Foreign Policy as Factor for National Development

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undergone various phases of structural change since it began as a small unit in the office of the Prime Minister in September 1957. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then called the Department of External Affairs, came to being in the year 1960 shortly after Nigeria attained independence. The first Minister was Dr. J.A. Wachukwu. It had, at inception, personnel strength of twelve (12) officers, responsible for the conduct of Nigeria’s Commonwealth and Foreign Relations. These officers became the first generation of Foreign Service Officers in the country.

The African Union logo is seen outside the AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria quickly committed itself to improving the lives of the people of the country and harnessing the resources that remain vital to the economy of the country and her neighbours. By observing at what benefits and appropriate for the country, Nigeria became one of the founding members of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union. The Organisation for African Unity checks political stability of any African countries and encourages them to be holding regional meetings for the union. Nigeria backed the African National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough line with regard to the South African government and their military actions in Southern Africa. Nigeria and Organisation for African Unity (OAU, now the African Union), has tremendous influence in West Africa nations and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa, functioning as standard-bearer for ECOWAS and ECOMOG as well as economic and military organisations.

Foreign policy analysis is agreed to be one of the greatest instruments at a State’s disposal to pursue its national interests. It is considered as a full political activity of States. A good foreign policy would obviously lead a State in fulfilling its national interest and acquiring rightful place among committee of nations. As such, the study of foreign policy form an important part of international studies. 

Foreign policy analysis (FPA)

FPA is a pattern that earns to understand and explain how foreign policy is made and who shapes it, but is also interested in outcomes, their impacts and the assessment of performance. It is also a branch of political science dealing with theory development and empirical study regarding the processes and outcomes of foreign policy.  It’s the study of the management of external relations and activities of state.

Foreign policy involves goals, strategies measures, management methods, guidelines, directives, agreements, and so on. National governments may conduct international relations not only with other nation- states but also with international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Managing foreign relations need carefully considered plans of actions that are adapted to foreign interests and concerns of government. FPA also draws upon the study of diplomacy, war, intergovernmental organizations, and economic sanctions, each of which are means by which states may implement foreign policy.  

According to,’’ As a field of study, FPA is characterized by its actor- specific focus. In the simplest terms, it is the study of the process, effects, causes, or outputs of foreign policy decision-making in either a comparative or case-specific manner.  The underlying and often implicit argument theorizes that human beings, acting as a group or within a group, compose and cause charge in international politics. In other words, FPA can be understood as a critique of the dominant structuralist approaches in international relations.  

Foreign policy analysis Investigate the inter play between systemic, national and sub national factors, actors and processes, including bureaucracies, public opinion and individual decision-makers. It pays significant attention to decision making processes and their outcomes, including group dynamics and leadership styles. In foreign policy analysis, there are different levels at which one can study or analyze global politics. There are three main levels of analysis: the individual level, the state level, and the international levels. Each level offers a different perspective on the causes and consequences of international relations and foreign policy. 

Individual level: this level of analysis focuses on the role of the individual actors such as politicians, government officials and individual citizens, in shaping international relations. For example, an individual – level analysis might examine how the personal beliefs or motivations of a political leader influence their foreign policy decisions. 

State level: this level of analysis looks at the role of states and governments in shaping international relations. It considers factors such as a state’s military capabilities, economic power and political institutions as they relate to its foreign policy.

International level: this level of analysis examines the role of international organizations such as United Nations, World Trade Organization in shaping global politics. It also looks at the role of global economic and cultural forces as well as interaction between states in the international system.

In conclusion, each of this level of analysis can be useful in understanding different aspects of international relations and foreign policy. For example, an individual – level analysis might be useful in understanding the motivations behind a particular leader’s foreign policy decisions, while a state – level analysis might be more useful in understanding the broader factors that influence a state foreign policy.

ThankGod E. Airiohuodion (Awakenigeria)

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