Foreign policy

Gender equality is a priority for some countries and foreign policy leaders, yet the impact of men’s discourses and practices persists in the sphere of foreign policy. It is clear that leaders impact foreign policy, but it is not clear which attributes are most significant. As Trump’s administration has progressed, it has shown that the average American can still substantially impact the country’s foreign policy. It might be challenging to assess the extent to which particular governments can achieve their foreign policy goals in the face of several global problems. This illustrates the interconnectedness of numerous actors functioning at various levels of action. These new tendencies in international relations, often contradicting, necessitate an approach to foreign policy analysis. As a result, this area was designed for academics and professionals[1][2]. This will help us better understand the factors that go into making decisions about foreign policy and the results of those actions.

Role of Actors in Foreign Policy

Official and unofficial actors are the two main groups of people active in the policymaking process. Because their functions are prescribed in law or the Constitution, official actors have the authority to make and implement policies in the public sector. To participate in public policy, these roles give official actors the opportunity. Because the Constitution names the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, it is clear that these three branches constitute the government’s formal institutions. In policymaking, “unofficial actors” play a role, although they do not have the legal authority (or obligation) to do so. These people have the legal right (or duty) to perform as official actors.

Their status as “unofficial actors” is no indication that their contributions are any less significant. While these organizations are active, it is because they have the legal authority to do so, the need to protect and advance their critical interests, and the reality that their involvement is essential to the efficient operation of our government. Interest groups are involved in politics because they provide a helpful way for a large number of people to voice their views on policy in general, rather than because they are permitted to do so by law.[3][4][5] The news media members are yet another critical group of people the government does not employ. The First Amendment protects them because they are “watchdogs” in society. The government’s actions are frequently covered in the media. Even though they don’t play a predetermined role in policy formation, our democracy would fall apart without them. Although the media has access to many aspects of governmental policymaking, it is not always privy.

The Complexity of Foreign Policy

The government’s tendency to outsource services rather than perform them in-house, as well as economic stimulus spending and the so-called “bailouts” of central investment banks and the auto industry during the early days of the Obama administration, can all be blamed for the declining workforce and increasing spending. Another factor to consider is the government’s preference for contracting out rather than performing services in-house. Society, government, and the economy are reflected in the government’s increase in size and complexity and the demands that individuals and interest groups place on government and all of our other social institutions.

When it comes to how big our government is, it’s because we have much demand for our goods and services. The private sector can not perform tasks directly because of the high expenses involved; government agencies, on the other hand, perform functions that we require but do not want the private sector to act. A public good is a good plagued by substantial problems due to people using it for free. Economists believe that public assets are open to using by anybody, even those who do not own them. If a product or service cannot be distributed to the general public in a way that allows each individual to use it as they see fit, it is referred to as “indivisible.” When it comes to product distribution, however, all employees are given equal access to it[6][7]. Individuals may call the fire department for help without implying that they are the only ones who can; this service is nonexclusive.

Elements of Policy Making and Problems

. Public problems, in this view, may stem from a range of causes, including unanticipated events like natural disasters and the efforts of concerned citizens and interest groups. We say something is “on the agenda” for discussion when it has been sufficiently discussed. Numerous organizations are considering several concerns and concepts due to the size, scale, and complexity of the government in the United States and the sheer number of governments.

When an issue arises in importance, it moves on to the next phase: formulation of policy answers to public concerns, or what some may refer to as “solutions.” From there, we can choose from various policy options or tools to help us solve the problem. Afterward, the policies implemented. At this point, the procedure is analyzed and used as the basis for further consideration. This paradigm has widely criticized in the last few years. Policy making is challenging for many reasons, the most important of which is that the “stages” or “textbook” model implies that the process of producing policies is linear and sequential. Some argue that a policy proposal may not go through all of the necessary procedures. While new ideas for public policy frequently appear on the table, they are rarely implemented. Others counter that it is impossible to separate the process of implementing a policy from the process of evaluating that policy because evaluation co-occurs with the execution of a policy [8][9]. Detractors of the stages model argue that it fails to describe the policymaking process adequately. Even if the stages model is outdated, we still believe it is helpful to consider how policies are implemented. Peter Deleon, a political expert, claims that many academics have written extensive dissertations covering each stage of the process in great detail.

Seeing policy development as a series of steps helps us organize our thoughts, identify the most important components, and better understand the process. These texts, however, focus primarily on how the discipline has grown over time and currently organized. However, other works follow the opposite approach, but most of them are somewhat out-of-date at this time. A general trend in International Relations (IR) has focused on individual decision-makers roles.

Nations utilize various strategies to establish how they want to interact with one another, including negotiations and military confrontation. Diplomacy with other types of strategic coercion, such as conflict, can produce a hybrid approach that deviates from the norm when combined. The conflict between strategic partners can take on the forms of “hate and love” or “carrot and stick,” depending on how the two parties feel about each other. For the most part, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been non-aligned since its creation.

