The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 60: Comparative Analyses of Foreign Policy
What makes Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) a distinct sub-field of International Relations (IR) is the deliberate focus on the ‘black box state'. Subscribing to a liberal understanding of international politics, scholarship in this tradition ties a country's external behavior back to its decision makers and/or domestic political structures (Snyder et al.,  2002). Thus, on a conceptual level, FPA specifies and ‘fine-tunes’ Kenneth Waltz's (1959) rather general and abstract ‘first image’ and ‘second image’ explanations of international politics by offering a more nuanced and detailed understanding as to what exactly it is that drives behavior on the level of individual actors and the state level respectively. The ensuing greater number ...