How to Formulate Foreign Policy of a State

How to formulate a foreign policy of the state of a country is depending on multiple factors including; diplomacy, the United Nations, the international monetary structure, economic aid, collective security, and military deterrence. Here, I am going to discuss how to formulate the foreign policy of a State or Country.

International Relations a foreign policy can be defined as the connection or association amongst sovereign states.

From a broader perspective, foreign policy is those endeavors of the independent states they launch to develop close relations between them in order to benefit from each other’s achievements in different fields of human activity.

Foreign policy is usually referred to as those general principles by which a state governs its reaction to international political and social environments.

Foreign policy pertains to that aspect of a nation’s sovereign image which is in touch with the external aspect of the statecraft.

It can also be understood as the close association between the sovereign states reflecting their viewpoints and outlooks on international affairs.

Foreign policy is a nation’s contemplation, longing, and reflection of domestic political trends and behavior. It is always the product of the interaction of many forces like ideological, historical, economic, national interests, and geo-political locations.

These factors determine the country’s outlook on world affairs. It is more or less a compatible standpoint adopted by a nation in its dealings and connections with other nations with respect to affairs falling beyond the ambit of conventional alliances and covenant settlement.

The foreign policy of every state acts first with the preservation of its independence and security, and second with the pursuit and protection of its economic interests.

Deeply involved with those interests are the concerns with resisting any penetration and manipulation by foreign countries and ideologies, and unabated efforts to accomplish some active penetration and manipulation of their own.

Finally, closely linked to the national security, economic, and secret warfare interests of each major power are its policies of economic aid to foreign nations, its efforts to spread its own national and ideological propaganda in foreign countries, and its support of cultural and scientific exchange missions favorable to that end.

Formulation of Foreign Policy

The actions of a state in the international field are the outcome of individual human likings and dislikings. They result from its people, political leaders, diplomats, and bureaucrats upraised on the state’s internal structure.

“Foreign policies are the strategies governments use to guide their actions in the external arena. Foreign policies spell out the objectives state leaders have decided to pursue in a given relationship or situation. But in general, International Relations scholars are less interested in specific policies than in the foreign policy process, and how policies are conceived and implemented.

Every state sets up various organizational structures and functional relationships to formulate and implement its foreign policies.

Officials and different departments gather information about a situation through various sources. They write memorandums by which they outline the possible options for actions, then they hold frequent meetings in which detailed discussions are held to cane out a possible line of action.

Some of the policy formulators meet privately in addition to regular meetings to decide how to move iii a certain direction. IR scholars are very keen to explore whether certain kinds of policy processes lead to certain kinds of discussions and whether certain processes produce better results than others do.

Comparative Foreign Policy

Now let’s discuss the comparative foreign policy in international relations.

Comparative foreign policy aims to study foreign policy in different states to discover whether similar types of societies or governments have similar types of foreign policies. Such studies have focused on three characteristics i.e., size, wealth, and extent of democratic participation in government.”

Unfortunately, no simple rule has been so far detected to foretell a state’s warlike tendencies based on these factors. States may vary among each other and even within a single state, most of the time. Both Capitalist and Communist states have been equally hostile and peaceful depending on the circumstances.

Political scientists usually try to define a state’s foreign policy in terms of its history and political culture. For example, the Soviet Union suffered repeated land invasions time and again which reached their peak in World War II.

On the other hand, the United States experienced two centuries of safety due to its location behind great oceans. Therefore, the great military capability of the Soviet Union and its control of buffer states in Eastern Europe appeared defensive in nature to Soviet leaders but looked aggressive to the United States.

The outcomes of foreign policy emanate from many forces at various levels of analysis. The outcomes depend on individual decision-makers, the type of society and government in which they are working, and on the international and global reference of their action.

The study of foreign policy processes is against the realism assumption of a unitary state actor because the study of foreign policy focuses on forces within the state; its main emphasis is on the individual and domestic levels of analysis.

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