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week 2: introduction to foreign policy analysis. U.S. FOREIGN POLICY POLS 425 professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles [email protected] introduction to foreign policy analysis the study of foreign policy. review of key points from last week.

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slide1

week 2: introduction to foreign policy analysis

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY POLS 425

professor timothy c. lim / cal state los angeles

[email protected]

slide2

introduction to foreign policy analysisthe study of foreign policy

review of key points from last week

  • foreign policy analysis is concerned with a variety of questions: why-questions, who- and what questions, and how-possible questions
  • foreign policy analysis is interdisciplinary, drawing from a variety of theoretical approaches
  • there is a special relationship between foreign policy analysis and ir
slide3

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • review: fields relevant to foreign policy
  • international relations
  • social psychology
  • rational choice
  • comparative politics
  • public policy
  • critical theory
  • others

special relationship between IR and foreign policy

slide4

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • review: fields relevant to foreign policy
  • authors also believe that the newradical accounts of IR are important; even more …
  • their own approach is based on criticalpolitical analysis
slide5

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

so what is critical political analysis?

slide6

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

critical political analysis: six points

  • critical foreign policy analysis should be empirical without being empiricist: norms and subjectivity matter
  • both structure and agency need to be considered
  • politics must be viewed broadly; not just what governments do
  • sensitive to issues of social construction
  • foreign policy is never simply the “realm of necessity”
  • being critical does not entail assuming bad faith about leaders
slide7

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

critical political analysis

“taken together, we believe that a critical approach to foreign policy offers significant potential for looking at foreign policy within a wider notion of politics than has traditionally been the case within FPA” (p. 6)

slide8

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

confused?

don’t worry (for now). things should become clearer as we proceed.

slide10

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • two basic definitions
  • foreign policy. the strategy or approach chosen by a national government to achieve its goals in relation with external entities (usually other governments)
  • foreign policy analysis (FPA). a subfield of political science that seeks to explain foreign policy or foreign policy behavior; FPA is distinguished from IR in its focus on sub-national, actor-specific, and multi-casual and multi-level analysis
slide11

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis

foreign policy analysis is a relatively recent field that stands in sharp contrast to the grand theories of IR (e.g., realism)

three seminal orparadigmaticworks

Decision-Making as an Approach to the Study of International Politics by RichardSnyder

Pre-Theories and Theories of Foreign Policy by JamesRosenau

Man-Mileau Relationship Hypotheses in the Context of International Politics by Harold and Margaret Sprout

1.

2.

3.

slide12

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis
  • key lessons
  • SNYDER. researchers need to look below the nation-state level of analysis to the players involved; focus should be on decision-making process, not just outcomes
  • ROSENAU.states are not all the same, but there are patterns and similarities among types of states that we can uncover making foreign policy behavior explainable and predictable
  • SPOUTS. psychological factors (the psycho-mileau) and perceptions are important
slide13

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis
  • key lessonsled to further refinements, focusing on new research pathways …
    • small group decision-making (“groupthink”)
    • organizational process and bureaucratic politics
    • comparative foreign policy
    • psychological (cognitive) influences
    • societal milieux
slide14

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis

small group decision-making (“groupthink”)

Refers to the process and structure of groups making foreign policy decisions. Group decision making tends to have its own dynamic, but a particularly important aspect is the tendency by participants to maintain group consensus and personal acceptance. The result is often a deterioration of decision-making quality.

slide15

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

organizational process and bureaucratic politics

Based on the idea that organizations and bureaucracies have their own interests and compete with other organizations to stay “on top.” Turf battles impact the decision-making process. Organizational dynamics (e.g., standard operating procedures) also shape responses and behavior.

slide16

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis

comparative foreign policy

Focused on foreign policy events on a cross-national basis as a way to analyze and predict foreign policy behavior for all nations for all time. Effort proved less than successful.

slide17

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis

psychological influences on foreign policy

Based on the premise that individual perceptions and cognitive processes had a profound impact on the policy making process. Psychological approaches focused attention on the mind of the foreign policy decision-maker.

slide18

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • intro: foreign policy analysis

societal milieux and foreign policy

Looked at the overarching social context in which decisions are made: culture, history, geography, economics, political institutions, military power, ideology, demographics, media, and so on. Researchers believed all these factors could play a role in the making of foreign policy.

