12 Key Determinants of Foreign Policy

12 Key Determinants of Foreign Policy

Every country has the right and the right to pursue the goals of its national interest in international relations. It is his highest duty to meet the needs of his people. Every country wants to be satisfied in all aspects of work. However, in reality, no country can achieve independence in the age of one hundred percent.

Countries are always dependent, and they will remain so even after they have reached a high level of development. "Treaty is an indisputable element of international relations." It forces every country to engage in the process of promoting and developing their relations with other countries.

Every country develops political, economic, commercial, educational, cultural and political relations with other countries.

In today's world, no country can survive alone.

Each state is bound by interdependence. This is why every state will dream of good relations with other states. As a member of the international community, the relationship between states determines and controls foreign policy.

Many factors determine foreign policy and those factors are called determinants of foreign policy.


What is Foreign Policy?

Foreign policy can be defined as a set of principles, decisions and methods, adopted and followed by a country to ensure its goals of national interest and international relations.

Foreign policy defines the goals of national interest and attempts to achieve them through the use of national power.

George Modelski defines foreign policy as "foreign policy is a set of programs developed by a country to change the behavior of other states and to improve their activities in the world".

In simple words, it can be seen that foreign policy is a set of principles and decisions, a system of thought and a course of action adopted by a country and used to improve its relations with other countries and all international actors the chosen and specific objectives of his national interest.

Foreign policy involves international relations and programs.

Broadly speaking, foreign policy is shaped by the types of actions and behaviors that are related to the self-interest of other states. It is a decision-making process to pursue certain international programs.

Foreign policy refers to the combination of state responses to the global environment, current and anticipated decisions.

The way to meet national interests and goals is closely related to foreign policy.

Contains of Foreign Policy

• A set of principles, policies and decisions adopted by countries and followed in international relations. 

• Objectives, purposes or objectives of the national interest that must be pursued.

• Meant to achieve the objective of public welfare.

• General political principles and decisions on the conduct of international relations.

• Weighing the country's strengths and weaknesses against its national welfare goals.

• Plans, decisions and program activities to maintain continuity or change or both in international relations.


12 Key Factors that Determine Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is organized and implemented by those who make it. In doing so, they take into account the national interests of the country, the internal and external environment, national values, foreign policy goals and decisions of other countries, and the nature of the international power system.


1. Size of State Territory

The quality of the state is an important factor in its foreign policy. Quality affects the mindset and performance of foreign policy makers and the public in response.

It includes both human and non-human resources. Countries with high human and non-human resources always try to be great powers and they have a better chance of becoming a great power in international relations.

Size has been a factor in the foreign policy of the United States, Russia, China, India, Brazil, France and others. Large states, except for a few, always create and take an active foreign policy and thereby participate in international relations.

However, size alone is not an independent determinant of foreign policy. Resources and state capacity do not always depend on size.

The countries of the Middle East, even if they are small and have a lot of oil, have played a large role in international relations. Japan is a small country, but its role in international relations is active and influential.

Israel, although it is a small country, has influenced the political path between different countries.

Before 1945, Britain, with its small size, could function as a world power. The large number causes problems of safety, security and maintaining communications. In the absence of land borders, large cities often cause problems of relations with neighboring states. Despite being large states, Australia's and Canada's foreign policies have not worked well. Russia is a big situation, but his work and relationships of the world are strong.


2. Geographical Factor

State geography is a constant and stable factor in foreign policy. The topography of the land, its fertility, climate and its location are the main factors that affect the country's land and affect the country's foreign policy. The right regional issues can help and encourage the country to embrace and pursue higher goals.

The role of the English Channel in the development of Britain as a great navy and therefore as an imperial power is well known. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean on American foreign policy has always been present. India's foreign policy is now influenced by India's geographical location as India's largest coastal state.

A country's natural resources and food production capacity are tied to its geography. These factors are also important in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. The good availability of important natural resources, minerals, food and energy, has helped the foreign policy of the United States and Russia.

Food shortages were a major source of constraint in India's foreign policy in the 1950s and 1960s. The shortage of goods has affected Russia's foreign policy and relations. Big oil has helped countries in West Asia and the Gulf to adopt oil diplomacy as their way of foreign policy.

Geography, as such, is an important and permanent factor in foreign policy, but it is not the determining factor. Revolutionary developments in communications and modern warfare, as well as the ability of nations to overcome regional barriers, have led to a reduction in the importance of geography.


3. Level and Nature of Economic Development

One of the main reasons why the foreign policy of the United States is often successful in achieving its national goals, especially in relation to the poor and underdeveloped states of the world, is the high level of development its wealth.

The developed countries of our time are highly developed and economically developed countries. They can use foreign aid as a tool to achieve their foreign policy objectives.

The level of economic development decides to decide that the international relationship requires to establish other countries. Other foreign laws of Japan in a hybrid used in the corporation of his economic development. Military preparedness and military capabilities of a nation are closely related to the cause of economic development and production. Only developed and economically developed countries can hope to become stable leaders and militaries.

The economy consists of national strengths at times, it is now; It can be used successfully to obtain foreign goals. America's economy has become a great deal of prophecy from overseas. Russia's economic weakness caused it to change its policy towards the United States and other countries. India's steady economic growth has certainly boosted India's foreign relations.

Therefore, the level and nature of economic development, productivity and improvement are important aspects of foreign policy. The rise of India and China as economic powers has shaped foreign policy not only in the Indo-Pacific region, but also globally.


4. Cultural and Historical Context

The cultural and historical heritage of a foreign country is an important and valuable factor in foreign policy. The values ​​and traditions that characterize the life of the people are the things that are very much affected by the foreign policy.

The strong cultural unity of the people has always been a source of strength for him. It physically affects their ability to ensure national interest objectives during international negotiations.

Historical experience and cultural connections enable them to explore and analyze the nature and extent of their relationship with other countries.

In fact, the weakness of the foreign policy of many Asian and African countries is due to the presence of internal conflicts and conflicts between their citizens.

Bitter experience with the policies of imperialism and colonialism is the determining factor in anti-authoritarianism and resistance to foreign rule by many newly colonized countries.

History is an important factor in determining the relationship between neighboring countries. The foreign policy relationship between India and Pakistan is a legacy of the historical past. The shadow of the 1962 story still lingers in Sino-Indian relations.

However, cultural values ​​and relationships are subject to eternal change and change. Historical experiences are also being forgotten in the face of national interest.

The existence of conflict between European countries, despite their cultural ties and the development and persistence of friendship and strong relations between the US and Japan, clearly shows that culture and history will be linked and other factors before applying foreign laws.

The traditional tradition has been a history of his history, and his philosophy and tradition. Philosophy of non-violent, practice and the satyagram of Mahatma Gandha turned on in Mahabharata and phase of the Lord Buddha. Gandhiji's own experience in South Africa helped in realizing that India's freedom was closely related to that of other Asian and African countries. In turn, Gandhi's ideas influenced Jawaharlal Nehru.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the defining characteristics of India's foreign policy in the first few decades after independence were unconditional, anti-colonialism, anti-apartheid, non-violence, neutrality, and intervention.


5. Public Appearance

The nature and nature of the society in which foreign policy is implemented is also important. The nature of social people and the degree of conflict and harmony that defines their relationship is determined by the social structure. A country of internal strife and intense conflict acts as a source of weakness for foreign policy.

A society of united, enlightened and disciplined people with a high level of unity is often a source of strength. The democratization of the legal system in recent times has increased the importance of social organization as an object of foreign law. The connection between the country and the world has strengthened those people.


6. Government Structure

Another important aspect of foreign policy is the organization and organization of the government, that is, the organization that is responsible for the development and implementation of foreign policy.

The nature of foreign policy is also determined by whether or not the institutions in charge of the government are democratic.Whether government relations are centralized or decision-making is free and open.

Government officials also work as decision makers and this is always affected in the formulation of foreign policy. Foreign policy must be compatible with the environment.

In a centralized and authoritarian system, foreign policy can often be isolated from the environment.

The nature of the relationship between the legislature and the executive is also an important factor in foreign policy decision-making. Consistency between the two, as in the parliamentary system, can be a source of strength and inconsistency between the two can be a hindrance to foreign policy makers.

Similarly, the nature of party systems, elections and voters are other factors that influence. The continuity of Indian foreign policy is also due to the nature of government formation in India.


7. Internal Situation

According to an external process, sudden change, chaos or problem occurs around the country that affects the appearance and forecast. Listed by Nixon Principal and Word about the liquid that is mostly highly available to the National River in the United States under the Prince of Fort.

Civil resistance against military rule in Pakistan from 1947 to 1989 was a defining factor in Pakistan's foreign policy. Similarly, the declaration of emergency in India in 1975 affected India's relations with other countries, especially those with power. Changes and government is a change in the foreign country of origin.

The increase of new leader in China is an important gift in China's foreigner. The rise of India's BJP-led government since 2014 has prompted some changes in India's relations with its neighbours.

The situation inside Pakistan, a military-ruled state that attempts to be a democratic political system, is often a factor in Pakistan's foreign policy.


8. Values, Skills, Experience and Nature of Leaders

Since leaders, governments and ambassadors make foreign policy and put it into practice, although it bears the mark of their values, skills, experience and personality. The opinions, orientations, likes, dislikes, attitudes, knowledge, skills and world views of national decision makers are the influencing factors of foreign policy.

The difference between leaders is also a foreign policy intervention. India's foreign policy up to 1964 is often, and rightly, described as Nehru's foreign policy.

The domestic support and popularity that Prime Minister Nehru enjoyed as foreign policy was stated. Pakistan's foreign policy, under the influence of General Musharraf's ideology, has undergone major changes. India's decision to develop nuclear weapons was actually made under the influence of the ideology and worldview of the BJP leaders, who came to power in 1998.

The foreign policy of any country is influenced by the behavior of its leaders. Changes in government often lead to changes in a country's foreign policy. The rise of strong leaders like Narendra Modi and Donald Trump has shaped their countries' foreign policies in recent years.

However, this does not mean that this factor is an independent foreign policy determinant. Leaders are always guided by the principles and requirements of the national interest. Every leader strives to ensure the national welfare of the country.


9. Political Activities

In Roseau’s words, "the extent, to which public officials are accountable to citizens, whether through elections, party competition, legislative oversight, or other means, can have significant consequences over time and the content of the plans that are created and the projects that are active in abroad.

A political system that is responsive and accountable to the people working in the environment is different from a political system that is a closed system, that is, a system that is not open or answers questions for people. As such, the foreign policy of an open political system is more responsive to public opinion and public demands than the foreign policy of a closed political system.

The difference between the foreign policies of democratic and totalitarian/authoritarian states is always largely due to its factor.


10. Thoughts (Ideology)

Foreign policy is a set of principles and strategies adopted by a country to achieve the objectives of national interest. It always has an ideological content.

In order to gain support for its goals and for criticizing the foreign policy goals of other countries, it needs and accepts an ideology or certain ideological principles. The idea of ​​communism remained an important factor in the foreign policy of communist countries during the period 1945-90.

The concept of anti-communism and democracy has always had an impact on the form and process of foreign policy of non-communist countries. The conflict of ideas remained a defining factor in the Cold War (1945-1990) policies of the two powers.

The promotion of democracy, decentralization and liberalization in the socialist states of Europe, the new states of Central Asia, Russia and Mongolia gave a new direction to international relations in the post-1990. . Similarly, ideological commitment is the main source of cooperation in the foreign policy of Islamic countries.


11. Public Opinion

Public society, the world that society is another important gift to another prophecy. The judges will accept and give a place to think about public views. Undoubtedly, decision makers as leaders must lead the public, but they must also respond to the demands of public opinion.

The US Senate's refusal to ratify American membership in the League of Nations and the opposition to the Vietnam War by Americans and other peoples had a significant impact on US foreign policy.

The real force behind the objectives of disarmament, arms control and nuclear disarmament, anti-colonialism and anti-apartheid policies of various nations, has been world public opinion.

The rise of many peace and development movements in the world has actually acted as a brake against foreign policies of war, aggression and destruction. No one is ready now to talk and act like Hitler and Mussolini did in the 1930s.

Therefore, as the international system undergoes significant changes, the foreign policy of the world and India is moving forward. Other factors such as technology, international power systems, international alliances and agreements, and global organizations also play a key role in shaping a country's foreign policy.

All decide all the decisions of the foreign law of the foreign order and mixture. They are interacted with or on the nature of nature and implementation of foreign laws. None of these things can work in isolation. All these factors must be examined together to understand the nature and purpose of each country's foreign policy.


12. Degree of Diplomacy

The quality of diplomacy is one of the most important factors that determine foreign policy. The success or failure of a state in international politics depends on its political strategy and its effectiveness. Each of the goals and objectives of the state is strongly determined by the diplomatic wisdom of the government.

All foreign policy objectives are determined by those involved in diplomatic activity. It is through diplomatic activity that major ties and differences with other states are resolved. Diplomas determine the process for combining different interests.


Common Foreign Policy Goals

• Protect the country's dignity and develop national power.

• Upholding the integrity of the state

• Promote common interests

• Ensure national security

• Keep the world order.

In conclusion, from the above discussion of the determinants of foreign policy, it can be seen that foreign policy is influenced by many factors. In space and time, a particular element may gain importance over different elements. In many cases, anything or everything that determines anything may seem irrelevant.

Again, due to changes in space or time, this can play an important role.

In addition, some factors can affect the joint development of foreign policy. Therefore, it is not possible to create a universal opinion on the work of a single decision-maker.

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