International Relations Ideology, Values, and Foreign Policy
by
Peter Beattie
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 February 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 April 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0262

Introduction

Ideology is a prototypical “contested concept,” though competing definitions can generally be sorted into pejorative and nonpejorative categories. Pejorative definitions consider ideology to be a set of false beliefs about the world and how it operates, typically facilitating exploitation or injustice. Nonpejorative definitions consider ideology to be something neutral (or its normative dimension to be undetermined a priori), a kind of systematized thinking about politics or political economy; a worldview. It is the latter definition that is most common in international relations scholarship outside of the Marxian tradition, and it will be used here. Values are commonly defined as rank-ordered ideas about what is desirable, transcending specific situations, that guide behavioral choices and influence evaluations. Given these two definitions, values are subsumed under ideology; they form the normative dimension of ideology. For example, A may value both self-determination and democracy (and A may see elections as a means of ensuring self-determination); but if A’s ideology pictures the international system as dominated by a superpower that regularly interferes in elections, she may support the decision of a less powerful state to avoid elections to evade the superpower’s interference. Ideology, as a systematized way of thinking about politics, can help adjudicate conflicts between values—as in this example, between self-determination and democracy. International relations scholarship has traditionally overlooked the influence of ideology and values on foreign policy and public opinion about foreign policy. Considerations of power maximization and balancing were commonly hypothesized to overwhelm any influence of ideational factors, such that the latter could be safely ignored as mere epiphenomena of the former. More recently, the variously named ideational, interpretivist, or constructivist turn in international relations has opened the way for IR scholars to investigate the effects of ideas within the international system. Foreign policy analysis, operating at a less abstract level, has been more open to ideational factors as influences on policymakers. Yet a great deal remains to be explored about the way ideology and values constrain and influence foreign policy decision-makers, and public opinion (which, in turn, may constrain and influence decision-makers). Ideology and values can be conceptualized at the micro level as beliefs held by individuals and at the macro level as widely shared beliefs (akin to “social representations”) enforced, inculcated, and/or reproduced by institutions.

Theoretical Foundations

Although positivism has been abandoned by philosophers of science, it remains influential if not predominant within international relations (IR). Since ideology and values are not as susceptible to observation and measurement as power variables—though they can be measured via surveys and textual analyses of leaders’ writings, transcripts, and speeches—scholars interested in exploring their effects on foreign policy have established different philosophical foundations. An early pioneer is Roy Bhaskar, whose application of scientific realism to the social sciences initiated the critical realism school (Bhaskar 1975); Searle 1995 is less challenging for newcomers to philosophy of science. Wendt 1999 later elaborated how a critical realist perspective applies to IR, and Jackson 2011 provides a comparative analysis of IR theories and their often unstated ontological and epistemological assumptions. Taking a step between philosophy of science and empirical investigation of ideational influence, Béland and Cox 2011 provides a good introduction to the relevant debates and approaches. Contra Levi 1970, which summarizes the long-standing view that ideology is subservient to interest, Blyth 2003 makes the short but powerful argument that ideas are not only a proper focus of study in IR, but also they are essential. Evolutionary approaches to ideas (e.g., gene-culture co-evolution) treat them as material, bridging the gap between “materialist” and “idealist” theories; Tang 2013 offers IR scholars an excellent introduction to social/cultural evolution theory and its implications for IR. Lastly, Maynard and Mildenberger 2018 provides a survey of how ideology has been defined and studied across a variety of disciplines.

  • Béland, Daniel, and Robert Henry Cox, eds. Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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    Provides a broad survey of approaches to the study of ideational influences in politics; introduces key points of debates in this area (coming from authors in favor of the ideational approach); discusses methodological, empirical, and theoretical issues.

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  • Bhaskar, Roy. A Realist Theory of Science. Leeds, UK: Leeds Books, 1975.

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    One of the most influential books on ontology and epistemology in social inquiry; applies scientific realism to the social sciences, providing a philosophical framework for why unobservables (like ideology and values) are proper objects of scientific study.

