ASTK15487U SEMINAR: Geopolitics, Democracy Promotion, or Cultural Identity? Explaining Foreign Policy from different theoretical perspectives
Elective for Security Risk Management
Elective course in the specialization "International Relations, Diplomacy and Conflict Studies"
How do we explain foreign policy? Since at least the debate between Kenneth Waltz and Colin Elman in the 1990s about whether realism is a theory of international politics or about foreign policy, Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is an integral part of the IR discipline. But, FPA is a complex field, with a diverse range of different (realist, liberal, constructivist, and a mixture of all) theoretical perspectives. As Stephen Walt has stated in his famous 1998 article, we have “one world, but many theories”. The seminar will provide an introduction to theoretically informed FPA as a method to analyze the foreign policies of different (Western liberal democracies, authoritarian and revisionist) states in times of a global power shift. In the first part of the seminar, different theoretical approaches of FPA and various strands are introduced. In the second part, case studies are used as illustrations that states either pursue goals of maximizing security and power, or democracy promotion, or collective identity formation, or sometimes a mixed agenda. At the end of the seminar, we discuss whether the multi-level framework of neoclassical realism is a degenerative or progressive and enhanced approach at the FPA theory market.
The course is expected to be structured according the following headings:
- FPA – what is it about
- Realist approaches
- Neoclassical realist approaches
- Liberal approaches
- Constructivist approaches
- Case Study I: Foreign Policy of Maximizing Security/Power
- Case Study II: Foreign Policy of Democracy Promotion
- Case Study III: Foreign Policy of Collective Identity Formation
- Case Study IV: The Return of Geopolitics and Irredentism
- Case Study V: The foreign policies of revisionist states
- Case Study VI: The foreign policies of emerging/rising powers
Case Study VII: The Road Ahead: Neoclassical Realism – a Water’s Edge?Conclusion
This course enhances the student’s ability to
understand what Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is about
to distinguish between different theoretical approaches to analyze foreign policy, and thereby deepen knowledge about FPA
to use theoretical approaches in order to analyze the foreign policies of particular states
to understand the foreign policies of particular states
The course is a good starting point to deepen FPA and IR theories, and it is relevant to students who aim a career in, for example, diplomacy, the government, or public administration in the country or in the EU.
Knowledge, skills and competences
Students will obtain concrete knowledge on IR and FPA theories and case studies
Students will learn to distinguish between different theoretical approaches in IR/FPA
Students will be able to use theories in order to analyze specific cases of foreign policies of different states
Students will be able to evaluate different theories (pitfalls/shortcomings and opportunities)
Students will get an introduction and overview on FPA, and deepen competences in IR
(theoretical approaches of FPA; an extensive list of further literature on case studies will be available at the start of the course)
Baumann, Rainer/Rittberger, Volker/Wagner, Wolfgang 2001: Neorealist Foreign Policy Theory, in: Rittberger, Volker (ed.), German Foreign Policy since Unification: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Continuity and Change. Manchester: University Press, 37–67.
Boekle, Henning/Rittberger, Volker/Wagner, Wolfgang 2001: Constructivist foreign policy theory, in: Rittberger, Volker (ed.), German Foreign Policy since Unification: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Continuity and Change. Manchester: University Press, 105-
Doyle, Michael W. 2008: Liberalism and Foreign Policy, in: Smith, S./Hadfield, A./Dunne, T. (eds.), Foreign Policy. Theories, Actors, Cases. Oxford: University Press, 49-70
Elman, Colin 1996: Cause, Effect and Consistency. A Response to Kenneth Waltz, in: Security Studies 6: 1; 58-61
Holsti, Ole R. 1995: Theories of International Relations and Foreign Policy: Realism and Its Challengers, in: Kegley, C. W. (ed.), Controversies in International Relations Theory: Realism and the Neoliberal Challenge. New York: St Martin’s Press, 35-65.
Houghton, David P. 2007: Reinvigorating the Study of Foreign Policy Decision Making: Toward a Constructivist Approach, in: Foreign Policy Analysis 3, 24-45.
