The study of International Politics is concerned with the foreign affairs of states, the relationships between states, and the role of other types of organisations – primarily inter- and transnational institutions and networks.
The Foreign Policy of States
The study of the foreign policy of states has two main purposes:
- To describe characteristic features of the foreign policy pursued by a given state.
- To explain similarities and differences in the positions adopted and behaviour of states in their foreign affairs.
Interstate relations are studied with references to general categories such as conflict and cooperation, but the focus may also be on certain types of processes, such as negotiations and integration.
The study of international institutions, such as regimes and organizations, revolves around two main questions:
- Why are organizations and regimes established in certain policy areas and in certain situations, and how can we best explain similarities and differences in the making of these institutions?
- Why do some institutions “succeed” better than others?