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Regular version of the site

Foreign Policy Analysis

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
4 year, 1, 2 module


Агафонов Юрий Геннадьевич

Course Syllabus


Why and how particular foreign policy decision was made? Why did it produce a failure or bring an unexpectable success? Interactive course Foreign Policy Analysis both overviews different approaches to the foreign policy analysis and implies the application of approaches to the analysis of the real cases of foreign policy decision making. We will consider different topics and theoretical approaches to foreign policy analysis, including the role of bureaucracy, public opinion and emotions, as well as constructivist and rational-choice explanations of foreign policy decision making, the phenomenon of groupthink and concept of the two-level game.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main goal of this course is to introduce students to basics of foreign policy analysis
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to do research, including the problem analysis, setting goals and objectives, defining the research subject, selecting research methods including its quality control
  • Able to solve professional problems based on synthesis and analysis
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: - in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); - and depending on the target audience
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes - by using political science methods - and in support of practical decision-making process
  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Foreign Policy Analysis vs. Theories of International Relations
  • Foreign Policy: What Is It and How to Assess It?
  • Rational Actor Model of the Foreign Policy
  • Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Organizational Model of Foreign Policy
  • Foreign Policy as a Two-Level Game
  • Psychological Theories of Foreign Policy. Groupthink
  • Foreign Policy and Public Opinion
  • Operational Codes and Foreign Policy
  • Emotions and Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Constructivist Approaches to the Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Event Data in Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Perspectives of the Foreign Policy Analysis
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class Participation
    Seminars evaluate students’ progress and ability to critically assess the readings. The component is calculated as an average grade achieved on the seminars
  • non-blocking Team Work
    Several seminars are designed to allow students to analyze cases of foreign policy decision-making in teams applying the approaches discussed in lectures and seminars. The component is calculated as an average grade for all team work events
  • non-blocking Essay
    Each student or group of students (no more than 4) is supposed to write a mid-term essay. The deadline for the mid-term essay will be announced on first classes. The mid-term essay is the first stage of work on the final essay.
  • non-blocking Exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.2 * Essay + 0.3 * Exam + 0.3 * In-class Participation + 0.2 * Team Work


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Alex Mintz. (2004). How Do Leaders Make Decisions? Journal of Conflict Resolution, (1), 3. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.jocore.v48y2004i1p3.13
  • Beasley, R. K., & Kaarbo, J. (2014). Explaining Extremity in the Foreign Policies of Parliamentary Democracies. International Studies Quarterly, 58(4), 729–740. https://doi.org/10.1111/isqu.12164
  • Carlsnaes, W. (1992). The agency-structure problem in foreign policy analysis. International Studies Quarterly, 36(3), 245. https://doi.org/10.2307/2600772
  • Chien-Peng Chung. (2007). Resolving China’s Island Disputes: A Two-Level Game Analysis. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 12(1), 49–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-007-9001-7
  • Functionality in EU foreign policy: towards a new research agenda? (2010). Journal of European Integration, 32(2), 213–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/07036330903486045
  • Hudson, V. M., & Vore, C. S. (1995). Foreign policy analysis yesterday, today, and tomorrow. International Studies Quarterly, 39(3), 209. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=9601194480
  • Joshua D. Kertzer, & Thomas Zeitzoff. (2017). A Bottom‐Up Theory of Public Opinion about Foreign Policy. American Journal of Political Science, (3), 543. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12314
  • Kevin H. Wang. (1996). Presidential Responses to Foreign Policy Crises. Journal of Conflict Resolution, (1), 68. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.jocore.v40y1996i1p68.97
  • Kuperman, R. D. (2001). Rules of military retaliation and their practice by the State of Israel. International Interactions, 27(3), 297–326. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050620108434987
  • Lebovic, J. H. (2004). Unity in action : explaining alignment behavior in the Middle East. Journal of Peace Research, 41(2), 167–189. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343304041778
  • Noone, H. (2019). Two-Level Games and the Policy Process: Assessing Domestic–Foreign Policy Linkage Theory. World Affairs, 182(2), 165–186. https://doi.org/10.1177/0043820019839074
  • Qingmin, Z. (2016). Bureaucratic Politics and Chinese Foreign Policy-making. Chinese Journal of International Politics, 9(4), 435–458. https://doi.org/10.1093/cjip/pow007
  • Stuart N. Soroka. (n.d.). ARTICLE Media, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.9F83003B
  • Whyte, G. (1989). Groupthink Reconsidered. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), 40–56. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMR.1989.4279001

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Hudson, V. M. (2005). Foreign Policy Analysis: Actor-Specific Theory and the Ground of International Relations. Foreign Policy Analysis, 1(1), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-8594.2005.00001.x
  • Marsh, K. (2014). Obama’s Surge: A Bureaucratic Politics Analysis of the Decision to Order a Troop Surge in the Afghanistan War. Foreign Policy Analysis, 10(3), 265–288. https://doi.org/10.1111/fpa.12000
  • Morin, J.-F., & Paquin, J. (2018). Foreign Policy Analysis : A Toolbox. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1672782
  • Redlawsk, D. P., & Palgrave Connect (Online service). (2006). Feeling Politics : Emotion in Political Information Processing (Vol. 1st ed). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=188749
  • Rothschild, J. E., & Shafranek, R. M. (2017). Advances and Opportunities in the Study of Political Communication, Foreign Policy, and Public Opinion. Political Communication, 34(4), 634–643. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2017.1373004
  • Sula, I. E. (2019). An Eclectic Methodological Approach in Analyzing Foreign Policy: Turkey’s Foreign Policy Roles and Events Dataset (TFPRED). All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy & Peace, 8(2), 255–283. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=137302378
  • Sylvan, D., & Majeski, S. (2006). Reviving the Cybernetic Approach to Foreign Policy Analysis: Explaining the Continuity of U.S. Policy Instruments. Conference Papers —— International Studies Association, 1–20. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=27206859