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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: POLM021 Module Title: FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POLM021
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DAVID M Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark
( %)

Essay (2000 words)


Formulation of a Case Study (2500 words)


Qualifying Condition(s) 

 A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.
Module Overview
The module seeks to demonstrate the continued relevance of Foreign Policy Analysis to understanding and explaining current global events. It situates FPA particularly within the wider discipline of International Relations but reveals it as sitting at the nexus of IR and Political Theory. A case study on Russia is used in order to help students understand how a general theoretical framework can be applied to a particular case. Russian foreign policy-making is discussed within the wider global context, with focus being placed particularly on relations with the wider Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the USA.
Module Aims
  • Introduce students to the key debates in foreign policy
  • Introduce the main approaches in FPA
  • Help students see the relevance of Political and International Relations theories to the study of foreign policy
  • Understand current challenges for foreign policy decision-makers
  • Develop deep understanding of Russian foreign policy in respect of the wider Europe, the CIS and the USA particularly.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have developed the skills to demonstrate the following:

Knowledge and understanding
  • A critical understanding of foreign policy analysis.
  • Knowledge of theoretical underpinnings in FPA
  • Understanding of the forces that shape foreign policy-making and the ability to critically evaluate their relative significance
  • The ability to formulate a case study, applying theoretical frameworks to empirical evidence.
  • Understanding of the specificities of the Russian situation.
Transferable and Practical Skills
  • Critical analysis
  • The ability to research independently and effectively
  • Good time-management and other organisational skills
  • Excellent communication skills – both oral and written
  • Reflective thinking – understanding of learning processes
Module Content


The module is divided into two parts. The first section focuses on the meta-debate in Foreign Policy Analysis and the identification of Two Generations therein. It considers the factors that must be considered in order to construct a framework for the analysis of foreign policy. Key literature is identified here in order to introduce students to significant debates in FPA, with particular focus being placed on the Change and Continuity debate. Consideration is also given to criticisms of FPA delivered in the aftermath of the revolutions in central and eastern Europe 1989-1991.





The second part delivers a Case Study of Russian Foreign Policy. Putnam’s two-level game theory is applied here, emphasising the formulation of foreign policy in both the domestic and international arenas. Particular emphasis is placed on ’s foreign policy in respect of Europe, the CIS and the .


Methods of Teaching/Learning
Lectures, seminars, independent study
Selected Texts/Journals

Carlsnaes, W, Sjursen, H & White, B (2004) Contemporary European Foreign Policy,  London: SAGE


Clarke, M & White, B (1989) Understanding Foreign Policy. The Foreign Policy Systems Approach, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar


Donaldson, R & Nogee, J (2002) The Foreign Policy of Russia, Armonk, NY & London: M E Sharpe


Hill, C (2003) The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy, Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave MacMillan


Lo, Bobo (2003) Vladimir Putin and the Evolution of Russian Foreign Policy Malden, MA, Oxford & Victoria, Australia: Blackwell


Smith, S, Hadfield, A, Dunne, T (2008) Foreign Policy. Theories, Actors, Cases,  Oxford University Press


Waller, M (2005) Russian Politics Today, Manchester: Manchester University Press


Webber, M & Smith, M (2002) Foreign Policy in a Transformed World, Harlow, Essex: Pearson


White, B (2001) Understanding European Foreign Policy, Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave

Last Updated
07/09/09 BS