Foreign policy

Foreign policy

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A country
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interest
National interest
The national interest, often referred to by the French expression raison d'État , is a country's goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the foundation of the realist...

s are paramount, foreign policies are designed by the government through high-level decision making processes. National interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 and the foreign minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 (or equivalent). In some countries the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 also has considerable oversight.

International relations theory


The sub-discipline that specializes in relations is known as foreign policy analysis
Foreign policy analysis
Foreign policy analysis is a branch of political science dealing with theory development and empirical study regarding the processes and outcomes of foreign policy....

 (FPA). FPA contributes to overall communication between nations.
A country's foreign policy, called the international relations policy, consists of strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals in international relations. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interests are paramount, foreign policies are designed by the government through high-level decision making processes. National interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government and the foreign minister (or equivalent). In some countries the legislature also has considerable oversight.

History of Foreign Policy


Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, described human as a social animal. Therefore, friendships and relations have existed between humans since the beginning of human creation. As the organization developed in human affairs, relations between people also organized. Foreign policy thus goes back to primitive times. The inception in human affairs of foreign relations and the need for foreign policy to deal with them is as old as the organization of human life in groups.

The literature from ancient times, the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, the Homeric poems, the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, and many others show an accumulation of experience in dealing with foreigners. The ancient writings (Chinese & Indian) give much evidence of thought concerned with the management of relations between peoples.

Post-Renaissance medieval period


In medieval Europe, political philosophers like Machiavelli, Bodin, Grotious, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Hume and Rousseau underlined the need for rules to regulate the interaction among emerging sovereign nation states.
In the 18th and 19th centuries Kant, Bentham, Fichte, Hegel, Rank and Mill’s political theories also had a bearing on relations between European states. At that formative stage, however, the concept of international relations remained an appendage of the general political theory rather than a distinct subject for study in its own right.
In those times foreign relations were not supposed to be for public consumption.

Twentieth century


The global wars were fought three times in this century. Consequently, international relations became a public concern as well as an important field of study and research.
After the Second World War, during 1960’s many researchers in U.S. particular, and from other countries in common, brought forth a wealth of research work and theory. This work was done for international relations and not for foreign policy as such. Gradually, various theories began to grow around the international relations, international systems and international politics but the need for a theory of foreign policy, that is the starting point in each sovereign state, continued to receive negligible attention. The reason was that the states used to keep their foreign policies under official secrecy and it was not considered appropriate for public, as it is considered today, to know about these policies. This iron-bound secrecy is an essential part for the framework of foreign policy formulation.
The second world war and its devastation was a great threat for the human survival, revealed to everyone the importance of international relations. Though foreign policy continued to remain under-cover, academic work placed international relations in a structured framework of political science. Graduate and Post-graduate courses developed. Research was encouraged, and gradually, international relations became an academic discipline in universities throughout the world.

The writers who worked with the foreign policy can be divided in two groups:
1. World war writers who treat international politics and foreign policy as an indifferent, single field of study. Who recognize foreign policy as a source rather than the substance of international politics and bring it under study as a subject.
2. The second group restricts its work to foreign policy making.

The works of second group comes closer to the theory of foreign policy but there is no attempt to formulate a basic theory of foreign policy. Morgenthao’s works on principle elements of foreign policy seem to have covered the most ground.

Need for a general theory of foreign policy


McGowan and Shapiro, in their work on comparative study of foreign policy of different countries, felt that the lack of a basic theory of foreign policy was particularly disabling, and pointed out the harmful effect of the absence of a general theory of foreign policy on the foreign policy literature.

The most fundamental question that arises here is: why do we lack theories of foreign policy? Or why do we need general theory of foreign policy?

The absence of a general theory in this field leads to some serious consequences. Without theory:
• We cannot explain the relationships we discover, we can make predictions only about the foreign policy behavior.
• We will have to depend on luck and educative guesses to come up with worthwhile research hypothesis.
• Research will become an ad-hoc or unplanned research, with no justification provided for the selection of cases, no system and no consistency.
• A field without theory is hardly an area of disciplined scientific inquiry.
• A diplomat will likely to have a more complex estimate or knowledge of other governments. His estimate, however, will certainly be simplistic and heavily influenced by his own perceptual blinders, leading him to faulty policy judgments.
The need of a theoretical framework of foreign policy is needed to analyze the day-to-day interactions in international relations and to compare individual foreign policies. Furthermore, the need for a theoretical framework for the analysis of foreign policy is not only academic. It is also political because of the increasing degree of interdependence and collective global interests.

