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0 Introduction

In this 21 century which the world become increasingly globalize with economic, social,

cultural and military, the states are interconnected and interdependence with each other.

Decisions which make by one state can affect the others which more than just participating

countries. Therefore, foreign policy has become more important than before.

Foreign policy means interface of domestic and world politics; in Lippmann’s phrase, “the

shield of the Republic” (Roskin, Cords, & Medeiros 2013).1 The study of foreign policy is

relevance with world politics. It includes all interactions of individual nation which means

states with other states, international organization and non-government organizations. Rodee

(1957) defined foreign policy as involving the formulation and implementation of a group of

principles which shape the behavior of a state while negotiating with other states to protect or

further its vital interest. It established as a systematic way to deal with issues that may arise

with other countries. The development and formulation of foreign policy is influenced by

domestic considerations, the policies or behavior of other states, or plans to advance specific

geopolitical designs. Besides that, Northedge (1968) also see foreign policy means the use of

political influence in order to influence and persuade other states to exercise their law-making

power in a manner desired by the state concerned by develop a workable system of collective

security for the preservation of peace and security around the world. It involves the process of

decision making to achieve state’s goal.

Then, the putting of foreign policies into practice is called as diplomacy. A country’s diplomats

who officially appointed present at almost every stage of a nation’s foreign policy because they

Roskin, M. G., Cord, R.L., & Medeiros, J.A., 2013, Political Science: An Introduction. United Kingdom:
Person Education.

deliver messages which may bring great impact. Diplomat is the one who monitor and evaluate

the policy.

As student who study course international relations management, to understand foreign

policy is a must. Here comes the topic which given to me for this assignment, the framing of

foreign policy remains the responsibility of a sovereign and independent state which included

three questions. Firstly, why the study of foreign policy important? Second, what influence

can external and domestic factors have on foreign policy formulation? Thirdly, should non-

state actors be given important role in foreign policy process? If so, how?

Next, I will study and analyze the topic and questions which given in the following pages.

2.0 Why the study of foreign policy important?

Foreign policy has been described as the courses of action adopted by the government of a

country in the interest of the welfare of its people. So, why the study of foreign policy is


Firstly, the reason it is important is as students who studying the course international relations

management, we should care about the world affairs and Malaysia’s role on the global state.

Foreign policy affects almost every aspect of our daily life. All the issues are impacted by

how we interact with the rest of the world.

We need to understand and think about how others not only the country or the organization

which play a part in the issue affected by a actor’s action. Therefore, we need to have a

balanced and comprehensive appreciation of the study of foreign policy with particular

emphasis on current decision making and psychological approaches.

Besides that, the study of foreign policy is important because after we learn about it, we will

have a theoretical foundation with which to understand the substance and the process of

foreign policy making across many states in comparative perspective.

Moreover, the study of foreign policy is important due to we need to have an in-depth

understanding of the global issue and foreign policy analysis has the relationship between the

study of international relations, diplomacy and politics.

3.0 What influence can external and domestic factors have on foreign policy


Foreign policy process is a process of decision making. Decisions usually make by the

leaders which decide to go to war against other state or to make peace with each other, form

alliance, establish diplomatic relations, impose economic sanctions or approve and ratify

global environmental agreement.

3.1 External Factors

There have three of external factors namely international regimes and organization, world

public opinion, and foreign policies of other states.

Firstly, international regimes and organization can influence the making on foreign policies

with the presence of international laws, international treaties, pacts, trading blocs, and various

international and regional organization. This is because several bilateral and multilateral

treaties and agreement have to be taken into consideration when foreign policy choices are

set. The activities of international organizations such as United Nations, World Trade

Organization, and regional organizations like Association of South East Asian Nation, North

American Free Trade Agreement, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the military pacts

like North Atlantic Treaty Organization have the important connection on the foreign policies

of every state.

Foreign policies of other states can be influence the formulation and the operation of foreign

policy of a particular state. This is because it has taken into consideration of the behavior of

the state as well as the foreign policy choice. Therefore, a state’s foreign policy objective has

to be state specific in the sense that it should manoeuvra its foreign policy choices according

to its relations with states which those are friendly and with those are hostile.

