Type
Article
Titre
The Site of Foreign Policy: A Field Theory Account of MFAs
Dans
The Hague journal of diplomacy
Éditeur
NL : Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Numéro
en ligne
ISSN
18711901
Mots clés
field theory, articulations, relations, ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs)
Résumé
EN
This essay argues that the work of ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs) centres on three modes of articulation; namely, intersubjective, practical and material articulations. However, much research in diplomatic studies has yet to come to terms with the specific ways in which these modes of articulation coalesce to produce a distinctive foreign policy. I suggest that a field theory account of MFAs offers a reliable set of tools that enables us to understand how a foreign policy takes shape, the dynamics that sustain it and the circumstances under which it is likely to change. Because a field’s existence is often derived from its relational consequences, the essay clarifies the link between a field and its effects, using the concept of ‘affordance’. In this sense, theorising MFAs connects a philosophy of action — which focuses on the field theory’s concepts — and a philosophy of science — which emphasises relations within and between different modes of articulation.

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