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  • Blyth, Mark. “Structures Do Not Come with an Instruction Sheet: Interests, Ideas, and Progress in Political Science.” Perspectives on Politics 1.4 (2003): 695–706.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1537592703000471Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Concise statement of the importance of studying ideational influences in IR; problematizes the notion of state interests, arguing that interests do not spring immediately from material reality; rather, they are mediated through ideas, leaving ample room for historical and institutional factors to produce distortion.

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  • Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. New York: Routledge, 2011.

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    Explores the philosophies of science underpinning theoretical traditions in IR; takes an ecumenical approach, explaining how the different epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying IR theories can be useful in building knowledge about the subject; points toward how the study of ideology and values can be incorporated into or reconciled with non-ideational approaches.

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  • Levi, Werner. “Ideology, Interests, and Foreign Policy.” International Studies Quarterly 14.1 (1970): 1–31.

    DOI: 10.2307/3013538Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Elaborates the long-prevailing view that ideology is causally inefficacious compared to interest, owing to the structure of the international system; a limited definition of ideology and inattention to subrational features of human psychology secure the conclusion.

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  • Maynard, Jonathan Leader, and Matto Mildenberger. “Convergence and Divergence in the Study of Ideology: A Critical Review.” British Journal of Political Science 48.2 (2018): 563–589.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0007123415000654Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Reviews the variety of ways scholars in different disciplines and paradigms have conceptualized and studied ideology; suggests points of convergence and offers ways to incorporate insights from different research traditions.

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  • Searle, John R. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Free Press, 1995.

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    Offers another application of scientific realism to the social realm, particularly social institutions; it is clearer and more commonsensical than Bhaskar 1975, although perhaps at the cost of some depth.

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  • Tang, Shiping. The Social Evolution of International Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658336.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Equal parts materialist and idealist, this evolutionary framework explains how power and ideas jointly influence international politics; biological, social, and cultural/ideational evolution are used to explain the development of international politics from pre-history to today.

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  • Wendt, Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511612183Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A seminal work in developing constructivism as an IR theory; explains how state interests are never self-evident but are constructed through ideas; provides an application of scientific realism directly to international relations.

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Social and Political Psychology

The ideational turn may have come relatively recently to IR scholarship, but social and political psychologists have long grappled with ideas and how they influence, and are influenced by, the way we think. To avoid reinventing the wheel, IR scholars might look for inspiration to research in the social cognition, described in Fiske and Taylor 2008, and social representations, described in Moscovici 2001, traditions. The social cognition approach is dominant in the United States and widespread in Europe, and the social representations approach is more common globally; Augoustinos, et al. 2006 offers an all-to-rare integration of the two paradigms, along with social identity and discursive psychology. Fraser and Gaskell 1990 is an edited volume collecting a variety of approaches to the psychological study of ideology. Rhetorical psychology, in, for instance, Billig 1991, provides another possible point of departure for IR scholars, particularly those interested in public opinion on foreign policy. Similarly, Beattie 2019 analyzes the news media’s effects on public opinion, focusing on micro-level psychological dynamics and macro-level institutional pressures essential for understanding widespread ideas about foreign policy.

  • Augoustinos, Martha, Iain Walker, and Ngaire Donaghue. Social Cognition: An Integrated Introduction. London: SAGE, 2006.

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    Offers an introduction to the social psychological study of ideas incorporating social cognition, social identity, social representations, and discursive psychology approaches; provides a starting point for IR scholars looking to borrow from psychology without having to make epistemological commitments to one paradigm or another.

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  • Beattie, Peter. Social Evolution, Political Psychology, and the Media in Democracy: The Invisible Hand in the U.S. Marketplace of Ideas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-02801-5Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Incorporates evolutionary theory, social and political psychology, political economy of media, and comparative media studies to outline the “ecology of ideas” in the United States; outlines how the news media affects public (and elite) opinion on political issues, including foreign policy.

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  • Billig, Michael. Ideology and Opinions: Studies in Rhetorical Psychology. London: SAGE, 1991.

