Political Science | The Analysis of Foreign Policy
Y669 | 3970 | Spechler
What are the forces shaping the foreign policy 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. This seminar will explore the role of
international system structure and processes, regime type, and
domestic political structures and processes in the shaping of foreign
policy. The focus will be on important theoretical perspectives
regarding the sources and explanation of foreign policy behavior.
Specific problems we may consider are the sources of conflictual and
cooperative behavior and the conditions conducive to foreign policy
change. While the case studies in the readings will be drawn
primarily from the foreign policy behavior of the United States,
Russia and the former Soviet Union, the theories we will examine 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