slide19

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

  • foreign policy analysis: contemporary agenda
  • foreign policy analysis in the post-cold war era is still evolving; there are, however, some clear commitments that most researchers share
    • commitment to looking below the nation-state level
    • commitment to build middle-range theory
    • commitment to pursue multi-causal explanations spanning multiple levels of analysis
    • commitment to utilize theory and findings from across the spectrum of social science
    • commitment to viewing the process of foreign policy decision-making (i.e., how policy gets made) as important as the output thereof
slide20

introduction to coursethe study of foreign policy

changing gears …

theories offoreign policy

slide21

introduction to theorythe study of foreign policy

general notes about theory: definitions

simply put, theories are explanations of how something or some process works; theories are used to identify cause-and-effect relationships and to make predictions

anotherdefinition. a theory is a framework of analysis within which facts are not only selected, but also interpreted, organized, and fit together so that they create a coherent whole

a theory helps us explain or better understand the world in which we live

slide22

introduction to theorythe study of foreign policy

general notes about theory

theories are necessarily simplifications of a more complex whole; theories are not reality, but they are designed to tell use something meaningful and important about the real world

slide23

introduction to theorythe study of foreign policy

general notes about theory:additional points

first, the various theories of foreign policy are not dependent on whether they are accepted or even understood by policy makers themselves

second, theory and practice may be mutually constitutive

third, the theories we study are sometimes compatible, but sometimes contradictory

slide25

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • realism and foreign policy
  • key questions
    • what is realism?
    • how is it applied to the analysis and practiceof foreign policy
    • what are the pitfalls in applying realist theoriesto foreign policy analysis?
    • what is a useful set of guidelines for avoidingthose pitfalls and using realist insights tosharpen the analysis of foreign policy?
slide26

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  • core principles
    • groupism. humans are divided into groups and humans depend on their own groups for safety and survival
    • egoism. self-interest ultimately drives political behavior
    • power-centrism. power is the fundamental feature of politics

to realists, these are all fundamental truths about the the world; they are the rules by which world politics operate. such rules have consequences; they shape human behavior in particular ways

slide27

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  • additional principles
    • central questions focus on the causes of war and conflict
    • the structure of the international system is a necessary, but not always sufficient for explaining relations among states
    • primary unit of analysis is the sovereign state
    • states are first and foremost guided by national interests defined in terms of power
    • states are rational, unitary actors
slide28

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  •  the key concept in realism in anarchy

dictionary definition: “absence of government; the state of society where there is no law or supreme power; a state of lawlessness; political confusion.”

in realism, anarchy is not the absence of government per se, but is instead the absence of a sovereign authority that exists above the state. to (many) realists, moreover, the international system is not “confused,” but is governed by a structure of power dominated by the strongest states

slide29

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  •  implications of anarchy

in an anarchic system, an unavoidable logic prevails, one based on the notion,”survival of the fittest.”

in an anarchic world, only the strong survive and prosper; you can only count on yourself for help: friends are friends only when it serves their interests

one of the clearest enunciations of the principles and implications of anarchy can be found in a few good men …

slide30

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

what is realism?

a scene from a few good men: “you can’t handle the truth!”

what is the “truth” that tom cruise’s character cannot handle?

Video file intentionallyremoved

slide31

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  • theoretical schools within realism

 realism is a diverse school of thought that includes several variants

    • classical realism
    • neorealism (or structural realism)
    • defensive realism (“inside-out” variant)
    • offensive realism (“hyper-realism”)
    • neoclassical realism (“foreign policy” realism)
slide32

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • what is realism?
  • specific theories within realism

 the diversity of realism is also evident in specific theories of realism

    • balance of power
    • balance of threat
    • hegemonic stability theory
    • power transition theory
slide33

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • realism: assumptions, conditions and theories: some caveats
    • do not confuse assumptions (groupism, egoism, and power-centrism) with scope conditions (anarchy)

anarchy is a variable condition; where it is strongest, the potential for conflict is highest; where it is attenuated, orderis stronger

    • do not confuse assumptions with predictions

conflict is not an assumption, but a prediction: realists predict conflict under certain conditions of anarchy

slide34

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • using realism in analyzing foreign policy
    • along with caveats, using realism requires a careful integration of the deductive logic of realist principles and the on-the-ground dynamics of specific and concrete foreign policy situations
    • integration is key
    • examples. consider hegemonic stability theory and “anti-US counter-balancing” in the1990s ----> next slide
slide35

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • using realism in analyzing foreign policy

example. anti-US counterbalancing

prominent realists, such as waltz, predicted that the collapse of the soviet union would lead to immediate “counterbalancing” against theu.s.

it did not happen, but the failure to “predict” correctly was less a problemwith realism and more a problem with a misapplication of realist principlesand a failure to consider the “concrete”details of the post-cold war era

slide36

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • using realism in analyzing foreign policy: key lesson

foreign policy analysts must not be dogmatic realists--or anti-realists. they should know theories without becoming overly committed to any one

the best approach is to embrace a constant dialogue between case expertise and general theory whenever possible

remember this saying …

the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing(Archilochus)

slide37

introduction to realismchapter 2: realism and foreign policy

  • using realism in analyzing foreign policy: key lesson

foreign policy analysts should be foxes and not hedgehogs

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