3.2 Domestic Factors

Geography, history and culture, economic development, national interest, national character

and national morale, political structure, social structure, social structure, ideology, and public

opinion are the domestic factors of foreign policy formulation.

Firstly, the geography includes the size of the territory, location, climate, topography, and

natural resources such like oil and minerals which can influence the formulation of foreign

policy. Size of the territory contribute to a state’s power with the capacity of large population

and natural resources because it is the total landmass that a state exercises its sovereign

authority. Meanwhile, the location of the state can affect and change the culture and economy

and military power. For example, what if the England and United States make insularity

position will lead to greatly impact of the foreign policy decisions of others states.

Besides that, the foreign policy formulation can be influenced by economic development

which based on the Gross National Product (GNP). The largest economy according to the

highest is the United States. With this, she able to secure its foreign policy objective with

other countries. This is because the level of economic development determines that state’s

ability to prepare and improve its military capabilities. A state’s economy status and military

development are connected with each other. Meanwhile, there was a decline in economic

development for the Russia, so it will influence its formulation of foreign policy.

Next, public opinion can influence the formulation of foreign policy in this present world of

fast communication and information exchange. It has greater impact on it in the democracy

government than in the authoritarian government. The government must persuade people to

accept the policies which make by the government because it will be carry out by the

ordinary people such as soldiers, bureaucrats and workers. The government need to get the

support from its people. Therefore, states usually will use information media to improve the

propaganda due to the foreign policy decision makers are rely on the media for information

about the foreign affairs. For example, after the television news that showed the heartrending

results of civil war and famine at Somalia in 1992, United States soldiers were sent to there

for relief efforts. However, public opinion shifted quickly against the Somalia operation after

the television news showed a deadly firefight that killed eighteen soldiers and an American

solder’s body being dragged through the streets by the members of Somali faction. From this,

it shows how public opinion influence the foreign policy of a state.

4.0 Should non-state actors be given important role in foreign policy process? If so,


Non-state actors including the intergovernmental organization which I mentioned in pervious

page, non-governmental organization which means independent of government and business

and about charity like Red Cross and Human Rights Watch, the multinational corporations

and others such as Iraqi Kurdistan and the terrorist group like Islamic States.

In my opinion, I feel they should not give important role in foreign policy process. This is

because the process of foreign policy including the goal setting and ranking, consideration of

options, assessment of consequences, and decision making which based on the profit

maximization that will gain by a state. Non-state actor should have the role in the foreign

policy process but not the important because if they intervene in this process, the state will

not gain the profit maximization and will not reach its national interest. In realism theory, the

government of a country emphasize on the survival of the state, and realist think that the

decision which make by the state actor usually is rational. Because the government will seek

for carefully planning and well define the foreign policy goal of a country. If non-state actor

involve in, will lead to great confusion among the government, the intergovernmental

organizations which have difference objective and the non-governmental organization which

mostly attach importance to the charity of the global citizen. Besides that, if when a

government wanted to protect its national interest but meanwhile the non-state actors feel that

this decision will led to a treat to the people of other country. This kind of situation will

become disorder and increase the difficulty of making decision in the foreign policy process.

A state need power to maintain its status in the global. Hence, I think it is better that non-state

actors did not intervene in the foreign policy process.

5.0 Conclusion

Foreign policy is important for every country in the world to protect its national interest and

the welfare of its people, and also for the purpose to influence the behavior of other actors.

In this assignment, I make an analyze about the framing of foreign policy remains the

responsibility of a sovereign and independent state. The study of foreign policy is important

because we will learn and understand the system work and the world from it. The external

factors which can influence the formulation of foreign policy are international regimes and

organization, and foreign policy of other states. Meanwhile, geography, economic

development and public interest are the domestic factors that will influence foreign policy

formulation. Besides that, I stated the reasons which I feel that non-state actors should not be

given important role in foreign policy process.

In a nutshell, the framing of foreign policy need to base on the economic prosperity, security

and safety, believe and value of a country. Hence, it should be remaining as the responsibility

of a state.