Case Studies in Foreign Policy Decision Making (7015GIR)

John Kennedy once wrote that "the essence of ultimate decision [was] impenetrable to the observer indeed, often to the decider himself [or herself]. There will always be the dark and tangled stretches even to those who may be most intimately involved." In this light, any valid understanding of the world requires not only a "distant" sense of the traditional "paradigms" which have long served International Relations scholars (spanning a realist stress on the balance of power and a constructivist stress on the role of ideas) but also a more "close-up" sense of how agents react to events (as Daniel Kahneman puts it, often in "fast" emotional fashions and then "slow," reflective corrections). This course draws together these paradigmatic and psychological types of analysis in order to analyse international developments and debates over the construction of national interests. It does so through the use of several case studies, spanning major wars, economic crises, and policy debates -from World Wars to the War on Terror, the Great Depression to the Global Financial Crisis, and the emergence of renewed nationalist stresses across Brexit and the Trump election. Taken as a whole, this course provides an introduction to International Relations and Foreign Policy in the modern world, in a way meant to promote critical thinking skills and your ability to identify, apply and evaluate contending theoretical perspectives. This course is offered: Nathan: Trimester 1 Incompatible: 7015IBA Current Issues in World Affairs AND MIR703 Case Studies in Foreign Policy Decision Making

Course study information

Credit points (awarded)

10 (10)

Study level


Student contribution band

Band 1

Usually available

Nathan Trimester 1

Course offerings and timetables


Key dates

Course start date
25 February 2019
Last day to add a course
10 March 2019
Last day to drop a course without financial penalty (Census date)
24 March 2019
Last day to drop a course without academic penalty
28 April 2019

Please view the full class and additional timetable information for School of Government and International Relations

Class Availability When Where Notes
You must attend this Seminar
Seminar (10528) Open Tuesday 11:00 - 13:50
Weeks 1 - 7, 8 - 12
N25 0.06
Science 1 Building
Nathan Campus