Major Actors and Determinants of a Country's Foreign Policy

4551 Words May 3rd, 2011 19 Pages
Introduction
The concept of an International System or International Relations represents the notion that the world extends far beyond the borders of a particular country and that the world itself is more than just a sum of its parts, such as states existing in isolation from the rest. And still, international relations is more than just the sum of individual interactions among these parts. The idea of international system is thus based on the belief that there are general patterns of actions among the system’s actors. In most cases, the actors are allowed, each to make its own decisions and guidelines or set of rules that guide its actions on the international centre stage in a bid to get what it wants from the other actors. This is what
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These are further sub-divided into two i.e. the International Governmental actors and the Transnational actors.
The International governmental actors are also called the Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs). The key defining characteristic of an IGO is the fact that it has individual countries as members. Almost all IGOs also have a central administrative structure.
The systems level of analysis holds the view that IGOs and other international factors and actors are the key determinants on how foreign policies are made in any state.
The other sub category of the non-state actors are the transnational actors. These, are of different nature. They include the Multi National Corporations(MNCs), which are organizations set up for profit making but which operate in more than three sovereign states. The economic power of these giant corporates give them a substantial say in most countries’ foreign policy making processes, especially in the Less Developed Countries(LDCs).The media, both local and international are also believed to be playing a crucial role in influencing foreign policy- making decisions. Also, there are the Non-Governmental Organizations(NGOs) and the International Non-Governmental Organizations(INGOs), usually behaving like a part of the civil society, forming the pressure groups. INGOs however, operate across borders and have individual membership. They include, for example the Amnesty International. Other transnational actors include the violent

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