The vast record of empirical data and research is given academic attention to fit it into the framework of a general theory of foreign policy.
The second group of writers has made contributions in its development in many ways:
• Collation of systematic empirical studies with a view to articulating general pro-positions pertaining to state behavior.
• Analysis of foreign policy making with an emphasis on the process itself and the determinants that influence foreign policy.
• Development of scientific approaches to and model for foreign policy analysis such as the rational actor, model, domestic, public model etc.
• Studies undertaken to prepare world order models.

Grand Strategy



The grand strategy of a state prescribes how a nation should wield its military instrument to realize its foreign policy goals. As a result, it is a primary component of a state's foreign policy and particularly, its ability to reach the goals of that policy. For example, President Clinton's grand strategy of 'Engagement and Enlargement' had the United States pursue national security by engaging other states by enlarging its alliances and international organizations like NATO.

See also


  • Common Security and Defence Policy (Europe)
  • Defence Diplomacy
    Defence diplomacy
    In international politics, defence diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives through the peaceful employment of defence resources and capabilities.-Origin of the Concept:...

  • Foreign relations of Afghanistan
    Foreign relations of Afghanistan
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  • Foreign relations of Argentina
    Foreign relations of Argentina
    This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Argentina.At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, also known as the Cancillería, which answers to the President...

  • Foreign relations of Australia
    Foreign relations of Australia
    The foreign relations of Australia have spanned from the country's time as Dominion and later Realm of the Commonwealth to become steadfastly allied with New Zealand through long-standing ANZAC ties dating back to the early 1900s, and the United States throughout the Cold War, to its engagement...

  • Foreign relations of Barbados
    Foreign relations of Barbados
    This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Barbados.At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answers to the Prime Minister. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, since November 2008 is:...

  • Foreign relations of Canada
    Foreign relations of Canada
    The foreign relations of Canada are Canada's relations with other governments and peoples. Canada's most important relationship, being the largest trading relationship in the world, is with the United States...

  • Foreign relations of Cuba
    Foreign relations of Cuba
    Cuba's once-ambitious foreign policy has been down sized as a result of economic hardship after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Without massive Soviet subsidies and its primary trading partner Cuba was comparatively isolated in the 1990s, but has since entered bilateral co-operation with several...

  • Foreign relations of Czech Republic
  • Foreign relations of Finland
    Foreign relations of Finland
    The foreign relations of Finland are the responsibility of President of Finland, who leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government. Implicitly the government is responsible for internal policy and decision making in the European Union...

  • Foreign relations of Greece
    Foreign relations of Greece
    Prominent issues in Greek foreign policy include the enduring dispute over Cyprus and differences with Turkey over the Aegean, the dispute over the name of the Republic of Macedonia , and relations with the United States.-Overview:Greece has diplomatic relations with almost all the...

  • Foreign relations of India
    Foreign relations of India
    India has formal diplomatic relations with most nations, as the world's second most populous country and the world's most-populous democracy and recently has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world...

  • Foreign relations of Israel
    Foreign relations of Israel
    The foreign relations of Israel refers to diplomatic relations and international agreements between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on May 11, 1949. Israel has diplomatic relations with 157 states...

  • Foreign relations of New Zealand
    Foreign relations of New Zealand
    The foreign relations of New Zealand are oriented chiefly toward developed democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies. The country’s major political parties have generally agreed on the broad outlines of foreign policy, and the current coalition government has been active in promoting free...

  • Foreign relations of Nigeria
    Foreign relations of Nigeria
    Since independence, with Jaja Wachuku as the first Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, later called External Affairs, Nigerian foreign policy has been characterized by a focus on Africa as a Regional power and by attachment to several fundamental principles: African unity and...

  • Foreign relations of Pakistan
    Foreign relations of Pakistan
    Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population , and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role....

  • Foreign relations of South Africa
    Foreign relations of South Africa
    The foreign relations of South Africa have spanned from the country's time as Dominion and later Realm of the British Empire to its isolationist policies under Apartheid to its position as a responsible international actor taking a key role in Africa....

  • Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
    Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
    The foreign relations of the People's Republic of China guides the way in which it interacts with foreign nations. As a great power and emerging superpower, China's foreign policy and strategic thinking is highly influential. China officially states it "unswervingly pursues an independent foreign...

  • Foreign relations of United Kingdom
  • Foreign relations of United States
  • Foreign relations of Venezuela
    Foreign relations of Venezuela
    The foreign relations of Venezuela have since the early twentieth century been particularly strong with the United States. However with the election of Hugo Chávez as President of Venezuela in 1998, the foreign policy of the Hugo Chávez government has differed substantially from that of previous...

  • NATO