Foreign Policy 


The core subject in Foreign Policy offers a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of foreign policy. It provides candidates with deep knowledge and key competences to analyze change and continuity in foreign policy and to understand grand strategy and foreign policy decision making as well as diplomatic practice and how it is affected by organizational, economic and military change. Foreign Policy offers an ideal stepping stone for students aiming for a career in diplomacy or international organizations. 

Structure of the core subject

The core subject in Foreign Policy consists of two compulsory courses which students have to take during the same Autumn semester:

  • Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy (15 ECTS)
  • Concepts and Methods in International Relations (7,5 ECTS)

A specific course description and learning outcome for each of the courses will be available after the 1st of May at


In particular, the core subject in Foreign Policy provides candidates with

  • A theoretical road map for understanding and analyzing foreign policy
  • An overview of the history of Foreign Policy Analysis
  • An introduction to main theoretical traditions including various approaches within each tradition and their applicability for understanding different aspects of foreign policy
  • Knowledge of security policy, foreign economic policy, diplomacy, US foreign policy, the EU as a foreign policy actors and the foreign policy of rising powers and small states
  • Meetings with practitioners of foreign policy, who will share their experience as policy-makers and offer their view on current affairs
  • Readings and discussions of key books in international relations and foreign policy guided and moderated by  internationally recognized experts in the field
  • The opportunity to write independent paper projects within the overall thematic of foreign policy

Having completed Foreign Policy, candidate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theories and concepts of foreign policy analysis
  • Understand core institutions and diplomatic processes involved in contemporary foreign policy making and practices, in relation to specific cases, including small state diplomacy, militarization of foreign policy, globalization and foreign economic policy, bureaucratization of foreign policy and value-based foreign policy
  • Demonstrate informed, convincing and precise knowledge of foreign policy, including relevant literature review, theoretical debates and empirical analysis
  • Make informed, analytical evaluations of different approaches to the study of foreign policy and their applicability to historical and contemporary examples of foreign policy
  • Critically reflect upon key contemporary issues and developments in contemporary foreign policy trade in the light of relevant historical, theoretical and ethodological considerations
  • Translate knowledge about theories and concepts of foreign policy into concrete empirical analysis and identify opportunities and challenges for foreign policy change

Teaching team

Foreign Policy is taught by a team of lecturers including Alexander Reichwein, Anders Wivel, Martin Marcussen, Jens Ladefoged Mortensen and others. Teaching methods combine in-class lectures, student group work, invited guest-lectures and student workshops. Paper supervision in clusters is organized as two workshops, one halfway through the course focused on research puzzle and analytical design and one towards the end of the course focused on empirical analysis.

Registration for the core subject

You can read more about the registration process at your study information page at KUnet.


If you have any academic questions regarding the core subject, please contact Anders Wivel. If you have any practical questions regarding registration for courses, exams or how to plan your study, please contact the Student Advisory Service.