Foreign Policy Analysis in Comparative Perspective

Module code: L2098
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Dissertation

This module provides you with the analytical skills to critically investigate the foreign policies of different countries in Europe and beyond. The first part of the module will introduce the academic field of foreign policy analysis and familiarise you with its most important methods and theories. Specifically, the module will cover theoretical approaches on the international, state and individual level of analysis. It will unpack the process of foreign policy decision-making in order to identify the most significant actors and influences on different types of foreign policy decisions. The second part of the module will explore key issues in foreign policy analysis. We will compare and contrast the foreign policies of different countries and discuss variations in the foreign policy outlook of small, middle and great powers. We will also look into some of the most pressing topics on the current foreign policy agenda in different issue areas such as military interventions, the fight against terrorism and the foreign policy implications of globalisation or the protection of human rights. In discussing these topics particular emphasis will be placed on theory-guided analysis. While the module has a regional focus on the foreign policies of selected European countries we will also cover issues related to the foreign policies of the US and the rising powers.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify a topic suitable for research relating to the topic of foreign policy analysis based on a critical understanding of the relevant literature
  • Plan and carry out a research project using ideas and techniques from Politics related to foreign policy analysis with a clear line of argument and solid empirical support
  • Locate and evaluate a range of sources suitable for a topic on foreign policy analysis
  • Make use of constructive feedback on the development of their ideas in the implementation of a research topic related to foreign policy analysis