Spring 2021 - POL 845 G100

Foreign Policy Analysis (5)

Class Number: 5300

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM





This course focuses on examining the factors that influence the foreign policies of states, with an emphasis on understanding why states behave as they do internationally.


Course details

This course is designed to provide graduate students with an introduction to major themes and approaches to understanding foreign policy. Governments pursue all sorts of goals internationally. Is there any rhyme or reason to the things they do?

The course uses a “levels-of-analysis” framework to cover realist, liberal, and constructivist theories of foreign policy. Specific topics include: the security dilemma in foreign policy, domestic pressures on foreign policy, and public and opinion and foreign policy, among others.

Course organization

There will be a three-hour seminar once a week via Zoom in conjunction with asynchronous assignments and activities.


  • Weekly class participation 10%
  • In-class presentation on weekly readings 5%
  • Research paper, completed in stages 60%
  • Literature review examination 25%



Course readings (journal articles and book chapters) are available on-line, through the SFU library. 

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).