A Typology of Foreign Policy

Stream: Panel 90 - International Relations: Organizing Global Peace: Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and UN Sanctions
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm


No matter how much they might try to avoid it, students of International Relations (IR) will almost inevitably at some stage in their research have to examine, explain, and hopefully understand foreign policy. Even if one focuses only on abstract and highly theoretical explanations of IR, one will at least superficially have to engage with foreign policy even if only to add empirical examples to aid in understanding IR theory. However, thinking on foriegn policy generally subsumes it within the field of IR thereby presenting it as an empirical product of relations between states (and non-state actors) somewhat devoid of theoretical underpinnings. The purpose of this paper is to suggest that perhaps there is something about the nature of foriegn policy (making) that can be theorized as well. As Steve Smith argue back in the late 1980s, IR theory “is simply too general to stand as the theory of foreign policy...". The purpose of this paper is to outline two types of foriegn policy; 'inside' and 'outside' foriegn policy which offer an ideal-typical typology that can be generalized. This typology can then serve to inform more theoretical understanding of foriegn policy-making.


Nikola Pijovic (Presenter), Australian National University
Nikola Pijovic is completing his PhD at the National Security College of the ANU on Australian foreign policy. His PhD examines specifically Australia's engagement with Africa in the post-Cold War era, and how and why it has changed. Nikola also researches issues of statehood and insurgency, with particular focus on the Horn of Africa and Somalia.