This course aims to familiarize students with the process by which foreign policy is made. In exploring this question, the course takes students on a tour through the foreign policy analysis (FPA) scholarship, which utilizes a variety of theoretical frameworks and research strategies. Broadly speaking, the course follows a traditional "levels of analysis" structure, beginning with the systemic or structural level, where we examine constraints on foreign-policy making such as balance of power considerations and alliance structures.
The course’s main aim is to provide students with a sound understanding of:
1) Competing theories of foreign policy
2) The principal differences between foreign policy and international politics
3) The trade-offs involved in using different levels of analysis
4) The uses and limits of comparative foreign policy analysis
5) How to ascertain the relative influence of psychological factors versus political institutions versus systematic constraints on foreign policy
6) How to identify analogies, national roles and norms in the production of foreign policy
7) How to write and deliver foreign policy papers.