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Analysis of foreign policy and decision-making process in complex systems

Analysis of foreign policy and decision-making process in complex systems

Complex System Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA)

The research group’s particular assumptions are:

• The study of foreign policy nowadays takes into account more and more levels of analysis - from individuals (political-decision makers), decision-makers, through groups, organizational and bureaucratic structures, social and political organizations, to cultural patterns;

• At present, factors operating at the level of the international system must be taken into account in the study of foreign policy;

• Consequently, the decision system can be analyzed from the perspective of Complex System Theory (CST);

• CST decision-making system is a complex and emergent system, striving for equilibrium (towards attractors); which in fact offers a much better picture of contemporary decision-making processes than the previous theories referring to "points of equilibrium";

• Foreign policy decisions are made within complex, non-hierarchical systems; influenced by material and non-material factors (methodology combining the assumptions of structural realism and social constructivism);

• Contemporary crises (such as the 2015 migration crisis or the one caused by Covid-19) can be treated as attractors, points around which the system oscillates as a result of environmental factors and energy exchange with the environment;

The research group’s detailed objectives are:

• An analysis of decision-making processes within foreign policy with the use of Complex System Theory, which will enable us to answer to the question of how contemporary crises (including migration, Covid-19 and the European polycrisis) affect the foreign policy (and decision-making processes) of world powers (China, USA) and major EU countries (Germany, France);

• The decision-making centres included in the CST will describe what complex systems,   operating at different levels of analysis, within which smaller units create different configurations, influenced by factors from the international system level.