This course examines leading theoretical approaches to the study of foreign policy and their application to a variety of states and issue areas. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts necessary to address the fundamental question of comparative foreign policy: why do states behave the way they do in international affairs?
Throughout the course we will explore some of the key debates in foreign policy analysis. Do differences in the characteristics of states (large versus small, democratic versus authoritarian, industrialized versus developing) lead to differences in their foreign policies? Or are the important differences not between countries but within them according to issue areas, for example security versus human rights policy? Through discussion board activities and individual essay assignments, students will have an opportunity to evaluate these debates for themselves using a series of case studies.
In addition to providing students with substantive knowledge of foreign policy, this class also aims to hone student’s analytical and written communication skills. The ability to analyze unfolding international events from a variety of perspectives is a critical skill when attempting to understand why foreign leaders adopted a certain course of action and how other states should respond. Strong communication skills are critical not only in the field of diplomacy, but also to all post-Seton Hall professional endeavors. Writing helps students improve their ability to relate evidence to argument and to persuade others of your interpretation of an issue, a critical negotiation skill. The various writing assignments required in this course will allow students to hone this skill.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate substantive knowledge of foreign policy
- Analyze unfolding international events from a variety of perspectives
- Communicate clearly using both written and oral modes
- Relate evidence to argument
- Persuade others of an interpretation of an issue
Murphy, Ann Marie, "Comparative Foreign Policy" (2018). Diplomacy Syllabi. 156.