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Introduction  

Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne

This text examines the dynamics that shape foreign policy using international relations (IR) theory. Combining theories and case studies with actors, it explores the grand principles at work in foreign policy, both as a form of state behaviour and as an intellectual field. Chapters illustrate the complementarity between individual, state, and structural dynamics of IR, and levels of analysis found in foreign policy analysis. They discuss the relevance to foreign policy of the main IR theories: realism, liberalism, and constructivism, alongside the tool of discourse analysis. This introduction provides an overview of the contemporary relevance of the study of foreign policy; some of the definitional issues concerning the study of foreign policy; and the book’s updated organization.

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1. The history and evolution of foreign policy analysis  

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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8. Implementation and behaviour  

Elisabetta Brighi and Christopher Hill

This chapter examines the ‘implementation phase’ of foreign policy making — that is, the period in which decisions are translated into action. It first considers the theoretical problems involved in deciding where a foreign policy action ends and its environment begins. It then explores the range of problems encountered by states when trying to implement their foreign policies, as well as the instruments — diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural — at their disposal. In particular, it explains the distinction between power as a means and power as a context. It concludes by highlighting the endless loops that connect — and blur together — ends and means in foreign policy, along with the key lessons which practitioners need to bear in mind. The chapter argues that foreign policy decisions are best understood through the strategic–relational model.

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11. The primacy of national security  

Brian C. Schmidt

This chapter focuses on national security, a central concept in foreign policy analysis. A core objective of foreign policy is to achieve national security. However, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the meaning of the concept. Although the traditional meaning of national security is often associated with protecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the nation state, this does not exhaust all of the possible meanings. The chapter examines some of the competing conceptions of national security, beginning with the three main assumptions of realism that together help to account for the primacy of national security: statism, survival, and self-help. It then considers the field of security studies before concluding with an assessment of the theoretical controversy about the meaning of national security and how it relates to three American grand strategies: neo-isolationism, liberal internationalism, and primacy.

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17. China and the Tian’anmen Crisis of June 1989  

Rosemary Foot

This chapter examines the foreign policy consequences of the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 1989, and more specifically the Chinese government’s use of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to crack down on demonstrators. It first considers the external consequences of China’s open door policy before discussing the human rights issue in China before Tian’anmen. It then explores the events leading up to the Tian’anmen crackdown, along with its immediate foreign policy consequences. In particular, it analyses the sanctions against China and the country’s foreign policy response to those sanctions. It also describes the deepening of China’s involvement with human rights and its increased significance as a player in international politics.

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22. What kind of power? European Union enlargement and beyond  

Lisbeth Aggestam

This chapter examines the complexity of the European Union as a foreign policy actor by focusing on its so-called Big Bang enlargement. Three of the largest EU members — Britain, France, and Germany — differed in their beliefs about the implications of enlargement for their own national interests, shifts to the existing balance of power within the EU, the impact on the functioning of EU institutions, and the future of the integration process. The chapter first provides an overview of EU foreign policy before discussing the historic decision to enlarge the EU in 2004 and 2007. In particular, it analyses the significance of European norms in reshaping member states’ interests and the supranational role of the European Commission in framing and implementing the decision to enlarge the EU. It also considers the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an alternative when the powerful instrument of the EU enlargement is no longer available.

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5. Discourse analysis, post-structuralism, and foreign policy  

Lene Hansen

This chapter examines the use of discourse analysis in the study of foreign policy. In the study of international relations, discourse analysis is associated with post-structuralism, a theoretical approach that shares realism’s concern with states and power, but differs from realism’s assumption that states are driven by self-interest. It also takes a wider view of power than realists normally do. Post-structuralism draws upon, but also challenges, realism’s three core assumptions: groupism, egoism, and power-centrism. The chapter first considers the theoretical principles that inform post-structuralist discourse analysis before discussing the research designs and methodological techniques employed by discourse analysts. It also offers examples and four learning boxes featuring mini-case studies and locates poststructuralist discourse analysis within the field of foreign policy analysis. Finally, it assesses the strengths and weaknesses of post-structuralist discourse analysis.

