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Sources of change in foreign policy. A review of foreign policy models for developing countries

Author(s): Alba E. Gámez

Journal: Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals
ISSN 1133-6595

Issue: 69;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Política exterior | teoría relaciones internacionales | burocracia | grupos de interés | países en desarrollo

The study of what could be called the reorientation of State foreign policy is not a new phenomenon. Changes in alliances, economic partners and attitudes in the face of international issues have been reflected in myriad texts. Nevertheless, few theoretical frameworksdeal with this issue as an area of study in and of itself. Overcoming this situation would contribute to identifying and comparing the changes in attitude and discourse in the relations between countries, especially in the case of developing countries, and, by extension, thesources of these changes. This article reviews the different models for the analysis of foreign policy, using the conceptual framework of Hermann (1990) as its starting point. This framework suggests the existence of four graded levels of change which allow for studying forms of change which are subtle but important in foreign policy; it also offers a reasoned analysis for testing the relative importance of their sources. This conceptual framework can be situated in the traditional division of levels of analysis: the characteristics of the leader, bureaucratic proposer, internal adjustment, and external impact; and, while it does not provide a conclusive answer, it may be a useful tool in clarifying the ways of using empirical evidence and establishing the relative importance of the sources of change in foreign policy orientation.
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