Advertisement

The Epistemological Function of Foreign Policy Analysis in the Empirical Research Program

  • Gunnar FermannEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The distinction Imre Lakatos make between “hard core” and “auxiliary hypotheses” is used as a heuristic device to explain the epistemological function of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) in the empirical research program. The approach of FPA constitutes the “hard core” of the research program in that it gives direction to the choice of bodies of middle-range theory and methods for empirical research. However, FPA lacks the precise ontological assumptions about system structure, agency, and relationship between actors necessary for the deduction of hypotheses on the explanation of caveats. For this purpose, FPA requires the support of relevant middle-range theories, so-called “auxiliary hypotheses,” at several levels of analyses. This line of reasoning is an answer to James N. Rosenau’s objection that FPA is merely a “pre-theory.” Even if FPA only qualifies as a “pre-theory,” such an approach still constitutes a cohesive analytical kick-off plank for the further theorizing on the politics of caveats.

Keywords

Analytical framework Scientific research program Imre lakatos “hard core” of ontological assumptions “protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses” Middle-range theory Foreign policy analysis “pre-theory” 

References

  1. Allison, G., & Zelikow, P. (1999). Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  2. Black, M. (1962). Models and Metaphors. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  3. Caldwell, B. J. (1991). The Methodology of Scientific Research Programs in Economics. Criticisms and Conjectures. In G. K. Shaw (Ed.), Economics, Culture, and Education. Essays in Honour of Mark Blaug (pp. 95–107). London: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  4. Fermann, G. (Ed.). (2013). Utenrikspolitikk og norsk krisehåndtering. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademika.Google Scholar
  5. Feyerabend, P. (1975). Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge. Westwood, MA: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  6. Galtung, J. (1971). A Structural Theory of Imperialism. Journal of Peace Research, 8(2), 81–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gerner, D. (1992). Foreign Policy Analysis. Exhilarating Eclecticism, Intriguing Enigmas. International Studies Notes, 18(4), 4–19.Google Scholar
  8. Hill, C. (2003). The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Hudson, V. M. (2005). Foreign Policy Analysis. Actor-Specific Theory and the Ground of International Relations. Foreign Policy Analysis, 1(1), 1–30.Google Scholar
  10. Jones, J. L. (2004, May 7–10). Prague to Istanbul: Ambition Versus Reality. Global Security: A Broader Concept for the 21st Century. Center for Strategic Decision Research 21st International Workshop on Global Security, Berlin. http://csdr.org/2004book/Gen_Jones.htm.
  11. Kuhn, T. S. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Lakatos, I. (1978). The Methodology of Scientific Research Program. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mearsheimer, J. J., & Walt, S. M. (2013). Leaving Theory Behind: Why Simplistic Hypotheses Testing Is Bad for International Relations. European Journal of International Relations, 19(3), 427–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moravcsik, A. (1997). Taking Preferences Seriously. A Liberal Theory of International Politics. International Organization, 51(4): 513–553.Google Scholar
  15. Neack, L. (2013). The New Foreign Policy. Complex Interactions, Competing Interests. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  16. Popper, K. (2008 [1963]). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Putnam, R. (1988). Diplomacy and Domestic Politics. The Logic of Two-Level Games. International Organization, 42(4): 427–460.Google Scholar
  18. Rosenau, J. M. (1966). Pre-theories and Theories of Foreign Policy. In R. B. Farrell (Ed.), Approaches to Comparative and International Politics (pp. 27–92). Evanston: North-Western University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Schoppa, L. J. (1993). Two-Level Games and Bargaining Outcomes. International Organization, 47(3), 353–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tsebelis, G. (1991). Nested Games. Rational Choice in Comparative Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  21. Van den Bergh, G. v. B. (1972). Theory or Taxonomy? Journal of Peace Research, 9(1), 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Waltz, K. N. (1996). International Politics Is Not Foreign Policy. Security Studies, 6(1), 54–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

Personalised recommendations