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6. Actors, structures, and foreign policy analysis  

Walter Carlsnaes

This chapter examines how actors and structures make foreign policy an extremely complicated field of study and how, in view of this complexity, these actors and structures have been treated in the literature on foreign policy analysis. It first provides a historical background on the field of foreign policy before discussing the role of actors and structures in ‘process’ and ‘policy’ approaches to foreign policy. In particular, it describes approaches to foreign policy based on a structural perspective, namely: realism, neoliberal institutionalism, and social constructivism. It then considers evaluates approaches from an actor-based perspective: cognitive and psychological approaches, bureaucratic politics approach, new liberalism, and interpretative actor perspective. The chapter also looks at the agency–structure problem and asks whether an integrated framework is feasible before concluding with a recommendation of how to resolve the former in terms of a constructive answer to the latter.

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7. Foreign policy decision making  

Rational, psychological, and neurological models

Janice Gross Stein

This chapter examines the use of rational, psychological, and neurological models in foreign policy decision making. It begins with a discussion of two commonsensical models of rationality in decision making. In the first model, rational decision making refers to the process that people should use to choose. The second, more demanding, models of rational choice expect far more from decision makers. Borrowing heavily from micro-economics, they expect decision makers to generate subjective probability estimates of the consequences of the options that they consider, to update these estimates as they consider new evidence, and to maximize their subjective expected utility. The chapter proceeds by exploring psychological models and the so-called cognitive revolution, the relevance of cognitive psychology to foreign policy analysis, and the ways that the study of the neuroscience of emotion and cognition can be extended to the analysis of foreign policy and to decision making.

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18. India and the World Trade Organization  

Amrita Narlikar

This chapter examines India’s emergence as a key player in the World Trade Organization (WTO) within the context of its foreign policy. It considers plausible mainstream explanations for India’s apparent rise to power, including growing market size, changing ideology, and the role of domestic interest groups in influencing foreign economic policy. It suggests that India’s emergence as a major player in the WTO can be explained by its negotiation behaviour. More specifically, it shows that India’s rise in the WTO is a product of decades of learning to negotiate within the specific multilateral rules of the organization (as well as its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)). The chapter also considers some of the problems that India’s WTO diplomacy raises within the trade context as well as its broader foreign policy goals.

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2. Realism and foreign policy  

William C. Wohlforth

This chapter considers how familiarity with realist theory improves foreign policy analysis (FPA), focusing on two features of realism that are often in tension with each other: its firm grounding in centuries of real foreign policy practice, and its aspiration to create powerful general theories that help to simplify and explain the international setting in which foreign policy takes place. The chapter begins with a discussion of the main theoretical schools within realism, namely, classical realism, defensive realism, offensive realism, and neoclassical realism, as well as theories within realism: balance of power theory, balance of threat theory, hegemonic stability theory, and power transition theory. It also examines how realism is applied to the analysis and practice of foreign policy and highlights the main pitfalls in applying realist theories to FPA. Finally, it evaluates some guidelines for avoiding those pitfalls and using realist insights to sharpen the analysis of foreign policy.

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3. Liberalism and foreign policy  

Michael W. Doyle

This chapter examines the implications of liberalism for foreign policy and foreign policy analysis. Liberal countries have long been known to maintain peaceful relations with each other. Liberal democracies tend to respect and accommodate other democratic countries and negotiate rather than escalate their inter-liberal disputes. However, liberalism can also exacerbate tensions with non-liberal states. The chapter first considers what scholars have meant by liberalism before describing the major features of liberal foreign relations and the three schools of liberal foreign policy analysis: individualist, commercial, and republican. It then explores the effects of liberalism on the international relations of liberal states: incentives for a separate zone of peace among liberal states, imprudent aggression against nonliberals, and complaisance in vital matters of security and economic cooperation. It concludes with reflections on preserving and expanding the liberal peace — while avoiding war with the wider non-liberal world.

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13. Duties beyond borders  

Michael Barnett

This chapter examines the concept of duties beyond borders and its implications for the practice of foreign policy. More specifically, it considers why states proclaim duties to those beyond their borders as well as the apparent expansion of those duties over the last two decades. After explaining what is meant by duties beyond borders and how it relates to the concepts of sovereignty and cosmopolitanism, the chapter explores how realist, liberal, constructivist, and decision-making theories account for the existence and expansion of these duties. It also describes why states failed to halt the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and intervened in Libya in 2011, but not in Syria. It also analyses the growing tension between a foreign policy defined by realpolitik and a foreign policy that is increasingly affected and defined by intensifying interdependence in a range of issues and transnational connections between peoples.

