Political Science | International Relations: Analysis of Foreign Policy
Y669 | 17072 | Spechler


What are the forces shaping the foreign policies 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 domestic political structures and processes and regime
types, as they interact with systemic environments 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, 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
discussion.