Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Relations (cod. 9084)

Learning outcomes

The Workshop aims at improving students' capability to apply the tools of Foreign Policy Analysis to the EU foreign policy. Students will be able to: 1) Apply Foreign Policy Analysis to specific case studies of EU foreign policy; 2) Apply different theories to specific case studies of EU foreign policy; 3) Evaluate and discuss the role played by the EU, as a foreign policy actor, in specific case studies.

Course contents

This workshop takes place in the second semester and is designed for students taking the Europe in World Politics/The EU as a Global Actor course.

The first and second weeks introduce students to the empirical analysis of EU foreign policy using the actor constructivist approach.

During the third and fourth weeks, students will present in groups on Allison's models and the role of ideas in foreign policy.

In the remaining weeks, students apply the actor constructivist approach to specific case studies of EU foreign policy (the Russian war against Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, and relations with China) and specific EU foreign policy actors (the European Commission President, the European Council President, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy).

At the end of the workshop, each student's group will have to record a podcast summarising the main findings of the empirical analysis conducted during the previous weeks.

Detailed instructions on the students' activities are available on Virtuale.

Attending students will be divided into two or three groups. The topics will be assigned according to their preferences.


Recommended readings

On foreign policy analysis:

Allison, G. (1971) Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1ed. Little Brown, chapters 1, 3 and 5

Baracani, E. (2017) 'Graham Allison: Conceptual Frameworks of Foreign Policy Decision Making', in F. Andreatta (ed.) Classic Works in International Relations, Bologna, Il Mulino, 127-154

On EU foreign policy (analysis):

Baracani, E. (2023) ‘Ideational agenda-setting leadership: President von der Leyen and the EU response to the invasionof Ukraine’, West European Politics, open access

Baracani, E. (2021) EU-Turkey Relations. A New Direction for EU Foreign Policy, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar

Baracani, E. and V. Sarotto (2022) 'The European Commission's role in EU-Turkey migration: political leadership through strategic framing', West European Politics

Del Reux, T. (2015) 'Bureaucratic Politics, New Institutionalism and Principal-Agent Models', in Jørgensen K., Aarstad A., Drieskens E., Laatikainen K., Tonra B., The SAGE Handbook on European Foreign Policy, 152-165

Keukeleire, S. and Delreux, T. (2022), The Foreign Policy of the EU, Bloomsbury Academic

White, B. (1999) 'The European Challenge to Foreign Policy Analysis', European Journal of International Relations, 5(1): 37-66

Young, R. (2021), The European Union and Global Politics, Red Globe Press

On ideas and (foreign) policy:

George, A.L. (1969) The ‘operational code’: A neglected approach to the study of political leaders and decision-making, International Studies Quarterly, 13(2), 190–222

Goldstein, J. and Keohane, R.O. (eds) (1993) Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, chapter 1

Mehta, J. (2011) ‘The Varied Role of Ideas in Politics: From “Whether” to “How.”’, in D. Beland & R. H. Cox (Eds.), Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 23-46

Schmidt, V.A. (2008) ‘Discursive institutionalism: the explanatory power of ideas and discourse’, Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 303–326

Surel, Y. (2000) ‘The role of cognitive and normative frames in policy-making’, Journal of European Public Policy, 7(4): 495–512

van Esch F. and J. Snellens (2022) 'How to 'measure' ideas. Introducing the method of cognitive mapping to the domain of ideational policy studies', Journal of European Public Policy

Teaching methods

- Lectures (20%)

- Students' presentations (in groups) and class debates (80%)

Assessment methods

Attending students:

Attendance: 90% (in presence)

Attending students will be divided into two or three groups according to their preferences

Each group will have to do weekly presentations (starting from the third week) and record a podcast with the main findings

Non-attending students:

They will have to write a paper of 4000 words (all included) on a topic that will be published on eol.unibo.it one month before the official exam session


*** EXCHANGE STUDENTS:This workshop is open exclusively to exchange students enrolled in Master's level degrees.

Teaching tools

- Power point presentations as well as additional material will be available on Virtuale

Office hours

See the website of Elena Baracani


Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.