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About this book

The second edition of this introductory textbook on foreign policy analysis focuses on the key explanatory factors that underlie the foreign policies of states and other actors to show how theory can illuminate practice. Genuinely international in scope and drawing on a wide range of examples, it provides an accessible introduction to the key elements of foreign policy analysis to explain, predict and evaluate what states and other collective actors want, how they make decisions, and key determinants of state security, diplomatic, and economic foreign policies. Providing a broad set of theoretical tools for analysing foreign policy, and including increased coverage of methodology, this new edition provides students with the skills to undertake their own foreign policy analysis.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – Analyzing foreign policy

Abstract
This chapter introduces the sub-discipline of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) as a part of the broader field of IR theory. FPA aims to explain the determinants of the foreign policies of a state or other collective actors in world politics. The chapter presents the overall framework of the book, in which foreign policy processes will be introduced by focusing on three overarching questions: 1) What do states want, 2) How do states makes decisions in foreign policy and 3) what do states do? The chapter introduces the different assumptions underlying the key theoretical tools introduced in the book: realism, liberalism and constructivism and key FPA decision-making theories.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

2. Research questions and the use of theory

Abstract
This chapter aims to help you identify and formulate relevant and interesting research questions in relation to FPA. A key purpose is to differentiate between event-focused and theory-focused research. The former is focused on explaining and understanding a concrete event in itself; while the later relates to research that has the ambition to contribute to a broader theoretical debate, where cases are often treated as ‘cases of’ theoretical phenomena. The chapter address the question of what theory is and how we can differentiate between explanatory theories aimed at explaining and understanding general phenomena and models aimed at understanding particular events. Building on this, the chapter introduces how theories can act as explanatory tools, analytical models to understand events, or, for some types of theories, as critical theories that can be used to change the world.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

3. Choosing an appropriate research strategy

Abstract
This chapter aims to provide tools to select an appropriate research strategy after you have identified a ‘good’ research question. We argue that there are three overall strategies when engaging in research on foreign policy: 1) a variance-based approach, 2) a case-based approach, and 3) an interpretivist approach. The three approaches shed light on different types of FPA-related research questions. This chapter helps you to match your research question with the relevant approach by identifying central elements in the different approaches. The chapter includes guidelines for conceptualization, operationalization, measurement and the overall design of research.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

4. System level Factors

Abstract
The focus of system-level theories is how the foreign policies of states are affected by their placement in the international system. The chapter presents theories from three different schools of IR that operate at the system level: 1) structural realists who claim that national preferences are based upon the need to survive in the competitive anarchical international system, 2) system-level liberal theories, which are split into those that analyze the impact of factors such as interdependence or institutions as external drivers of what states want (weak liberals) and liberal theorists that investigate the transformative effects that institutions or other external factors have on state goals (strong liberals), and 3) constructivist theorists, who argue that there is an important ideational dimension to national preferences, even going to the level of differing foreign policy identities of the state.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

5. Domestic factors

Abstract
The international system creates opportunity structures in which state foreign policy preferences are formed. This chapter opens up the ‘black box’ of the state to describe how factors related to societal inputs such as public opinion and interest groups, and government institutions, matter for what states want in foreign policy. While moving beyond simple, system level models increases the number of factors in a theoretical model, many analysts are willing to pay this price in order to gain greater explanatory traction when analyzing what states want in foreign policy. The chapter focus on 1) realist, 2) liberal and 3) constructivist theories to explain or understand state preferences. Within each school, we can differentiate between theories that focus upon domestic societal factors, such as public opinion or interest groups, and government-oriented theories that concentrate upon what drives governmental actors (bureaucracies, high-level political authorities).
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

6. Understandings of the choice situation

Abstract
Abstract
After introducing theories about what states want, the next two chapters shift attention towards the decision-making process, providing theoretical tools that allow us to understand the choice situation and the actual decisions. We argue that decision-making can be divided into two analytically distinct phases: 1) the collection and processing of information about the actual choice situation, and 2) taking of actual foreign policy decisions. We argue that in order to understand the decision-making process and the theoretical developments in the field, it can be useful to consider the Rational Actor Model (RAM) as the baseline theory for decision-making. Indeed, most of the subsequent theories relating to collection/assessment and decision-making define themselves in terms of how they depart from the RAM. In this chapter we develop two important non-RAM theories relating to understanding the choice situation (phase 1). The first relates to the importance of leaders, and how their beliefs systems can vary from each other. The second theories deals with how the subjective perceptions of decision-makers can systematically diverge from an ‘objective’ depiction of the choice situation they face.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

