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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2017/2018

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Foreign Policy Analysis (PGSP11300)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the literature, research topics, and current issues in the area of foreign policy analysis -- an identifiable subfield within the study of international relations in political science. Research in this area is designed to answer the question: Why do states do what they do in international politics? The course is organized in a basic "levels of analysis" framework that roughly corresponds to the historical development of the study of foreign policy analysis. Particular attention will be paid to current decision making approaches to foreign policy. The emphasis in the course is on theories of foreign policy, although students will also be exposed to the substance/content of the foreign policies of various countries.
Course description This course covers the literature, research topics, and current issues in the area of foreign policy analysis -- an identifiable subfield within the study of international relations. Research in this area is designed to answer the question: Why do states do what they do in international politics? The course is organized in a basic "levels of analysis" framework that roughly corresponds to the historical development of the study of foreign policy analysis ┐ from outside, ┐external┐ approaches associated with general international relations theories, to societal sources of culture and public opinion, to government organization and elite decision-making. Particular attention will be paid to decision-making, especially psychological, approaches to foreign policy. The emphasis in the course is on theories of foreign policy, although students will also be exposed to the substance/content of the foreign policies of various countries.

Week 1 What is Foreign Policy? What is Foreign Policy Analysis?
Week 2 External Influences on Foreign Policy
Week 3 Societal Sources of Foreign Policy: Culture, Identity, & Discourse
Week 4 Societal Sources of Foreign Policy: Public Opinion & the Media
Week 5 The Role of Government Structures and Political Opposition in Foreign Policy
Week 6 Organizational & Psychological Processes in Foreign Policy Making
Week 7 The Role of Personality in Foreign Policy Decision Making
Week 8 How Beliefs and Information Processing Shape Foreign Policy Decision Making
Week 9 Essay Preparation Week
Week 10 Small Group Dynamics in Foreign Policy Decision Making
Week 11 Multi-Level Frameworks and the Future of Foreign Policy Analysis

All participants will attend the two-hour seminar (for each of the ten weeks that the course meets). Lecture time will be minimal, although the topic will be introduced and and contextualised. The focus of the seminar will be in-depth discussion of the reading material. All students are expected to attend the course and take a full and active part in the seminar. The seminar is designed to be interactive and student contribution is vital. This course is not an exercise in passive learning ┐ if you do not read, prepare and contribute each week, the seminar will not be as useful or as enjoyable as it otherwise will be.
Overall, students will be required to: undertake critical, objective analysis of theoretical approaches to foreign policy analysis; critically assess methodological techniques and research design used in the empirical study of foreign policy; apply competing theoretical frameworks to understand important foreign policy choices made by actors in international politics; and practice skills important in academic and non-academic careers, including the evaluation of scholarly work and policy positions, construction of research questions and programs, and verbal and written articulation of theories and arguments.
From this course students should gain: a balanced and comprehensive appreciation of the study of foreign policy, with particular emphasis on current decision making and psychological approaches; a theoretical foundation with which to understand and explain the substance and process of foreign policy making across many states and in comparative perspective; an in-depth understanding of the major epistemological and methodological issues in the study of foreign policy; and an appreciation of the relationship between foreign policy analysis and the study of international relations and politics more generally.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a balanced and comprehensive appreciation of the study of foreign policy, with particular emphasis on current decision making and psychological approaches
  2. Have a theoretical foundation with which to understand and explain the substance and process of foreign policy making across many states and in comparative perspective
  3. Have an in-depth understanding of the major epistemological and methodological issues in the study of foreign policy
  4. Have an appreciation of the relationship between foreign policy analysis and the study of international relations and politics more generally.
Reading List
Hudson, Valerie (2005) "Foreign Policy Analysis: Actor-Specific Theory and the Ground of International Relations". Foreign Policy Analysis 1: 1-30.
Foyle, Douglas C., "Leading the Public to War? The Influence of American Public Opinion on the Bush Administration's Decision to Go to War in Iraq," International Journal of Public Opinion Research 16:269-294.
Hollis, M. and S. Smith (1986) "Roles and Reasons in Foreign Policy Decision Making". British Journal of Political Science 16: 269-286.
Levy, Jack S. (2003) "Political Psychology and Foreign Policy," in David Sears, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 253-284.
Michael D. Young and Mark Schafer, "Is there method in our madness? Ways of assessing cognition in international relations," Mershon International Studies Review, 1998, 63-96.
Hougton, David P. (2007) "Reinvigorating the Study of Foreign Policy Decision Making: Toward a Constructivist Approach," Foreign Policy Analysis 3:24-45.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserProf Juliet Kaarbo
Tel: (0131 6)50 4252
Email: J.Kaarbo@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMrs Gillian Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
Email: gillian.macdonald@ed.ac.uk
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