of foreign policy? What do we mean by responsible in the context of foreign policy? Why is foreign policy made by a small group? Why is foreign policy made by a small group? Why might this be a problem? Capturing foreign policy Why might this be a problem? Capturing foreign policy Why do things not go wrong more often? Socialisation, identification and responsibility. Why do things not go wrong more often? Socialisation, identification and responsibility. How is foreign policy different from other public policies? How is foreign policy different from other public policies? Finally, why are actors important for foreign policy? Finally, why are actors important for foreign policy?


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