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    Delves into the individual and social dynamics of ideological thinking, using a psychological analysis of rhetoric; focuses primarily on the ideological thinking of common citizens rather than political elites, but the author’s observations are relevant for an understanding of both.

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  • Fiske, Susan T., and Shelley E. Taylor. Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

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    Textbook introduction to the field of social cognition; summarizes a broad array of experimental research into the way the human mind processes socially relevant information, from automatic versus controlled processing to cognitive biases. It provides a good starting point for IR scholars looking to borrow from the rich psychological literature.

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  • Fraser, Colin, and George Gaskell, eds. The Social Psychological Study of Widespread Beliefs. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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    Organized to provide methodological and conceptual pluralism, this volume presents approaches from social representations, the “epidemiology of ideas,” and US social psychology (attitudes and public opinion).

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  • Moscovici, Serge. Social Representations: Explorations in Social Psychology. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

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    Provides an introduction to the predominant paradigm in social psychology for the study of ideas; for those uncertain about the methodological toolkit that could be used by IR scholars who treat ideas seriously, the social representations tradition in social psychology offers a starting point.

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Applications

The ideational turn still largely represents an open door for IR scholars, offering methodological pluralism and a wide variety of approaches to follow. An important initial point to consider is that if ideologies are defined as systematized thought about politics/political economy, then, by definition, IR theories are ideologies. As such, the study of the influence of ideology in IR must include IR theories themselves as sources of ideological influence, as has been done in Rathbun 2012 and Tsygankov and Tsygankov 2010. Martill 2017 concurs on this point and helps to orient the study of ideology within IR, noting how much is currently lacking while organizing what has been done into five “paradigms.”

  • Martill, Benjamin. “International Ideologies: Paradigms of Ideological Analysis and World Politics.” Journal of Political Ideologies 22.3 (2017): 236–255.

    DOI: 10.1080/13569317.2017.1345139Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides an overview of ideology as a major lacuna within IR scholarship; separates what has been done into five paradigms—analytical, historical, philosophical, critical, and reflexive—and highlights methodological and conceptual differences; discusses how IR theories themselves are ideologies in their own right.

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  • Rathbun, Brian. “Politics and Paradigm Preferences: The Implicit Ideology of International Relations Scholars.” International Studies Quarterly 56.3 (2012): 607–622.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2012.00749.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Gives empirical support to the conception of IR theories as ideologies, tracing differences in political ideology between IR scholars to differences in theoretical and methodological preference; broadens the scope of studies in ideology and foreign policy to include IR scholars themselves.

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  • Tsygankov, Andrei P., and Pavel A. Tsygankov. “National Ideology and IR Theory: Three Incarnations of the ‘Russian Idea.’” European Journal of International Relations 16.4 (2010): 663–686.

    DOI: 10.1177/1354066109356840Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Argues that the development of IR theory in Russia was influenced by pre-theoretical assumptions about social reality; demonstrates that IR theories are ideologies themselves using a national context other than the United States.

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Historical and Neo-Gramscian Approaches

As a discipline, history needed to take no “ideational turn”; ideational factors were long taken to have causal import, along with a host of other influences upon historical events. Hence, some of the best attempts to incorporate ideas into IR theory have been accomplished by historians. While they produce rich and detailed accounts, they suffer from a relative lack of generalizability. Anderson 2015 describes the continual tension between imperial aspirations and anti-imperialism throughout US history and analyzes the works of influential intellectuals-cum-policymakers to distill common ideological threads unifying recent US foreign policy. While Europe’s bloody history has been a rich source of inspiration for realist theory, Sheehan 2008 uses its post–World War II experience to describe how ideational factors are key constituents of the peace it has enjoyed. Providing more sweeping surveys, Cassels 1996, Crawford 2002, and Philpott 2001 trace the impact of ideas across countries and over centuries, showing how ideological developments have contributed to the evolution of the modern state system. Hunt 1987 accomplishes a similar effort, focusing on elements of a national ideology in the United States, in development since its founding, that continue to influence foreign policy today. Noël and Thérien 2008 focuses on more recent history, and on areas of conflict rather than consensus. Neo-Gramscian approaches share a great deal of similarity with historical approaches, though they aspire to greater generalizability. Ayers 2008 is an edited volume providing a helpful introduction, including debates within and criticism of the field. Cox 1981 offers a shorter summary of the theoretical foundations to a neo-Gramscian approach to IR. Located somewhere between the historical and neo-Gramscian approach, Blyth 2002 illustrates how ideational, institutional, and historical factors are essential to explain the differences in the development of US and Swedish economic policy over the past century.

