Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Scott Firsing


The unit provides an introduction to foreign policy or the behaviour of a state towards other states. The unit will help you understand how central governments of sovereign states relate to each other and to the global system in order to achieve various goals or objectives. The unit will achieve this by first providing a broad overview of the foundational international relations (IR) and theoretical approaches to foreign policy analysis. This includes studying various IR topics such as war, economics, intergovernmental organisations and diplomacy. Secondly, this unit examines historical and contemporary case studies of the foreign policies of major powers from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle-East and North America, with an emphasis on American and South African foreign policy. Through these case studies, one will become familiar with the process of foreign policy making, grand strategies; and status quo and revisionist powers, amongst other topics.


The main learning outcomes for the unit is for students to be able to understand the various sources and complexity of foreign policy behaviour and decisions. Moreover, students should be able to make a sound analysis and explanation of foreign policy behaviours of states, ulitising theoretical foundations and comparative perspectives.


Written work: 90%
Class participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study