Sunday, May 6, 2007

Methodological Lenses for Viewing Global Affairs

One goal of this blog is to explore ways to design effective foreign policy. Comments, some of which have already appeared in previous posts, on principles that should serve as guidelines for foreign address the issue of how to design effective foreign policy.

A second goal is to explore how global affairs are developing, how the international political system is evolving. This is of course closely related to the first since the foreign policies pursued by various countries affect the evolution of the system. But a fundamental distinction exists between what policies ought to be pursued and the actual course of events. For the second, two conceptual approaches (or, if one wishes, "lenses" for viewing international relations) of central concern are:

1) underlying causal dynamics and
2) the international political system as a complex system.

Needless to say, the second goal feeds back into the first since it would be difficult to design foreign policy for longterm effectiveness in the modern world without viewing the system through each of these two lenses. Future posts will expand on these points.

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