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Foreign Policy Analysis: Origins (1954–93) and Contestations

Valerie M. Hudson

Subject International Studies » Foreign Policy Analysis

Key-Topics agency, decision making

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444336597.2010.x


Comment on this article   While it is generally recognized that Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) is a subfield of International Relations (IR), several points of contestation follow hard on the heels of that recognition. Some view FPA as more of an alternative to contemporary IR than a subsidiary of it. Others contest the boundaries of the subfield: For example, are the insights of neorealism part of the toolkit of a foreign policy analyst, or exogenous to it? Still other contestations may involve definitions of the field itself, for what FPA means to, say, scholars in the United Kingdom may be significantly different from what it means to those in the United States, or how Realists view FPA may not be the same as how Constructivists see it. To tread into this contested territory is thus a perilous task. When I was younger, the task seemed much more straightforward to me than it does now. But with the passing over the last decade of some of the giants of FPA, such as Alexander George, Harold Guetzkow, and Hayward Alker, it seems appropriate to contemplate that those that helped to create this subfield and make it what it is today are no longer with us. What FPA may now become in their absence is a question worth pondering. In addition, new academic approaches, such as neuroscience, may take the field in very different directions than the paths taken previously. My own standpoint ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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