Political Science | The Analysis of Foreign Policy (3 cr)
Y669 | 3726 | Spechler
What are the forces shaping the foreign policy behavior of states in world
politics? Many of these forces are external to the state: they emanate from
the environment, regional and global, in which the state operates. But
state behavior is also affected-often profoundly-by internal factors. These
range from the personalities, beliefs and experiences of individual leaders,
to the functioning of and competition between the bureaucracies which vie
for influence on policy, to the structure, operations and traditions of the
political system as a whole. This seminar will explore these and other
domestic factors which help us understand what states do on the world stage.
The focus will be on important theoretical perspectives regarding the
sources and explanation of foreign policy behavior. While the case studies
in the readings will be drawn primarily from the foreign policy behavior of
the Unite States, Russian and the former Soviet Union, the theories examined
will be relevant for understanding the conduct of a wide variety of states.
Students will write a research paper drawing on one or more theoretical
perspectives to shed light on a concrete case or pattern of foreign policy
behavior exhibited by a state or group of states. Grades will be based both
on the paper and on contributions to class discussion.