  • Anderson, Perry. American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers. London: Verso, 2015.

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    Beautifully written analysis of the ideology permeating US foreign policy intellectuals, focusing on those occupying the revolving door among academia, think tanks, and government; covers the history and development of US foreign policy thinking; highlights the ideological continuity between intellectuals associated with different IR paradigms.

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  • Ayers, Alison J. ed. Gramsci, Political Economy, and International Relations Theory: Modern Princes and Naked Emperors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

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    Introduces the neo-Gramscian school of IR, which attempts to combine material with ideational influences to explain the international system; includes criticism of the approach and discusses shortcomings with existing scholarship in the neo-Gramscian tradition.

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  • Blyth, Mark. Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139087230Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Though focusing on economic over foreign policy, Blyth’s comparative study of the United States and Sweden is a good example of how to trace the effects of ideas on policymaking; demonstrates how economic ideas interacted with historical and institutional factors to shape the trajectories of economic policy in the two countries.

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  • Cassels, Alan. Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World. London: Routledge, 1996.

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    Historical analysis of the influence of ideologies on the development of the international system since the French Revolution; includes liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, social Darwinism, communism, and fascism; presciently discusses the revival of nationalism and the rise of religious fundamentalism.

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  • Crawford, Neta C. Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization, and Humanitarian Intervention. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511491306Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Lays out a case that ethical arguments were key drivers in changing the international system, focusing on their role in the abolition of slavery and decolonization; argues that purely materialist explanations cannot account for these changes; discusses how ethical arguments over “humanitarian intervention” may transform the international system.

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  • Cox, Robert W. “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory.” Millennium 10.2 (1981): 126–155.

    DOI: 10.1177/03058298810100020501Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Influential article introducing a neo-Gramscian IR theory, outlining how ideational factors exert influence in the international system; Cox’s division of causal forces into material capabilities, institutions, and ideas parallels evolutionary theory’s focus on biological, social, and cultural levels.

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  • Hunt, Michael H. Ideology and U.S. Foreign Policy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.

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    Searches US diplomatic history for an ideological core, consisting of a national mission, a system of racial classification, and hostility to revolutions, shaping US foreign policy; illustrates how “national interest” is constructed through ideological thinking rather than being a direct reflection of material reality.

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  • Noël, Alain, and Jean-Philippe Thérien. Left and Right in Global Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511790751Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Analyzes conflicts in international politics as deriving from a Left-Right ideological divide on the fundamental issue of equality; privileges ideas as the medium through which interests are formed and conflicts are waged; starts with the American Revolution, but focuses primarily on post–World War II developments.

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  • Philpott, Daniel. Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

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    Argues that ideas about identity, sovereignty, equality, and nationalism were significant causal factors in shaping the modern state system, first during the Protestant Reformation and then the anti-colonial national independence movements.

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  • Sheehan, James. The Monopoly of Violence: Why Europeans Hate Going to War. London: Faber and Faber, 2008.

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    Demonstrates the advantages of a historian’s approach to the study of ideology and foreign policy, leveraging historical, institutional, economic, and ideational factors to explain the peace Europe has enjoyed since World War II; also reveals the poverty of neo-realist approaches, ironically using the example of European history, which has informed much of realist theory.