Collaboration with the United States formed when the two countries signed a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement (MDAA), and both joined the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO). The relationship has gotten tenser as a result of this shift. The United States is expanding its relationship with India to punish Pakistan, while Pakistan is boosting its ties with the PRC. To convince Pakistan that India is a threat, the United States is conducting this. To give Afghanistan a strategic alternative, the United States encouraged Afghanistan to strengthen its ties with India.

As a result of their inability to bring peace to the conflict-ridden region, the United States of America, its NATO allies, including India, who is not an ally, and its aligned partner Afghanistan wanted to pin the blame on someone or anything other than themselves. Afghanistan is located on Pakistan’s border. Additionally, they are using world media, particularly digital media, in their diplomatic efforts against Pakistan. They can achieve this goal because of this. As a result of the battle in Afghanistan, it has been referred to as a “hybrid conflict.” There are now several Taliban factions fighting against coalition forces and the Afghan army in Afghanistan. As they call it, they’re striving to liberate their country from “foreign occupiers.” That they are waging war against the Afghan military is clear to anyone who looks around. Because they haven’t stopped the Afghan Taliban from assaulting,

Western forces are placing the blame on Pakistan, which they believe is to blame for making things worse in the “grey zone” of Afghanistan (where there are no clear borders and guerrilla wars are taking place). This is since the allied forces have been unable to prevent attacks by the Afghan Taliban, where they were conducting operations despite their best efforts Allies of the United States could not give Afghanistan a workable political and administrative framework, and they could not do anything to win over the Afghan people’s affections. That is to say, and they had no interest in enhancing Afghanistan’s position or providing assistance to the local inhabitants. They insist that Pakistan is providing covert help to the Taliban organizations in Afghanistan to hide their blunders.

Even though Pakistan had vowed to build a fence along the border to deter illegal immigration, this was not something they were interested in implementing. Rather than accepting Pakistan’s past mistakes and weaknesses, the United States administration is putting pressure on Pakistan to “do more,” They are doing this by pushing Pakistan to “do more.” Exercising diplomatic pressure is what this is all about. This clearly illustrates how to use technique and diplomacy to persuade someone else to do something. Diplomacy’s long-established tenets include mutually beneficial agreements, trust-building, and compromise for all parties involved. To exert pressure on Pakistan, the United States enlisted the help of India. They knew New Delhi could play a role in putting further pressure on Pakistan. Coercive diplomacy, such as threatening a country with negative consequences, may work, but it is not assured.

Using coercion as a diplomatic tactic has inherent limitations, which differ depending on the parties involved and the type of conflict resolved. To be successful in theory, a demand that drives the initiative must be accepted and an approach to the limitation. The United States’ use of coercive diplomacy with Pakistan may not provide the desired effects, given the conditions, the target country’s countering capability, and the limitations of the U.S. strategy. Because of its close ties with China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, Pakistan is powerful on many fronts, including military, economic, and diplomatic. Thus, the United States may not achieve the desired outcomes. A comparable situation exists in Pakistan, which is currently grappling with the prospect of actual wars on its long borders, especially the one between Afghanistan and India, both of which have a history of violence.

The extent to which the United States and its allies have been successful in Afghanistan is heavily influenced by the Afghanistan-Pakistan war idea. The United States and its partners are using this fight to hurt Pakistan as part of their global campaigns, both online and through more traditional media means. As a result, this combat can be considered a member of the 4th and 5th generations of warfare, respectively.

To maintain its potential to use its “cold start” war plan against Pakistan, India is also spending a large amount of money to strengthen its military forces. India’s war plans include positioning its military along the borders and attempting to isolate Islamabad diplomatically to harm Pakistan’s economy and the army. The naked eye can’t see a 4th and 5th-generation hybrid conflict Pakistan is currently engaging in. During this struggle, Pakistan’s foes are using many tactics to increase the gap between the country’s military and its civilian population. The adversary foot the tab for actions that pull the social fabric of society apart by pitting groups against each other on the grounds of race and religion. Because they weaken the federal government, regionalist movements flourish when such measures are taken. In terms of race, religion, and sect, they worsen the situation. They also leave people feeling useless and afraid. To create division, doubt, and distrust, they play traditional and online media outlets to disseminate misinformation in a target country. In this war, the 4th and 5th generations are mixed, creating a hybrid. The United States’ hybrid warfare concept has wreaked havoc in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya, as well as in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Hybrid warfare proved successful in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya because the United States was successful in its aims [10].

However, in places like Afghanistan and Syria, it’s been an utter failure. It was much more challenging to fight hybrid warfare in Pakistan than in other areas where the United States and its allies have waged mixed battles. Pakistan is a nuclear-weapons state with a populace that has considerable influence. With the help of the United States, India, and Israel, Pakistan has been in conflict since the beginning. They were said to spend millions of dollars annually on Pakistan’s media. India’s effect on Pakistani press can be seen both directly and indirectly.

