You will be able to outline the main approaches to foreign policy and the classic contributions to the subfield, as well as describe the relevant contributions from conflict studies, political psychology and historical sociology.
You will improve in your abilityto think critically and rigorously about thereasons why certain foreign policies are pursued over others in world politics.You will be able to explain the significance of the levels of analysis problem for the study of international relations and the social sciences more generally.
You will be able to give an account of how structural factors within the international system shape foreign policy, what scholars mean by system and structure, and why scholars disagree about the nature of the international system.You will be able to explain how ''second image'' factors such as the internal organisation of the state, competition between government bureaucracies and domestic politics may influence foreign policy.
You will be able to explain how a foreign policy decision such as the initiation of war can be explained at different levels of analysis, such as the system, the dyad and/or the individual.
You will be able to locate reliable sources of information about events in world politics, and to utilise these information sources to write a cogent analysis of an event in world politics or a foreign policy decision - applying a theoretical framework to an empirical topic.
You will be able to explain what the agent-structure debate is and why it is analytically, morally and politically significant for how we think about the choices available to actors in world politics.
You will be able to explain how scholars combine causal mechanisms from multiple levels of analysis into theoretical explanations of foreign policy decisions and patterns of activity in international relations. You will be able to evaluate how successful these theories are in revealing the sources of foreign policy.