In this course we examine the various theories of foreign policy and how foreign policy is made, focussing in particular on states. The intention is to provide students with an insight into the decision making process, including how policy instruments are chosen, the role of leadership in the process, the importance of history and identity in framing the foreign policy goals of a country, and the relevance of such factors as biases, perceptions, psychology and interests (bureaucracies) in shaping the agenda.

About the Course

In this course we examine the various theories of foreign policy and how foreign policy is made, focussing in particular on states. The intention is to provide students with an insight into the decision making process, including how policy instruments are chosen, the role of leadership in the process, the importance of history and identity in framing the foreign policy goals of a country and the relevance of such factors as biases, perceptions, psychology and interests (bureaucracies) in shaping the agenda. The course will include a close reading of the foreign policies of the United Kingdom, France and the United States which we will use to shed light on the complexities involved in understanding why states behave as they do.

Learning outcomes

The candidate shall be able to…

Knowledge

  • Understand the key central concepts in foreign policy analysis.
  • Have an awareness of the key foreign policy literature.
  • Have a good basic understanding of the United Kingdom’s foreign policy.

Skills

  • Analyse foreign policy documents in light of foreign policy analysis theory.
  • Assess the idea of the conception of foreign policy being a “two-level game”.
  • Utilise foreign policy analysis tools to make sense of international political agreement and disagreement.
  • Critically discuss the role of leadership in foreign policy decision-making.

Competence

  • Display a critical appreciation of the various contending theories in foreign policy analysis and the complexities associated with understanding foreign policy at different the levels of analysis.
  • Understand of why states act the way they do internationally and how they make decisions.
  • Appreciate the relevance of foreign policy analysis in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

 

Assessment

Requirement

  • Short essay; memo: 1200 words (pass/fail)

 Exam

  • Take home exam (individual essay); memo: 2000 words (+/- 10 % excluding front page and reference list) (60 % of the grade, grading system A – F)
  • 3 hour written exam (40 % of the grade, grading system A – F)