Abstract only

Edited by: Kai Oppermann and Klaus Brummer

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.

Open Access (free)

Jenny Edkins

The chapter examines two projects that work to support relatives in their demand for justice after enforced disappearances in Mexico: the Huellas de la Memoria/Footprints of Memory project begun by Alfredo López, and Forensic Architecture’s Cartography of Violence, an interactive platform detailing the enforced disappearance of forty-three Ayotzinapa students. The two projects are very different, but both use and transform traces of disappearance to demand justice and both involve slow and painstaking work. One traces the footprints of relatives searching for missing people, and the other the traces in phone records, witness accounts and official reports of the abduction of the Ayotzinapa students.

Open Access (free)

Jenny Edkins

The chapter examines Patricio Guzmán’s film Nostalgia for the Light, which is set in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The film juxtaposes the search of astronomers for the origins of the universe and that of archaeologists for the remnants of humans who passed through the desert – as well as the women who comb the desert floor for the remains of their disappeared relatives. The chapter argues that Guzmán’s film can be seen as an example of what Jacques Rancière calls the politics of aesthetics, and induces new ways of seeing.

Abstract only

Edited by: Jeroen Joly and Friederike Richter

Chapter 3, by Jeroen Joly and Friederike Richter, discusses punctuated equilibrium theory (PET). This theory, which was first proposed by Baumgartner and Jones, explains how the same institutional set-up, usually preventing new policy issues from gaining political attention, is also responsible for the occasional outbursts of attention that cause disproportionately large policy shifts. PET has been successfully applied to a wide range of public policies and has increasingly generated cross-sectional and cross-national analyses, which aim at understanding and comparing the causes of stability and change in different political systems. However, the focus of these studies has mostly been on domestic policies, with only very little attention for PET in FPA. The aim of this chapter is to show that PET is not only relevant in the realm of domestic politics, but also useful for studying and understanding foreign policy-making. To illustrate this claim, this chapter looks at yearly changes in attention to foreign policy issues and examining the relationship between changes in foreign aid allocations and the size of aid administrations.

Abstract only

Policy learning in public policy studies

Toward a dialogue with foreign policy analysis

Edited by: Sebastian Harnisch

Chapter 9, by Sebastian Harnisch, discusses the policy learning approach. Learning is a change of beliefs or a development of new beliefs, skills, or procedures as a result of the observation and interpretation of experience. Policy learning has been long recognized as a central mechanism of change in public policy and it has been employed in various research approaches, such as advocacy coalition, theories of institutional change, policy diffusion, and transfer or epistemic communities. Thus far, however, its broad application has not resulted in any (substantial) additional analytical purchase because respective sub-disciplines have not communicated with and built upon each other. The chapter offers a systematic review of the extant public policy literature and discusses the competitive application of several learning approaches to the case of Soviet Union foreign policy learning under Gorbachev. In lieu of a result, it identifies three areas of common interest to Public Policy and FPA, i.e., the historicity and cross-fertilization of domestic and foreign policy experience, the temporal pattern of specific learning episodes and the variant patterns of sociality, including international institutions as teachers/facilitators of learning, for a future dialogue.

Abstract only

Edited by: Katja Biedenkopf and Alexander Mattelaer

Chapter 8, by Katja Biedenkopf and Alexander Mattelaer, covers policy diffusion. It argues that the analytical lens of interdependent policy decisions and mutual influence among foreign policy-makers can add a useful angle to FPA. More specifically, the focus of this chapter is on policy diffusion and transfer as independent variables in the analysis of foreign policy choices. The chapter starts with outlining policy diffusion and transfer as public policy approaches and then has a section that proposes how these two concepts could enrich FPA. The fourth section illustrates the application of a policy diffusion lens to foreign policy decisions, namely the case of planning doctrine for military crisis response operations. It explores the historical origins of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operational planning doctrine and how it has diffused to other international organizations such as the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). The concluding section provides some reflections on the contribution and limitations of integrating policy diffusion and transfer into FPA.

Open Access (free)

Jenny Edkins

This chapter is inspired by Frantz Fanon’s autobiographical account in Black Skin, White Masks of how the racist gaze makes him an object surrounded by other objects. Its narrative charts the author’s intellectual move from an attempt to fathom the world and how it works to an advocacy of what Fanon sees as an everyday openness to each other. In recounting how the family photograph as object survives the living body, and telling of the search for a missing family member in the archives, it traces the interweaving of life and thought over time. It is underpinned by an anger at objectification, and reveals how the unknown has an impact on what and who we think we know.

Abstract only

Edited by: Siegfried Schieder

Chapter 6, by Siegfried Schieder, covers new institutionalism (NI). The purpose of this chapter is to bridge the gap between the sub-discipline of FPA and NI, providing new insights into how the former can benefit from the various strands of the latter. To do so, this chapter examines NI as one of the most prominent research program in the field of public policy analysis and presents an overview of how NI in its rational, sociological, historical, and discursive variants have been applied to research on FPA and what their contribution is to this field. While FPA can be enriched by all four forms of NI, much of the relevant literature employs either rational institutionalism or a more sociological approach. To bring out the promise of NI in FPA, the chapter then looks at how historical institutionalism may be able to explain the United States’ decision to impose sanctions on Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis in 2014.

Abstract only

Edited by: Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

Chapter 7, by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing, introduces the Network Approach. This chapter first defines the network concept, sets out the core features of the network approach and explains how and why it has emerged as an alternative lens for understanding policy-making in dispersed and interactive settings that defy description in terms of the traditional hierarchy–market dichotomy. It then compares different theories and methods for understanding policy and governance networks and discusses how these networks can be instrumental for enhancing knowledge sharing, improving inter-organizational and cross-sector coordination, and solving wicked and unruly problems in ways that both increase effectiveness and democratic legitimacy. Subsequently, the chapter describes how and why the network approach is applicable to foreign policy-making and assesses the scope conditions and merits and limits of applying the approach. It argues that the network approach is useful for analyzing how states formulate, implement, and diffuse foreign policy in response to domestic interests and global problems and events. Finally, the chapter provides a more extended example of how the network approach is applicable to core concerns of foreign policy. The example illustrates the role of networks in facilitating political cooperation to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Abstract only

Edited by: Spyros Blavoukos

Chapter 2, by Spyros Blavoukos, covers the multiple streams approach (MSA). The core objective of this contribution is to examine how MSA fares in the foreign policy realm and whether it is relevant and appropriate for the study of foreign policy. Kingdon’s seminal work on public policy-making conceptualizes public policy as the intersection of three different streams (problem, policy, politics). Against this background, the theoretical component of this chapter provides an overview of the approach and discusses its transferability. The empirical thrust of the contribution derives from the analysis of two major foreign policy shifts, namely the first ever substantial Israeli–Palestinian agreement in the early 1990s that led to the Oslo Accords and the Greek–Turkish rapprochement in the late 1990s, which resulted in the substantial upgrading of the EU–Turkish relationship.