Dr Chris Alden
This course examines the key concepts and schools of thought in the study of foreign policy. Concentrating on the process of decision making, internal and external factors which influence foreign policy and the instruments available to foreign policy decision makers, the course will provide an understanding of the role and effect that foreign policy has on international politics. Students will learn about the differing strategies that great powers and small states employ in achieving their aims; the foreign policy challenges posed by terrorism, rogue and failed states; and the significance of new foreign policy powers like China. The classes will combine a discussion of these theories with their application to selected countries in the North, and South, international organisations and transnational actors.
The principle themes to be addressed by the course are:
How do states formulate and implement their foreign policy?
Does leadership make a difference in successful foreign policy?
Can national foreign policies ever be ethical?
What can states and international organisations do to prevent common threats like terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change?
Are democracies more likely to pursue aggressive foreign policies than dictatorships?
How are the foreign policies of emerging powers reshaping the practices, structure and institutions of the international system?
Each of the lectures will be followed by a discussion seminar on a topic drawn from the lecture and readings. Active student participation is encouraged.
Dr Alvaro Mendez provides annual guest lectures and teaching as a feature of the IR105 course.
C. Alden and A. Amnon, Foreign Policy Analysis – new approaches, Routledge (2011).
S. Smith, Amelia Hadfield and Tim Dunne, eds., Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases, Oxford UP (2008).
Lectures: 36 hours Classes: 12 hours
Assessment: Two written examinations and class presentation