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Following a levels-of-analysis organization, the author considers the many elements that influence foreign policy. Topics include realist theories on rational actors and the pursuit of national interests; studies of leaders' cognition, beliefs and learning; the relationships between leaders and autonomous governmental groups that influence foreign policy making; the shaping influence of national self-image and culture on government institutions and policies; the so-called democratic peace and how democratization may lead to war; the impact of domestic political debates and political opposition on foreign policy choices; the controversial roles of public opinion and the media; how great powers are expected to behave in foreign affairs and how non-great powers may find openings for foreign policy independence; and the impact of non-state actors on the foreign policies of states.
Posted April 10, 2010
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