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Political Psychology Approaches

One of the first entry points for ideational factors’ inclusion in IR theory was political psychology, exemplified by the classic work, Jervis 2017, on how cognitive biases skew the thinking of foreign policy decision-makers. Yetiz 2013 provides an update and expansion in the area of cognitive bias in IR. Over time, political psychology has been a key driver removing rationality assumptions and state black-boxing within IR theory, and it is a thriving area of research, outlined in Kertzer and Tingley 2018. McDermott 2004 offers a comprehensive overview, including the often overlooked area of psychobiography of leaders. Gries 2014 brings current political psychological research on moral reasoning and psychological correlates of ideology to bear on public and elite opinion on foreign policy issues. What is still largely missing, besides an application of political psychology to global political economy/international political economy (GPE/IPE), is analysis of the effects of ideas themselves—how they spread, are generated, and influence thought on political developments—as opposed to how cognitive biases affect the processing of information. This is the domain of social representations theory, which has not yet influenced IR to the extent that mainstream US social psychology has.

  • Gries, Peter Hays. The Politics of American Foreign Policy: How Ideology Divides Liberals and Conservatives over Foreign Affairs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.

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    Applies insights from political psychological research on moral reasoning and the psychological correlates of ideology to the US partisan divide over foreign policy issues; demonstrates how ideology affects the way elites and politically engaged voters think about foreign policy and form preferences.

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  • Jervis, Robert. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017.

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    Originally published in 1976. A classic and path-breaking work of political psychology applied to IR, applying insights from experimental social psychology to international politics and illustrating these applications with several historical cases; focuses on cognitive biases, which are key to an understanding of how ideology skews thinking away from the rational ideal.

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  • Kertzer, Joshua D., and Dustin Tingley. “Political Psychology in International Relations: Beyond the Paradigms.” Annual Review of Political Science 21 (2018): 319–339.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-041916-020042Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A concise review of the most recent applications of political psychology to IR; identifies currently burgeoning research areas (emotions and hot cognition) as well as areas where political psychological insights have yet to be comprehensively deployed (IPE/GPE).

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  • McDermott, Rose. Political Psychology in International Relations. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004.

    DOI: 10.3998/mpub.10847Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Comprehensive look at the ways in which political psychology is relevant to IR, covering methodology, the history of the field, cognition, emotion, psychobiography of leaders, leadership styles, and group processes.

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  • Yetiz, Steve A. National Security through a Cockeyed Lens: How Cognitive Bias Impacts U.S. Foreign Policy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

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    Updates Jervis 2017 using more recent case studies to illustrate how cognitive biases affect foreign policy decision-makers; while ideology is not a cognitive bias per se, many effects of ideology on foreign policy are mediated through the cognitive biases discussed within.

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Foreign Policy Analysis Approaches

Often conceived as a subfield within IR focusing on a “subsystemic” level of analysis, foreign policy analysis (FPA) has long incorporated psychological influences, including ideational variables, in its treatment of individual decision-making. Kaarbo 2015 presents FPA as an alternative IR theory and as a framework through which other IR theories can be combined to better trace the causal impact of ideas. Particularly relevant is operational code analysis (OCA); Walker 1990 explains the development and evolution of OCA, incorporating it within political psychology, and Schafer and Walker 2006 offers a comprehensive introduction and guide to this approach.

  • Kaarbo, Juliet. “A Foreign Policy Analysis Perspective on the Domestic Politics Turn in IR Theory.” International Studies Review 17.2 (2015): 189–216.

    DOI: 10.1111/misr.12213Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Argues that the psychologically oriented and agent-based focus of foreign policy analysis makes it a suitable complement to other IR theories seeking to incorporate ideational influences; alternately, it can serve as a competitor, or a “crucible,” in which realism’s focus on elites, liberalism’s focus on institutions, and constructivism’s focus on ideas can be combined.

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  • Schafer, Mark, and Stephen G. Walker, eds. Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics: Methods and Applications of Operational Code Analysis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

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    Contributions from scholars in FPA and IR covering the development and methodology of operational code analysis, a means of summarizing leaders’ ideologies and analyzing how they influence decision making; includes applications of OCA to leader-adviser relations, international security, and international political economy.

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  • Walker, Stephen G. “The Evolution of Operational Code Analysis.” Political Psychology 11.2 (1990): 403–418.