Kantner, Cathleen 2006): Collective Identity as a Shared Ethical Self-Understanding. The Case of the Emerging European Identity, European Journal of Social Theory 4: 501–23.
Kunz, Barbara/Saltzman, Ilai 2012: External and domestic determinants of state behaviour, in: Toje, A./Kunz, B. (eds.), Neoclassical Realism in Europe: Bringing Power Back In. Manchester: University Press, 96-116.
Lobell, Steven E./Ripsman, Norrin M./Taliaferro, Jeffrey W. (eds.) 2009: Neoclassical Realism, The State, and Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mouritzen, Hans/Wivel, Anders 2007: Constellation Theory, in: Mouritzen. H./Wivel, A. (eds.), The Geopolitics of Euro-Atlantic Integration. London: Routledge, 15-43.
Mouritzen, Hans/Wivel, Anders 2012: Explaining Foreign policy, in: Explaining Foreign Policy. International Diplomacy and the Russo-Georgian War. Boulder/Col./London: Lynne Rienner, 1-18.
Müller, Harald/Risse-Kappen, Thomas 1993: From the Outside In and From the Inside Out: International Relations, Domestic Politics, and Foreign Policy, in: Skidmore, D./Hudson, V. M. (eds.), The Limits of State Autonomy: Societal Groups and Foreign Policy Formulation. Boulder: Westview Press, 24–48.
Reichwein, Alexander 2015: Realism and European Foreign Policy: Promises and Shortcomings, in: Jorgensen, K.E./Aatstad, A.K./Dieskens, E./Laatikainen, K./Tonra, B. (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy Vol. 1, 99-120.
Reichwein, Alexander 2012: The tradition of neoclassical realism, in: Toje, A./Kunz, B. (eds.), Neoclassical Realism in Europe: Bringing Power Back In. Manchester: University Press, 30-60.
Ripsman, Norrin M. 2009: Neoclassical realism and domestic interest groups, in: Lobell, S. E./Ripsman, N. M./Taliaferro, J. W. (eds.), Neoclassical Realism, The State, and Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 170-193.
Risse-Kappen, Thomas 1995: Democratic Peace - Warlike Democracies? A Social Constructivist Interpretation of the Liberal Argument, in: European Journal of International Relations 1: 4, 491-517.
Rose, Gideon 1998: Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy, in: World Politics 51: 1, 144-172.
Smith, Steve/Hadfield, Amanda/Dunne, Timothy (eds.) 2008: Foreign Policy. Theories, Actors, Cases. Oxford: University Press.
Toje, Asle/Kunz, Barbara (eds.) 2012: Neoclassical Realism in Europe: Bringing Power Back In. Manchester: University Press.
Tonra, Ben 2003: Constructing the Common Foreign and Security Policy: The the Utility of a Cognitive Approach, Journal of Common Market Studies 4: 731–56.
Walt, Stephjen S. 1998: International Relations: One World, Many Theories, in: Foreign Policy, No. 110, 29-46.
Waltz, Kenneth N. 1996: International Politics is Not Foreign Policy, in: Security Studies 6: 1, 52-55.
Wivel, Anders 2005: Explaining why state X made a certain move last Tuesday: then promise and limitations of realist foreign policy analysis, in: Journal of International Relations and Development 8: 4, 355–380.
Wohlforth, William C. 2008: Realism and foreign policy, in: Smith, S./Hadfield, A./Dunne, T. (eds.) Foreign Policy. Theories, Actors, Cases. Oxford: University Press, 31-48.
- an interest in international politics, IR theories, and FPA theories
- a basic knowledge of IR theories (BA level)
- an interest in contemporary international politics, e.g. German foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, U.S. foreign policy, or the foreign policies of revisionist states (North-Korea, Iran) and new emerging/rising powers (such as China, India, Russia).
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignmentIndividuel written assignment
- Marking scale
- passed/not passed
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
- Class Instruction