Analysing Foreign Policy in a Context of Global Governance

  • Stephan Keukeleire
  • Simon Schunz
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations Series book series (PSIR)


As analysts of real-world politics, political scientists reflect upon the changing nature of a social reality that is in quasi-constant flux. Since processes of ‘political transformation inevitably call […] into question the available concepts and categories through which that transformation can be understood’, this scholarly activity has to involve a regular dose of self-reflexivity about the objects and tools of the discipline (Kelstrup and Williams, 2000, 3). At times, adjustments aimed at reflecting the evolving social world occur quickly. Often, however, the theoretical and conceptual toolkits of the discipline lag behind evident modifications in the objects they intend to scrutinize. A case in point is the debate about whether, in an era of globalization and global governance, ‘foreign policy remains a key site of agency in international relations, or whether it is being steadily emptied of content’ (Hill, 2003, 16). Where foreign policy as a social practice is quite apparently being transformed by a rapidly evolving global political context, the analytical frameworks used to investigate it have tended to remain rather statist, static and under the influence of broad assumptions derived primarily from rational choice based, systemic International Relations (IR) theories (Alden and Aran, 2012). With this contribution, we intend to propose some novel paths for analysing foreign policy by investigating how it is impacted by — and needs to be investigated under conditions of — global governance.


Foreign Policy United Nations Global Governance World Politics International Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Stephan Keukeleire and Simon Schunz 2015

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  • Stephan Keukeleire
  • Simon Schunz

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