Foreign Policy - Actors, Theories, Cases

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Foreign policy Pages: 5 (1469 words) Published: February 26, 2012
Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases
Chapter 1 – The History and Evolution of Foreign Policy Analysis by Valerie M. Hudson Key Points
* Foreign Policy: The strategy or approach chosen by the national government to achieve its goals in its relations with external entities; includes decisions to do nothing * Foreign Policy Analysis: seeks to explain foreign policy, or FP behavior, with reference to the theoretical ground of human decision makers, acting singly and in groups. * Classical FPA scholarship (1954-1993): Two generations of FPA * 1st generation (1954-1973) – work produced that created FPA * 2nd generation (1974-1993) – work produced that built on foundations created during 1st gen; self-reflection and criticism during this period revealed inconsistencies in CFP (big decline in popularity until late ‘80s) * FPA tried to create middle-range theories; theories that weren’t general accounts of all FP behavior but where instead accounts of either the FP of some types of states or FP in types of situations (e.g. crises) * 3 paradigmatic works laid the foundations of FPA

* Richard Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin on foreign policy decision making * James Rosenau on developing a theory of comparative foreign policy * Harold and Margaret Sprout on the psycho-social milieu (environment/setting) of foreign policy making * Several emphases, corresponding to levels of analysis in FPA, began to emerge from this foundation, including work on small/large groups, events data, political psychology of leaders, culutural effects on foreign policy, domestic political contestation effects on FP descision making, and the influence of national attributes and systemic characteristics on FP behavior. * FPA retains its emphases on actor-specific theory, multicasual explanations, interdisciplinarity, and the explanations of FP processes, as well as FP outcomes * Current FPA scholarship explores linkages between the levels of FPA analysis, and combines that with a search for new methodologies that are more appropriate for actor-specific theoretical investigation Questions

1. What are the key hallmarks of FPA?
a. FPA has several distinctive features (5)
b. A commitment to look below the nation-state level of analysis to actor-specific information c. A commitment to build actor-specific theory as the meeting point bet. actor-general theory and the complexity of the real world d. A commitment to pursue multicasual (multiple causes) explanations spanning multiple levels of analysis e. A commitment to use theory and findings from across the social sciences f. A commitment to viewing the process of foreign policy decision-making as important as the output of these decisions

2. What is the difference between foreign policy and foreign policy behavior? g. FP is the strategy taken by a gov’t to achieve its goals in its relations with other actors; includes decisions to do nothing h. FPB is the observable product/result of FP, or specific actions/words used to influence others in the realm of foreign policy i. May include the categorization of such behavior, which could then be used to construct data (including event data) ii. FPB can include behavior that was accidental/unintended by the gov’t i. Decisions to do nothing (characteristic of FP) may not leave any behavioral artifact (characteristic of FPB) difference between the 2

3. What are the primary levels of analysis examined in FPA j. Ppl study/seek to explain FP by considering factors operating on various levels (4) iii. Individual, Societal, State, or International System k. If object of analysis is behavior of the state, explanation can proceed in terms of factors on each level (behavior could be explained from individual level; state acts the way it does because of it’s leader; etc)

4. What did Richard Snyder and his...
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