The Politics of Foreign Policy (L2090)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

Who acts in international relations, and why? All too often, in international relations theory the answer seems to be states, or other collective actors, with their interactions determined by the logic of broad systemic forces. However, this leaves out that actors may have choices and how they arrive at such choices.

The module draws on:

  • classical and critical literature in foreign policy analysis to explore the broad tension between agency and structure (domestic and international) in international politics
  • how decision-making in international politics may be less than rational, for a variety of reasons
  • how lobby groups and perhaps public opinion may influence foreign policy
  • whether foreign policy still matters in an age of globalisation
  • contemporary foreign policies of selected states.

Teaching

50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar

Assessment

20%: Coursework (Presentation)
80%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Courses

This module is offered on the following courses: