AZA3688 - Foreign policy: Introduction - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Mr Laurence Caromba

Unit guides


South Africa

  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit provides an introduction to foreign policy or the behaviour of a state towards other states. The unit will help you understand how central governments of sovereign states relate to each other and to the global system in order to achieve various goals or objectives. The unit will achieve this by first providing a broad overview of the foundational international relations (IR) and theoretical approaches to foreign policy analysis. This includes studying various IR topics such as war, economics, intergovernmental organisations and diplomacy. Secondly, this unit examines historical and contemporary case studies of the foreign policies of major powers from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle-East and North America, with an emphasis on American and South African foreign policy. Through these case studies, one will become familiar with the process of foreign policy making, grand strategies; and status quo and revisionist powers, amongst other topics.


The main learning outcomes for the unit is for students to be able to understand the various sources and complexity of foreign policy behaviour and decisions. Moreover, students should be able to make a sound analysis and explanation of foreign policy behaviours of states, utilising theoretical foundations and comparative perspectives.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


AZA2688, ATS2688, ATS3688