Veto player approaches in public policy and foreign policy
in Foreign policy as public policy?
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Chapter 5, by Kai Oppermann and Klaus Brummer, addresses veto player approaches. The main contribution of veto player approaches to the study of public policy has been to provide a toolkit for the comparative analysis of the dynamics and obstacles of policy change across regime types and policy areas. Specifically, veto player approaches suggest that the possibility and conditions for policy change in a given polity depend on the veto player constellation, that is, the number of veto players and veto points, the distribution of preferences between veto players and their ability and incentives to employ veto power. While veto player arguments have already found their way into FPA, the chapter makes the case that the theoretical and empirical potential of such arguments for the study of foreign policy has not yet been systematically exploited. Against this background, the chapter first outlines the core tenets of veto player approaches and overview show they have been applied in public policy. Then, the discussion focuses on the transferability of such approaches to the field of foreign policy. This is followed by an empirical illustration of a veto player analysis of Germany’s policy regarding the foreign deployment of its armed forces.

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