Foreign Policy Analysis and Management - PO563

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) DR R Biegon checkmark-circle


This module examines the complex relationship between foreign policy analysis and foreign policy practice. It does so by exploring shifting approaches to making and examing foreign policy, including the contributions of IR theory to Foreign Policy Analysis. Historical antecedents of foreign policy as a practice are examined via observations of traditional bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, followed by traditional state-based actors, non-state actors, and the nature of the structure they inhabit. FP decision-making is then examined, followed by the process of foreign policy implementation. The issue of motivation is tackled through analyses of the largely domestic impact of culture, interests and identity and broader effect of intra-state norms, ethics, the issue of human rights. Case studies of key countries reinforce the practical implications of above-mentioned issues throughout the module.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

11 lectures and 11 seminars

Method of assessment

50% coursework (3000 word essay), 50% exam (2hr)

Indicative reading

S. Smith, A. Hadfield, T. Dunne, (eds.) Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases, Oxford University Press, 2008.
C. Hill, The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
M. Webber and M. Smith, Foreign Policy in a Transformed World, Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, 2002.
P. Sharp, Diplomatic Theory of International Relations, Cambridge, CUP, 2009.
M. Breuning, Foreign Policy Analysis. A Comparative Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
S.Walker, A. Malici, and M. Schafer, Rethinking Foreign Policy Analysis, Routledge, 2011.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will:
- have gained a sound knowledge and understanding of the principal aspects of foreign policy as a mechanism of the international structure and foreign policy analysis as a subject area integrated into International Relations.
- be familiar with the constituents of the foreign policy system: actors, the system (internal and external) and the complex series of motivational factors that lead to foreign policy implementation.
- be able to trace the historical antecedents of foreign policy through the development of forms of diplomacy.
- be familiar with the theories of IR that have augmented foreign policy theory and the variations of foreign policy analysis itself.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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