    DOI: 10.2307/3791696Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Summarizes the history and development of OCA, covering some prominent applications; situates OCA within political psychology, combining ideational influences with cognitive processes that jointly affect decision making.

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Hybrid IR Approaches

While ideational influences may seem more at home within constructivist IR theory, scholars aligned with other theoretical traditions have also taken the “ideational turn.” Liberalism can incorporate ideational influences alongside and through institutions, as argued in Goldstein and Keohane 1993. Security studies has long considered “national security” unproblematic, but Katzenstein 1996 demonstrates how investigating ideational influences on the construct reveals errors. Classical realism allowed for ideas to influence state behavior, and Dueck 2006 and Haas 2005 provide support for a return to this position, or a reconciliation between constructivism and realism. Kennedy 2016 uses the example of international law to demonstrate how elite consensus blinds political actors to a full range of policy options, an insight broadly applicable within IR.

  • Dueck, Colin. Reluctant Crusaders: Power, Culture, and Change in American Grand Strategy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.

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    Forges a realist-constructivist rapprochement by urging a return to a classical realism more comfortable with incorporating ideational influences; argues that the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy was not an aberration but a continuation of liberal internationalism that has long characterized US foreign policy.

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  • Goldstein, Judith, and Robert O. Keohane, eds. Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993.

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    Incorporates ideational influences into liberal IR theory as worldviews, principled beliefs, and causal beliefs; includes case studies illustrating the causal pathways through which these categories of ideational influence affect foreign policy.

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  • Haas, Mark L. The Ideological Origins of Great Power Politics, 1789–1989. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

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    Focuses on how ideology influences the perception of threat, bringing constructivist insights on the role of ideas into the realist concern with relative power; uses five case studies to illustrate how ideological differences heighten the perception of threat, affecting foreign policy decisions.

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  • Katzenstein, Peter, ed. The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

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    Borrows sociological insights to offer a constructivist perspective on security studies; problematizes “national security,” revealing its social construction by the forces of culture, institutions, and identities.

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  • Kennedy, David. A World of Struggle: How Power, Law, and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1515/9781400880591Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Takes international law as its primary focus to illustrate how widely shared ideas among elites (“expertise”) shape the political agenda and delimit political possibility; demonstrates how unexamined assumptions and elite consensus exert power within international relations.

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Values and Foreign Policy

Foreign policy values are rank-ordered ideas about what is desirable in international politics, which influence evaluations of states, leaders, and policies and guide voting choices and decision making. Political values are connected to personal values long studied by social psychologists; for instance, personal values for conformity and tradition correlate with right-wing ideology and personal values for universalism and benevolence correlate with left-wing ideology, as demonstrated in Schwartz, et al. 2014. Jost, et al. 2016 explains how personal values, along with personality and psychological traits, evince an “elective affinity” with political ideology. Rathbun, et al. 2016 extends this research, exploring links between personal values and foreign policy values or ideology. Scholars have used several different schemes to organize foreign policy values, including a two-orientation scale comprising hierarchy and community in Rathbun 2007; a three-orientation scale comprising militarism, anticommunism, and isolationism in Hurwitz and Peffley 1987; a four-orientation scale on the two dimensions of militant versus cooperative internationalism in Holsti and Rosenau 1990; a six-orientation scale in Rosati and Creed 1997; and a nine-orientation scale in Dolan 2008. Experimental research in Beattie and Milojevich 2017 has found that citizens’ foreign policy values and media frames jointly influence opinion formation about foreign policy issues.

  • Beattie, Peter, and Jovan Milojevich. “A Test of the ‘News Diversity’ Standard: Single Frames, Multiple Frames, and Values Regarding the Ukraine Conflict.” International Journal of Press/Politics 22.1 (2017): 3–22.

    DOI: 10.1177/1940161216673194Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Demonstrates how foreign policy values shape opinions on foreign policy conflicts, interacting with media frames of conflicts; values exert greater influence under exposure to a variety of competing frames, but exposure to single frames can overwhelm the effects of values on foreign policy opinions.

