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Public Policy Analysis: Foreign Policy Analysis




Admissions requirements

The students should have either followed the course Institutions of Governance and Development or have received the permission of the convener/instructor.


John Fitzegerald Kennedy had once stated that the essence of ultimate decision remains impenetrable to the observer. Central objective of this course is to underline these factors that play an instrumental role in determining foreign policy decisions. We will provide multicausal explanations on foreign-policy making. These explanations will be eventually formed into certain models of decision-making. More specifically, the questions that the lectures as well as your presentations will address in the class are the following ones:

  • What are the very content and the significance of foreign policy as a public policy field in the modern and increasingly interdependent world?

  • How can we assess the impact of globalization in the field of foreign policy? How relevant does geopolitics remain in post-Cold War period?

  • How can we assess the significance of the leader’s belief system in “deciphering” and understanding the complexity of his milieu? Do geography, national history and culture play any role in the foreign policy-making procedure?

  • What is the significance of a state’s political institutions in this respect?

  • What kind of role do think-tanks play in foreign policy outcomes?

Course objectives

At end of this course, the students should be able

  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of these pillars that formulate the foreign policy of states, especially the ones they are more interested in

  • Grasp a good understanding of the trade-offs behind a decision-making procedure

  • Develop critical reasoning skills while describing the stakes attached to decision-making

  • Improve oral communication skills through the presentations that they will perform in the class as well as their written communication skills through their assignments and final papers


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The structure of the class will be mainly based on the questions that are set above. The first two classes of Week 1 will be mainly instructed by the lecturer who will provide the students with some introductory notes on their tasks for this course as well as some necessary conceptual definitions, which are deemed essential for the class. From Week 2 onwards, the students, through their presentations will set the stage for the classes. The lecturer will start with an introductory 5’ lecture and give the floor to the students who will perform a presentation of a topic of their interest for 5’-7’. The presentation should be designed to apply the respective key concepts of every week to a policy problem (the nature/content of the policy problem is up to the student’s call). The last slide of the presentation should conclude with two questions that will open the discussion in the class. The other attendants will have been divided into groups and will try to address the questions. They will be able to raise their remarks as well. The active presentation of the students to the class discussion is required.
Before the launch of every week’s classes (except for Week 1), the students will be required to have sent a 200 words reflection paper on the key notions that will be discussed during the same week.


  • Weekly assignments 20% (200 words-4% each weekly assignment)

  • Presentation 10%

  • Participation in the class 10%

  • Mid-Term Exam (1000 words) 15%

  • Final Exam (1500 words) 20%

  • Final Case Application (2000 words) 25%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Allison Graham and Zelikov (2nd ed. 1999). Essence of Decision. Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Other articles-chapters of books will be announced on Blackboard


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Vasileios P. Karakasis,