Diplomatic StudiesInternational studiesPolitical studies

An overview of approaches to the study of foreign policy

Authors: Sofiane Sekhri


The major purpose of this paper is to assess the various approaches to the study of foreign policy. In order to reach this academic endeavour, the paper defines foreign policy, it presents its main characteristics, and it discusses and reviews ten theoretical perspectives in the field of foreign policy analysis. The theoretical framework subject to evaluation comprises the Realist Paradigm, the Pluralist School, Decision-Making Approach, Roseneau’s Pre-Theory, Bureaucratic Politics Approach, the Cognitive and Psychological Approach, the Domestic Politics Approach, Discourse Analysis Approach, Social Constructivism School and Structuralism.

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