The Implementation Approach: Meaningful Study in Foreign Policy Analysis
In a vastly complex and highly volatile international environment, academic and strategic analysis of foreign relations is becoming increasingly more meaningful, and necessary. The discipline of foreign policy analysis is a diverse study where there are numerous theories and methodologies available to the world's top scholars and policy makers. When considering international relations theory, it is important to take into account varying approaches û their individual requirements as well as how they differ from one another in order to gain a more complete understanding. An Implementation approach to foreign policy analysis differs greatly from other predominant veins of thought. In order to gain an appreciation for the unique approach that implementation analysis embraces, however, it is necessary to examine what it is not û that is, to first scrutinize the mainstream theories that have heretofore dominated foreign policy analysis. Of the many theories applied to the study of International Relations, three have emerged as the preeminent strategies for evaluating, structuring, and understanding foreign policy: Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism.
By far, the most commonly accepted and most widely used theory for foreign policy analysis is realism (Taliaferro 128). By definition, realism assumes the international realm is anarchic and consists of independent political units called states. States are the primary actors and inherently possess some form of offensive military capability or power that makes them potentially dangerous to each other. In addition, states can never be sure about the intentions of other states, while the basic motive driving states is survival or the maintenance of sovereignty. Finally, states are instrumentally rational and think strategically about how to survive (Beavis www.irtheory.com).
More simply stated, Realis...