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

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

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

2 Introduction to Foreign Policy Why is foreign policy important? Link between the external and the internal Ways to look at foreign policy Area Specialist IR theorist Public Intellectual

3 Defining Foreign Policy How do we define foreign policy? Chris Hill (2004: 3): Is the focus to be reduced to the rump of what diplomats say to each other, which would leave out many of the most interesting aspects of international politics, or should it be widened to include almost everything that emanates from every actor on the world scene?

4 Defining Foreign Policy How do we define foreign policy? Definition 1: the sum of external relations conducted by an independent actor (usually a state) in international relations. foreign POLICY: focusing on politics High vs. Low politics

5 Defining Foreign Policy How do we define foreign policy? Definition 2: the pursuit of a foreign policy is about the effort to carry through some generally conceived strategy, usually on the basis of a degree of rationality, in the sense that objectives, time-frames and instruments are at least brought into focus. Thus foreign policy must always be seen as a way of trying to hold together or make sense of the various activities which the state or even the wider community is engaged in internationally.

6 Defining Foreign Policy How do we define foreign policy? Definition 3: In short, the focal political point of an actors external relations.

7 Approaches to foreign policy Realism What are the basic tenants of realism? What problems can we see in realisms ability to explain foreign policy? Can we make a distinction between foreign policy and international relations?

8 Approaches to Foreign Policy Rational or public choice What is rationality in this context? What are the problems of the rational/public choice approach?

9 Approaches to Foreign Policy Post-Modernism What is post-modernism? Where does discourse theory come into it? Can we see any problems with a post- modernist approach to foreign policy?

10 Approaches to Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) What is FPA? Where does the focus lie? How does it differ from other approaches? Can we see any problems with FPA?

11 Changing Politics of Foreign Policy? Has the nature of foreign policy changed? No: power matters, state-led Yes:…

12 Changing Politics of Foreign Policy? The end of the Cold War the collapse of certain international institutions, changed the balance of power, but also represented the destruction of a major trans-national ideology Do we have a new ideology to replace international socialism? If so, what are its effects on international relations and foreign policy?

13 Changing Politics of Foreign Policy? Globalisation Has it made foreign policy redundant? Does the state still matter? No Yes

14 Changing Politics of Foreign Policy? Human Rights and Intervention World system qualified state sovereignty Is this a part of globalization? Has the Iraq conflict been a set-back for humanitarian intervention?

15 Analysing foreign policy Do the changes in the international system change the way we must think about foreign policy? Where does agency lie? Can we distinguish between foreign and domestic policies? How do we observe the external? Does this mean that everything which has a system that projects outwards is foreign policy?

16 Analysing foreign policy Do the changes in the international system change the way we must think about foreign policy? Finally, FPA must face the normative issues which its positivist roots have tended to obscure. For example, is how we think about foreign policy dominated by how we think foreign policy should happen (e.g. democratically)? How far should foreign policy be accountable to its citizens? Does this allow us talk about good and bad foreign policy in both a normative and positive context?

17 In Conclusion What is foreign policy? What role does FPA play in explaining it? Has the nature of foreign policy changed? Where does this leave us?


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