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Foreign PolicyTheories, Actors, Cases

Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases (3rd edn)

Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne
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date: 13 July 2024

p. 131. The history and evolution of foreign policy analysislocked

p. 131. The history and evolution of foreign policy analysislocked

  • Valerie M. Hudson


This chapter traces the history and evolution of foreign policy analysis (FPA) as a subfield of international relations (IR) from its beginnings in the 1950s through its classical period until 1993. It begins with a discussion of three paradigmatic works that laid the foundation of FPA: Decision Making as an Approach to the Study of International Politics (1954), by Richard C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck, and Burton Sapin; ‘Pre-theories and Theories of Foreign Policy’ (1966), by James N. Rosenau; and Man–Milieu Relationship Hypotheses in the Context of International Politics (1956), by Harold and Margaret Sprout. These three works created three main threads of research in FPA: focusing on the decision making of small/large groups, comparative foreign policy, and psychological/sociological explanations of foreign policy. The chapter also reviews classic FPA scholarship during the period 1954–1993 and concludes with an assessment of contemporary FPA’s research agenda.

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