Spring 2015 - 61045 - PA383G - Policy Making in a Global Age
This course examines states’ contemporary foreign policy making through an exploration of the theoretical, cognitive and institutional constraints that bound decisions. As a required core course for MA candidates in the Global Policy Studies program, it seeks to provide students the necessary intellectual foundations for understanding the dilemmas and opportunities faced by decision-makers during the policy process. Numerous competing domestic and international actors and factors influence a state’s foreign policy makers. We will investigate the ways in which regime type, country size, past experiences and cultural filters, bureaucracies, intelligence agencies, domestic political forces, and international institutions, shape policy-makers’ views of the world and constrain the choices available to them. After examining the U.S. policymaking process will place these theories in a comparative perspective through a juxtaposition of foreign policy making processes in Asia nations.
The course will also explore the influence of non-governmental entitles and normative influences on decision-making. How do non-governmental entities, transnational advocacy networks, and ethical constructs provide a context for the perception and interpretation of facts, and thus shape analysis, agendas and policy outcomes? We will examine how some foreign policy decisions (e.g. involvement in international organizations and agreements) serve to both serve and constrain the formulation of domestic policies and how this dynamic appears to have changed over time.