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Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches (8th edn)

Georg Sørensen, Jørgen Møller, and Robert Jackson
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date: 01 June 2023

p. 2499. Foreign Policylocked

p. 2499. Foreign Policylocked

  • Georg Sørensen, Georg SørensenUniversity of Aarhus
  • Jørgen MøllerJørgen MøllerUniversity of Aarhus
  •  and Robert JacksonRobert Jacksonformerly at the University of Boston


This chapter examines theories and approaches involved in foreign policy analysis. Foreign policy analysis (FPA) is concerned with the study of the management of external relations and activities of nation-states, as distinguished from their domestic policies. The chapter first explains the concept of foreign policy before discussing various approaches to foreign policy analysis. It then evaluates the arguments of major theories by using a ‘level-of-analysis’ approach that addresses the international system level, the nation-state level, and the level of the individual decision maker. It also presents a case-study on the Gulf War to illustrate how insights from various approaches to foreign policy analysis can be brought together. The chapters ends with reflections on Donald Trump’s foreign policy and a discussion of how FPA theories have combined domestic and international factors.

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