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Squandered OpportunityNeoclassical Realism and Iranian Foreign Policy$
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Thomas Juneau

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804793056

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804793056.001.0001

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From Power to Foreign Policy

From Power to Foreign Policy

The Causal Chain

(p.35) 2 From Power to Foreign Policy
Squandered Opportunity

Thomas Juneau

Stanford University Press

This chapter proposes modifications to neoclassical realism, labeling the result the strategic analysis variant. It is possible to view this variant in terms of its position on a continuum built around a tenet of realism, that capabilities shape intentions. At one end, structural realism predicts that states faced with a power vacuum seek to expand their interests abroad. At the other end, the strategic analysis variant increases accuracy while remaining within the confines of realism: it fragments power to understand how shifts in its components affect foreign policy, it increases the number and specificity of intervening variables to reflect their filtering role, it conceptualizes foreign policy more precisely by separating it into four components (power/security/influence-maximization, national interests, strategies, and consequences), and it systematizes the concepts of actual and ideal foreign policy and clarifies how states suffer consequences as a result of gaps between ideal and actual versions.

Keywords:   Neoclassical realism, strategic analysis variant, structural realism, parsimony, generalizability, power, intervening variables, foreign policy

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