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  • Dolan, Chris J. “The Shape of Elite Opinion on US Foreign Policy, 1992 to 2004.” Politics & Policy 36.4 (2008): 542–585.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-1346.2007.00121.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Lays out nine foreign policy value orientations (“missionaries,” “progressive internationalists,” “neighbors,” “anti-imperialists,” “globalizers,” “global capitalists,” “hegemonists,” “narrow realists,” and “disengagers”) derived from a content analysis of political magazines and foreign policy journals.

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  • Holsti, Ole R., and James N. Rosenau. “The Structure of Foreign Policy Attitudes among American Leaders.” Journal of Politics 52.1 (1990): 94–125.

    DOI: 10.2307/2131421Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes a four-orientation scheme for foreign policy values, based on an analysis of Council of Foreign Relations surveys. This scheme is separated into two dimensions of militant (MI) and cooperative internationalism (CI): internationalists (supporting MI and CI), isolationists (opposing MI and CI), hard-liners (supporting MI and opposing CI), and accommodationists (opposing MI and supporting CI).

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  • Hurwitz, Jon, and Mark Peffley. “How Are Foreign Policy Attitudes Structured? A Hierarchical Model.” American Political Science Review 81.4 (1987): 1099–1120.

    DOI: 10.2307/1962580Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Introduces a three-orientation scale of “postures,” including isolationism, militarism, and anti-communism, linked to the core foreign policy values of ethnocentrism and the morality of warfare; using a small survey of US citizens, the two core values were found to constrain respondents’ foreign policy orientation (belief structure).

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  • Jost, John T., Elvira Basevich, Eric S. Dickson, and Sharareh Noorbaloochi. “The Place of Values in a World of Politics: Personality, Motivation, and Ideology.” In Handbook of Value: Perspectives from Economics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. Edited by Tobias Brosch and David Sander, 351–374. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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    Explains the concept of “elective affinities” between psychological traits and political ideology; provides evidence that “big five” personality variables and Schwartz’s taxonomy of basic personal values correlate with, and influence the development of, political ideology.

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  • Rathbun, Brian C. “Hierarchy and Community at Home and Abroad: Evidence of a Common Structure of Domestic and Foreign Policy Beliefs in American Elites.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51.3 (2007): 379–407.

    DOI: 10.1177/0022002707300842Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Introduces a two-orientation scale for foreign policy values, comprising “hierarchy” and “community” to parallel Right and Left ideology; using data from a survey of US elites, the author confirms the two proposed orientations but also introduces a third, isolationism.

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  • Rathbun, Brian C., Joshua D. Kertzer, Jason Reifler, Paul Goren, and Thomas J. Scotto. “Taking Foreign Policy Personally: Personal Values and Foreign Policy Attitudes.” International Studies Quarterly 60.1 (2016): 124–137.

    DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqv012Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Extends previous research on the link between basic personal values and political ideology by finding correlations between values and foreign policy orientations using a nationally representative sample in the United States; demonstrates that even without significant knowledge about foreign policy, citizens’ basic values influence their development of opinions about foreign affairs.

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  • Rosati, Jerel, and John Creed. “Extending the Three‐and Four‐Headed Eagles: The Foreign Policy Orientations of American Elites during the 80s and 90s.” Political Psychology 18.3 (1997): 583–623.

    DOI: 10.1111/0162-895X.00069Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Proposes six foreign policy value orientations (“global crusaders,” “global containers,” “selective containers,” “global reformers,” “global transformers,” and “selective engagers,”) derived from a content analysis of foreign policy journals and political magazines.

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  • Schwartz, Shalom H., Gian Vittorio Caprara, Michele Vecchione, et al. “Basic Personal Values Underlie and Give Coherence to Political Values: A Cross National Study in 15 Countries.” Political Behavior 36.4 (2014): 899–930.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11109-013-9255-zSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides evidence of links between basic personal values and political ideology in non- and post-communist countries around the world; lays a foundation for understanding how basic personal values influence opinions on foreign policy issues.

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