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Foreign Policy Analysis

1740 words - 7 pages

In today’s world, there are a wide range of factors that impact all human lives. Each nation has its own strategy to deal with challenges and cope with the impacts to secure the maximum benefit for the nation and for the well-being of its citizens. Thus, it is important for states to apply the right instrument to position themselves at both internal and external levels, particularly in the international sphere. Foreign policy is a crucial tool for nations in dealing with other actors on the international stage; in order to secure their national interest, as well as to guide the appropriate direction for interacting with other actors in the world. Further, the bureaucracy is deemed as the ...view middle of the document...

This essay will be divided into three parts. The first part will explore the definition of bureaucracy and explain the role of bureaucracies, followed by a look at bureaucratic politics theory as the significant narrative that makes an impact on foreign policy making. The second part will assess the argument that bureaucracies help more than they hinder foreign policy making by analysing the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the notion of bureaucracies. The last part will examine cooperation among various actors in society: the interplay of bureaucracies with political actors and the public at the domestic, as they all participate, with different degrees of power to help the foreign policy making in each community.

Bureaucracies and the notion of foreign policy making

The definition of bureaucracy

Originally the term bureaucracy was applied to desk officials in France in the 18th Century. Then it was generally used in terms of groups of bureaus and also referred to the interaction between bureaus and other actors in the external arena. Moreover, it was defined as the structure of the institution, procedure and bureau characteristics. However, in modern times, Niskanen refers to bureaucracy as a government form that is controlled by the government authorities (1973: 13). Accordingly, bureaucracy can be considered as the government unit or so called the public administration unit. Bureaucracy is one of the key organisations of all countries as it facilitates the flow of financial resources through government and also performs as a government function to administer the nation at both the domestic and international levels in many areas such as the economy, foreign relations, transportation, public health and so on (Niskanen, 1973: 1).Thus, without doubt, the bureaucracy is a significant notion that plays a massively prominent role for all human lives in all states.

The role of bureaucracies and bureaucratic politics theory

In 1960, various scholars gave credence to the notion of bureaucracy as the crucial contributing actor for the foreign policy making. Consequently, the theory of bureaucratic politics emerged to explain how the administrative structures of government can make an impact on foreign policy. The theory elaborates the influence of bureaucracy on foreign policy as it stemmed from foreign policy makers who attach their attitude to their respective government units (Alden and Aran, 2012: 31). To identify these points, in each organisation, the authority or politician might perceive foreign policy through a different angle or perspective based on their different norms or the culture of their organisations. The competition among bureaucracies seeking their own interest in particular areas can have an impact on foreign policy making. Thus, to examine how bureaucracies influence the foreign policy making, it is significant to consider the roles of bureaucracies as well as their political impact on foreign policy as the...

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