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20. Australia and global climate change  

Matt McDonald

This chapter examines Australia’s engagement with the international politics of global climate change. It first provides an overview of the problem of global climate change and its likely effects, focusing on key complexities and dilemmas regarding climate change, and the evolution of the climate change regime through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. It then considers key drivers of climate diplomacy, from the ideology and foreign policy perspectives of different governments to the role of public opinion and the ebb and flow of international cooperation. It shows that Australia’s changing approach to climate change cooperation underscores the profound challenges for the climate change regime.

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23. Energy and foreign policy  

EU–Russia energy dynamics

Amelia Hadfield

This chapter examines the role of energy in foreign policy by focusing on Russia’s decision in 2006 to temporarily stop the flow of natural gas to the Ukraine, along with its impact on European markets. It first explains how energy contributes to national prosperity and underwrites national security, noting that states now desire energy security in the same way that they desire military and economic security. It then considers the political significance of energy during the post-Cold War years before discussing the ‘gas spat’ between Russia and Ukraine. It also explores the European energy insecurity dilemma that followed the spat and shows that much of the current tensions afflicting Europe and Russia are driven by an inability to manage energy security as a potent area of foreign policy.

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4. Constructivism and foreign policy  

Trine Flockhart

This chapter examines the basic assumptions and foreign policy relevance of constructivism. Using European security as an illustrative example, it shows that constructivism is a valuable tool not only for understanding foreign policy, but also as a guide for prescribing foreign policy. The chapter first explains what constructivism is, outlining the constructivist view that anarchy exists in different forms with major implications for how agents act. It then considers some of the main propositions and conceptual tools of constructivism, with particular emphasis on its arguments regarding identity, social construction, rules, and practice. It also analyses constructivism’s alternative understandings of NATO’s role after the end of the Cold War and in present-day European security. It asserts that theory is important in foreign policy making — including constructivism — because different theories imply different policies and may make alternative policy options visible which would otherwise easily have been overlooked.

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9. Public diplomacy  

Caitlin Byrne

This chapter examines public diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument for the contemporary world. Public diplomacy has enjoyed a revival over the past decade, beginning with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Within a few years public diplomacy had become the hottest topic on the diplomacy studies agenda, giving rise to robust new debate about the role and relevance of publics and public opinion in the conduct of foreign policy. The chapter first traces the origins and modern evolution of public diplomacy before discussing its theoretical foundations, with particular emphasis on its soft power underpinnings and constructivist tendencies. It also explores key approaches and instruments to illustrate the broad diversity of a project of public diplomacy. Finally, it assesses the role of new media technologies in extending the reach of public diplomacy and drawing foreign policy more than ever into the public domain.

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10. The role of media and public opinion  

Piers Robinson

This chapter examines the relevance of media and public opinion to our understanding of foreign policy and international politics. It first considers whether public opinion influences foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the public are politically impotent, as argued by the elite model. It then explores whether the media can influence foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the media are fundamentally subservient to the foreign policy process, as argued by the elite model. It also integrates these competing arguments with theoretical frames used in the study of international relations: namely, realism, liberalism, and critical approaches (including constructivism and post-structuralism). The chapter concludes by discussing contemporary debates concerning organized persuasive communication and the ‘war on terror’.

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12. Economic statecraft  

Michael Mastanduno

This chapter explores the link between economic instruments of statecraft and the broader foreign policy goals and strategies of states. Economic sanctions are used in conjunction with diplomatic and military measures in response to foreign policy problems and opportunities. However, they are not always effective. The chapter begins with a discussion of the instruments and objectives of economic statecraft, including trade restrictions, financial sanctions, investment restrictions, and monetary sanctions. It then explores the potential of economic incentives as a tool of statecraft and the question of whether economic interdependence leads to harmony, as liberals believe, or conflict among states, as realists predict. It shows that economic interdependence can either lead to peace or conflict depending on the future expectations of policy makers, the nature of the military balance, and the form that economic interdependence takes.

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16. Neoconservatism and the domestic sources of American foreign policy  

The role of ideas in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Yuen Foong Khong

This chapter examines the role played by neoconservative ideas about foreign policy in persuading the George W. Bush administration to launch a preventive war against Iraq in March 2003. It considers the four key tenets of neoconservative foreign policy thought and how some of its leading proponents won key positions in the Bush administration. It argues that, by itself, neoconservatism provides only a partial explanation of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A more satisfactory explanation, it contends, would need to take into account the following: the 9/11 attacks, the strategic placement of neoconservative ideas by its advocates in calmer times, the assumption that the United States would have no trouble waging a successful war, and the ‘one per cent’ doctrine. It is the combination of these events, ideas, and probability estimates that tipped the balance in favour of war.