7. Making Foreign Policy Decisions

Abstract
Abstract
This chapter asks how foreign policy decisions are made. This chapter investigates theories that depart from the RAM by adopting more ‘realistic’ assumptions about the choice process. The first theories reviewed build on the RAM, whereas the theories in the later part of the chapter are more significant departures from the RAM model of decision-making. The chapter starts with Poliheuristic theory, which is a two-step theory that contends that decision-makers undertake a rough first cut where they eliminate with little consideration options that do not fulfill certain key objectives based on domestic politics. The rough first cut is followed by a more synoptic, RAM-like evaluation and choice between the remaining options. Prospect theory is a cognitive psychological theory that departs from the RAM by contending that decision-makers evaluate gains and losses differently. The chapter then turns to two different socio-psychological theories of decision-making: Groupthink and Polythink, both of which describe dynamics within decision-making groups that can result in poor decision-making processes. The chapter also investigates two theories that look at how foreign policy decisions are affected by politics and organizations. Finally, social constructivist theories mark an even more dramatic departure from the expectations of the RAM. Social constructivists contend that in decision-making situations where there are highly embedded norms, actor decisions do not follow the RAM but instead are dominated by is termed a logic of appropriate action.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

8. What States Do: Security Policies

Summary
This chapter focuses on what states actually do in relation to security policies. Security studies can be defined as the study of the threat, use, and prevention of the use of military force. The chapter presents different theoretical answers to the following questions: Why do states choose to go to war? Why do states choose different options when faced with the same external environment (strategic culture)? How and when can balancing behavior prevent war? Can states be deterred from going to war? And once armed conflict starts, how can it be resolved? Theoretically the chapter draws on insights from the three major IR theories of realism, liberalism and constructivism in order to explain what states do in international relations.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

9. What states do – diplomacy

Summary
At the core of foreign policy is diplomacy. Of all of the forms of diplomacy, bargaining and negotiations have spawned the most scholarly interest, with the question of what constitutes power in interstate negotiations highly contested. There are a range of different theoretical approaches to the study of negotiations; from formal game theoretical models to constructivist models of identity reconstruction through social interactions within negotiation processes. The chapter will explore several of the key insights from mainstream negotiation theory and how they apply to the study of negotiations in foreign policy-making. We also introduce the literature on two-level games, which is an analytical framework for studying interstate negotiations and the interplay between international and domestic pressures facing leaders. Two-level game theory also provide insights into the sources of power in negotiations, in particular the thesis that strong domestic constraints can be a bargaining asset in international negotiations. Finally, the chapter introduces the literature that has pointed to the impact of culture on international negotiations.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

10. What states do – economic foreign policies

Summary
This chapter introduces economic foreign policies, which include a range of different policy instruments like trade policies, economic aid, various forms of economic sanctions, and foreign development aid. The use of economic foreign policy instruments to promote political objectives is often termed economic statecraft. This chapter discusses the following questions: What do states want in foreign economic policies as regards trade? What motivates states to give economic aid, to institute sanctions and to give foreign developmental aid? The chapter draws on three types of theories to provide answers to such questions: 1) realists who hold that national power is based upon the ability to purchase military capabilities, 2) liberal theorists build upon international economic theories of free trade and the domestic winners and losers from trade, and 3) Marxist theories, where the basic argument is that free trade and economic interdependence are in effect forms of imperialism, where core (rich) countries systematically exploit the periphery (poorer) countries.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen

11. A transformation of state foreign policy-making?

Summary
This chapter asks the question of whether there has been a fundamental shift in foreign policy due to increasing globalization and institutionalization. In this chapter, we start with a discussion of what globalization is and how it potentially can impact states foreign policy. We catalogue potential transformation for security, political and economic foreign policies. This is followed by a discussion of whether foreign policy-making is possible beyond the state, focusing on whether the European Union (EU) has developed a degree of ‘actorness’ that enables us to speak of a form of foreign policy identity ‘beyond’ the state.
Derek Beach, Rasmus Brun Pedersen
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