Foreign policy analysis

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Actors, interests and decisions

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This course provides a concise but comprehensive introduction to foreign policy analysis for students that already have a certain experience in either public policy analysis or international relations. The course is essential for all students of public administration, political science and international relations.

The course builds on the ongoing dialogue between foreign policy analysis and international relations. It opens up the discussion by placing current debates in foreign policy in the context of contemporary problems in international relations, and provides a concise and accessible account of key areas in foreign policy analysis that are often ignored. Focusing on how foreign policy decision making affects the conduct of states in the international arena, and analysing the relationship between policy, agency and actors, the course examines foreign policy and bureaucracies, domestic sources of foreign policy, foreign policy and the state, foreign policy and globalization, foreign policy and change.

The course presents a wide range of contemporary case studies and examples from around the globe, as well as overview of new directions in foreign policy analysis, including foreign policy implementation and the changing media landscape. Fully updated material across all topics reflects the most contemporary issues and the evolving research agenda in the area.

Students are introduced to foreign policy analysis through seminar questions on important current cases. They learn by researching these questions independently, reading peers' answers and critically reviewing them, posting their own answers, and receiving peer reviews. A point system measures learning progress and encourages students to participate.
1: Introduction. 2: Foreign Policy Decision Making. 3: Bureaucracies and Foreign Policy. 4: The Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy. 5: FPA and the State. 6: Foreign Policy, Globalization and the Study of FPA. 7: Foreign Policy and Change. 8: Conclusion.
Indicative reading: 

Alden, C., & Aran, A. (2016). Foreign policy analysis: new approaches, 2nd ed. Routledge.

Teaching modules: