In Role Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis the contributors analyze foreign policy within the context of three research traditions: the comparative study of foreign policy, the decision-making approach and political realism. Some of the analysts make the general case for using the concept of role to understand foreign policy within each tradition while others support this concept with evidence drawn from comparative case studies and statistical analyses of states in a variety of historical and geographic settings, including the United States, the Soviet Union, France, Japan, and the states of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In the concluding essay, Professor Walker provides a critical evaluation of the prospects for synthesizing the three research traditions within the perspective provided by role theory. He also examines the current controversy over neorealism to determine whether role theory can contribute constructively to that debate. Stephen G. Walker is Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University.
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