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date: 22 July 2017

The First Wave of Foreign Policy Analysis

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Please check back later for the full article.

The first wave of the international relations subfield of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) occurred from 1954–1994. The early years in the 1950s and 1960s produced some of the defining works that would indelibly shape the field’s character. The work of Richard Snyder, James Rosenau, and Harold and Margaret Sprout molded the field to be concerned with decision-making processes, political psychology, cross-national analysis, and actor-specific theory. Subsequent first wave work in the areas of small group dynamics, organizational process, bureaucratic politics, leader personality, cognition and heuristics, culture, domestic political contestation, national attributes, blended with an understanding of international and regional systemic effects, became classics of FPA. A survey of this literature is provided, along with an examination of challenges faced during the first wave of theorizing and analysis.