Fifth-generation hybrid conflict

Fifth-generation hybrid conflict fought over “grey zones” and “frontiers” that exist only in players’ minds and can therefore not seen by outside observers. The US, India, and Israel are investing much money in this battle in the hopes that it will support their coercive diplomatic efforts. The terrorist danger is a legitimate concern. Thus, they may call for “more to be done.” Alternatively, they may be able to exploit the grey hybrid war to persuade citizens to defy their security system. It’s impossible to use standard military equipment in this combat because of its unusual nature. People from all walks of life in the United States can participate in the fifth-generation conflict, especially those with knowledge of international policy and the media. This can be accomplished only if they understand how the 5th generation hybrid conflict occurs in grey zones, which refers to the minds and lives of persons who reside outside of physical borders.

Diplomacy is the term used to describe the process through which nations

They employ these strategies to get what they want out of their interactions with one another, and they prove effective. International relations crisis management has seen an upsurge in using the term “coercive diplomacy” since the Cold War ended. There aren’t as many large-scale wars as there once were, or indeed battles. As a result, they have replaced by diplomatic and strategic pressure to obtain beneficial outcomes. Coercive diplomacy has played a vital part in U.S. foreign policy and international events for a long time. Strategic or diplomatic coercion occurred when a state persuaded, pressed, or compelled to take or cease a particular action.

There is much dispute about the efficacy of these kinds of initiatives. Economic sanctions affect internal politics and force it to operate in a way that serves the financial or strategic objectives of the stronger country. This type of coercion is highly effective. Threatening to use force against a state as a kind of strategic coercion is a third type of coercion. Coercive diplomacy, a variety of politics, can help resolve problems and keep battles from getting out of hand. Coercive diplomatic methods are used by some states when their goals conflict with those of the opposing party. People began to pay more attention to this concept after World War II, and even more so following the Cold War. The use of non-military tactics to affect “target states” to achieve specific foreign policy objectives is known as coercion. Each target and each state has its unique approach to pressure. Trade embargoes, diplomatic ties severed, voting against the interests of the target state in international forums, and removing the target state from these forums are only a few examples of current practices.


The contributions demonstrate that international policy research can benefit significantly from incorporating ideas from a wide range of sources. Aside from international relations and other subfields of political science (such as comparative politics and public policy), the contributions use concepts from some disciplines, including psychology, economics, and sociology. Thus, they add to the knowledge we can draw to address pressing foreign policy issues, resulting in a complete picture of the situation. This entails considering ideas derived from other positivist epistemologies besides the positivist one, which is still dominant in FPA. Taking into account ideas from feminist theory or critical time theory, the contributions show that positivist work can benefit greatly from including these other viewpoints.

In addition, the contributions underline how vital it is to stop disputing the significance of particular elements that are said to sway the path of international policy. Individuals, parties, and regional organizations all have the potential to influence global policy, but this isn’t necessarily the case in practice. This assessment raises the “real” question of whether or not factors such as these and others that influence foreign policy are essential in the first place. The answer to this question has already given for some of the factors discussed here, but further research may provide more comprehensive insights into how a combination of specific factors affects foreign policy.

There are many examples of foreign policy decisions made by a single leader and more general trends and shifts. As a result, the frameworks and ideas used are not only relevant in the Western world. A variability of non-Western elements influence political outcomes, including but not limited to political parties, populism, personal characteristics such as race and ethnicity, gender, and the passage of time. Despite its importance, finding parallels and contrasts between how these and other factors play out in various decision-making contexts has received far less attention than it deserves. This will strengthen foreign policy comparisons that go beyond the usual North-South divide.



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  2. Potter, W. C. (1980). Issue area and foreign policy analysis. International Organization34(3), 405-427.
  3. White, B. (1999). The European challenge to foreign policy analysis. European Journal of International Relations5(1), 37-66.
  4. Giacalone, R. (2012). Latin American foreign policy analysis: external influences and internal circumstances. Foreign Policy Analysis8(4), 335-353.
  5. Morin, J. F., & Paquin, J. (2018). Foreign policy analysis: A toolbox. Springer.
  6. de Almeida, M. H. T., Fernandes, I. F., & de Sá Guimarães, F. (2021). Structuring Public Opinion on Foreign Policy Issues: The Case of Brazil. Latin American Research Review56(3), 557-574.
  7. Bishop, E., & Bittner, M. (2018). Pedagogy With Purpose: Engaging students with foreign policy issues. Childhood Education94(4), 14-21.
  8. White, B. (2018). Foreign policy analysis and European foreign policy. In Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy(pp. 45-61). Manchester University Press.
  9. Ferris, E. G. (2019). Toward a theory for the comparative analysis of Latin American Foreign Policy. The Dynamics of Latin American Foreign Policies: Challenges for the 1980s(pp. 269-284). Routledge.
  10. Thorstensen, K. (2020). In pursuit of significance, a foreign policy analysis of Pakistan(Master’s thesis, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås).

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