The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.

Comparative Analyses of Foreign Policy

Klaus Brummer

Introduction

What makes Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) a distinct sub-field of International Relations (IR) is the deliberate focus on the ‘black box state'. Subscribing to a liberal understanding of international politics, scholarship in this tradition ties a country's external behavior back to its decision makers and/or domestic political structures (Snyder et al., [1954] 2002). Thus, on a conceptual level, FPA specifies and ‘fine-tunes’ Kenneth Waltz's (1959) rather general and abstract ‘first image’ and ‘second image’ explanations of international politics by offering a more nuanced and detailed understanding as to what exactly it is that drives behavior on the level of individual actors and the state level respectively. The ensuing greater number of levels of analysis as proposed by FPA ...

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