Non- State Actors as Agents of Foreign Policy: The Case of Kurdistan

Charountaki, Marianna (2019) Non- State Actors as Agents of Foreign Policy: The Case of Kurdistan. In: Kurdish Autonomy and U.S. Foreign Policy: Continuity and Change. Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, US, pp. 13-32. ISBN 1433168022

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This chapter approaches foreign policy analysis by expanding the state level of analysis to include non- state agents as foreign policy makers. Consequently, a clearer identification of the ontology of foreign policy may also contribute to a more comprehensive epistemological scope of analysis. This helps us map the growing consensus that the state’s status quo as a prime actor in the international relations system is in a transitional period and the International Relations (IR) discipline needs to move beyond state- centric models of analysis which are primarily focused on security and state survival. As a contribution then to the theorization of foreign policy, this chapter problematizes its ontology, looking at the actors (as agents) of foreign policy within IR, and argues for the value of regional examples to the broader study of the field. It examines the formulation of foreign policy, using particular regional examples, to ask why foreign policy limits itself to the study of state determinants, when identical dynamics of operation have evolved among non- state entities. The Middle East is a case for theorization that can satisfy empiricism as it provides a plethora of arising phenomena (a combination of ideational and material elements along with the roles played by agents of multiple identities) that empirically constitute innovations for theoretical analysis. This chapter concentrates on the Kurdish exemplar as a unique demonstration of an actor that informs the second level of foreign policy analysis.

Keywords:non-state actors, Foreign Policy Analysis, US foreign policy, Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Ontology
Subjects:L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
L Social studies > L250 International Relations
L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L260 Comparative Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:38677
Deposited On:04 Nov 2019 11:42

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