By Christopher Hill
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Additional info for Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century
As an area of serious enquiry it must confront the possibility that it might contain built-in normative biases or, more prosaically, just not address certain valuebased questions. It is certainly true that many of the interesting questions about foreign policy involve issues of value or principle. If FPA evades them, then it becomes less worthwhile. One such is how far foreign policy may be effectively harnessed to an ethical cause without damaging other legitimate goals. Another is the long-debated issue of how far foreign policy can or should be accountable to citizens who are probably ignorant of the issues but who will still have to pay some price for them – even perhaps to die in its name.
The central and east European countries made a beeline for EU and NATO membership, which in most cases they have achieved despite strenuous Russian objections. The end of the Cold War thus introduced qualitative changes to international politics, and in some cases to the very relationship between foreign and domestic policy. But the changes did not threaten foreign policy as an activity. , 1999; Held and McGrew, 2003; Scholte, 2000). At least, the many works on the subject which proliferated gave this impression by the simple fact of ignoring it.
6 It also tacitly accepts Waltz’s warning against reductionism. The Scandinavian attempt to promulgate ‘weak (general) theory’ to cope with the problem of integrating middlerange theories might succeed – but it is difficult to see what it would look like in practice (Waever, 1990, 1994). A great deal of high-quality scholarship has already come out of FPA’s middle-range theories and the challenge is to build on them rather than to pursue a chimera. The theories are already integrated in the sense that foreign policy analysis is underpinned by systems theory, meaning that it conceives of the state as a system, which being embedded in a multi-layered international system is subject to a series of connections and feedback loops both up (internationally) and down to the various subsystems of national bureaucracy and society.