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International relations - foreign policy - Essay Example

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Countries,big and small alike,have internal domestic policies.Concurrently,they also have foreign policies.These policies are bases of the values and interests that are crucial in guiding how these particular governments act or behave with regards to certain international issues…
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International relations - foreign policy

Countries, big and small alike, have internal domestic policies. Concurrently, they also have foreign policies. These policies are bases of the values and interests that are crucial in guiding how these particular governments act or behave with regards to certain international issues. Policy, here referring to a certain course of actionAccording to Feigert, Graebner, Papademetriou, Mangone, Ransom, Wilson, Wolfe, Piper & Terchek, foreign policy is the foreign component of public policy. (1983) Simply defined, public policy is the choice or the stance that particular governments adopt with regards to certain issues in country. (Dye, 1972) That said, while public policy is concerned with the domestic issues and policies to be implemented within (inside) state borders, foreign policy on its part is concerned with policies that are to be implemented without (outside) the countries borders. (Feigert, et al, 1983) Foreign policy plainly put is the policy that is formulated and adopted by state governments for the purposes of governing its relations with other countries in the international arena. The most important thing to note about foreign policy is that it is primarily concerned with state interests. State interest could be in either, political, military and/or economic terms. The reason why a country would like to implement certain policies with regards to other countries has to do with what it stands to gain more than anything else. Shah (2001) posits that every nation/country is in possession of a foreign policy. The reason why foreign policy is important is because it ensures that the needs of the nations/countries are represented in the international community. During the cold war countries mostly used foreign policies as a way of furthering their national interests and agendas. In the course of furthering these agendas, the interests held dear by other nations in the international community did not matter much and were disregarded. In most cases this often led to resentment between different countries with different issues to push forth. (Shah, 2001)
The conduct of foreign policy then involves balancing between substitute policies and their perceived costs and benefits. (Feigert, et al, 1983) At the end of the day, countries more often than not, adopt the policies that are most favorable to them and are in sync with what they may want to achieve (national interest). It could be security needs or economic growth. (Shah, 2001) Traditionally, the conduct of foreign policy has often been the duty of the national governments. Nonetheless, other actors within the state realm are involved in the conduct and formulation of foreign policy. These are the smaller regional states and provinces within a nation/country. For this reason, there is always advocacy and lobbying for the type of issues and interests that should be part of foreign policy and which respective government should focus on. This way these state actors are able to influence foreign policy decisions. Despite this, some governments wield such immense powers such that they lock out these state actors such as regional states and provinces out of the formulation and consequent conduct of foreign policy. Take the case of India for example. As per the Indian constitution, the central federal government, the executive, is granted all the powers in the land necessary for the conduct of both domestic and foreign policies. Still, even though these actors are given lesser powers, but powers nonetheless by the Indian Constitution, the regional states in India have little or no autonomy. The consequence of this is that their roles are usurped and the central government makes all the crucial decisions with regards to foreign policy. (Dossani & Vijaykumar, 2005)
As countries conduct foreign policy they involve themselves in such activities as diplomacy, negotiations, bargaining, cooperation or even coercion, bullying, lying and intimidation. Depending on what their interests are at the end of the d ... Read More
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