Ontology and Epistemology in Foreign Policy Analysis
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2020-06-24
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(4):9–36
The aim of the article is to identify the scope and boundaries of the ‘foreign policy research’ sub-discipline. The term used in this article is ‘foreign policy research’ instead of the commonly applied ‘foreign policy analysis’ (analiza polityki zagranicznej) because this implies the application of scientific research procedures. Therefore, the article focuses on the following issues: the historiography of foreign policy research from the end of World War I to the present time; the ontological premises that were used to delimit the scope of research; the epistemology of foreign policy research. The conclusion addresses the concept of ‘foreign policy research’ as a sub-discipline of international relations. Taking into account the ontological criteria, the scope of foreign policy research is narrower than that of international relations. They are, however, interrelated, if we refer to the subject–structure criterion. The two areas are studied using the same theories, but research questions are formulated differently in each case.