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The Essence of Foreign Policy Analysis (II): Exploiting Political Theory at Multiple Levels of Analyses to Explain Foreign Policy-Making Processes and Outcomes

  • Gunnar FermannEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is a decision making, multi-level, theory-borrowing and theory-translating approach to the study of foreign policy-making that is applicable to research on coalition participation. FPA invites middle-range theory from the level of governmental politics, the individual policy-maker, domestic politics, and the level of global politics to explain foreign policy-making processes and outcomes. Bodies of literature from Political Science (and beyond) are reviewed to demonstrate the broad range of theory available for study of foreign policy-making processes, and thus prepare for theorizing on the foreign politics of caveats. To illustrate directions of the several lines of theoretical reasoning, Rufus Miles’ Law—“where you stand, depends on where you sit”—is rephrased in multiple ways: Where you stand, depends on what contingency you have planned for. Where you stand, depends on who you are. Where you stand, depends on how your mind works. Where you stand, depends on the preferences of your domestic constituency. Where you stand, depends on whom you need to convince. Where you stand, depends on who is asking. Where you stand, depends on your transboundary interests and prospects.

Keywords

Foreign policy analysis Levels of analysis Global politics, governmental politics Domestic politics, level of the policy-maker Rephrasing rufus miles’ law Parsimony Translating theory 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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