Foreign Policy in the Age of Globalisation

Name: Dhruvil Singh Rathod

Year & Course : IInd year & BSW LLB

College : Gujarat National Law University


The article aims to provide a better understanding of Foreign Policy. It discusses the definition and principles of Foreign Policy and provides an insight into the development of the concept of Foreign Policy. It highlights the key factors affecting the Foreign Policy of a nation and discusses various international foreign policies. It also provides the way of determining the Foreign Policy for a nation and also discusses the Foreign Policy principles of nations like India and United States of America. The article finally concludes by summing up the findings.

Foreign Policy

Foreign policies or External Policies are set of general objectives that guide the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states.[1]  Though it may seem well defined, but it is actually a developing field and its concept keeps changing based on the international conditions. But the basic principles of the Foreign Polices remain the same.

Principles of Foreign Policy:

  • Maintenance of territorial integrity with other countries and maintenance of its political independence.
  • Acceleration of social and economic development and strengthening its place in the world.
  • A nation state must increase its individual strength so that it can secure its foreign policy ends. States foreign policy goals must comprise those conditions of International arena so that disruptive effects of power exerted by other states cannot harm the state.[2]

Professor Jospeh Framkel defined it as “Foreign Policy consists of decisions and actions which involves to some appreciable extent relations between state and others”. While C C Rodee defined it as “Foreign Policy involves the implementation of a group principles which shape the behaviour pattern of a state which negotiating with other states to protect or further its interest”.

Global Foreign Policy

As the World moves towards Globalisation, an incident at one end of the world affects the other end of the world. So it becomes really important to develop and improve foreign relations and international relations. It can be achieved through enhancing the foreign policies of the nations. In the Global Village, it is important to keep relations with other nations good for smooth functioning of the village. To achieve that one must understand the concept and origin of foreign policies.

Foreign policies as we understand today emerged in the 18th century with the ministry of foreign affairs. However, it only became significant in 20th century, during the World War I, the Great Depression, the World War II the countries realized the urgent need of proper international foreign policy. The idea of International Organizations with global policies and nations with their own foreign polices became popular. And Globalization became another factor to the rapid and essential growth of foreign policy. Globalization led to intensification of relations between an increasing number of countries and polities, both in the sense that relations among the nations became denser and in the sense that the speed of interaction among the nations increased. Globalization provided the much needed acceleration to the concept of foreign relation. But it’s not a one way process. Both Foreign Policy and Globalization are interdependent to an extent. In the today’s globalised world, a nation cannot exist without a good foreign policy while globalization cannot continue if the countries wouldn’t have a good foreign policy.

Other than globalization, the Foreign Policies are also influenced by many other factors such as Domestic demands, Geographical Location, External Threats, History, Economy, and Culture. Foreign policies of a nation are formulated to safeguard and promote the nation’s national interests through relationships and interaction with other nations.  It safe guards the interest of the nation and maintains the relationship with other nations and international organizations. It directly reflects nation’s traditional values and overall national policies, its aspirations and self-perception. Thus, Foreign Policies are the strategies, methods, guidelines, agreements that usually national governments tool to perform their actions in the international arena.

In present times, every nation establishes diplomatic, trade, cultural, social, economic, educational and political relations with other nations and that compels to maintain its relation with each other as well as with international organizations and other non-governmental actors in the international relations. Thus, Global Foreign Policies attempts to explain the behaviors that occur across the boundaries of states and institutions such as private, state, governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental oversee those interactions.[3]

Determining Foreign Policy

Foreign policy of every country is influenced by two determinants; i) international or external determinates and ii) domestic or internal determinates. These factors generally provide assistance in shaping and framing foreign policy. And there exist a link between these two determinants. Though it is still a debatable topic and many scholars debated that domestic politics and foreign policy are two ‘independent’ concern, while others have a view that foreign policy and domestic politics are ‘interdependent’ and could tumble into each other.[4] But it is evident that there are some grounds of commonalities between these two determinants as the impact of both determinates of foreign policies are differed from country to country based on the social and political environment in each of the country. Both the determinants are important factor even if one factor dominates the other one in a particular situation.

The main Domestic Determinates of Foreign Policy are i) Culture and History ii) Geography, Size iii) Population iv) Economy and Natural Resources v) Political System vi) Military Capabilities.

The main external factors that determine the Foreign Policy of a state are i) the international system or power structure ii) international law iii) international organizations iv) alliances v) military strength or arm race.

Foreign Policy in India

India has its own principles of Foreign Policy, it includes preservation of national interest, promotion of international and world peace, fostering cordial relations with other nations, solving conflicts by peaceful means, opposing colonialism and imperialism, equality in conducting international relations, disarmament, opposition to racialism in all forms, sovereignty and equality of all the nations, independence of thought and action based on the principles of non-align movement, support to the United Nation Organization and so on. Based on these principles, India’s foreign policy aims to achieve its respective objectives in world affairs.[5]

Foreign Policy in United States

United States mainly divides Foreign Policies into Trade, Diplomacy, Sanctions, Military or Defence, Intelligence, Foreign Aid, Global Environment Policy. Though there exist various objectives of foreign policies, the United States mainly provides four main goals: (1) the protection of the U.S. and its citizens, (2) the maintenance of access to key resources and markets, (3) the preservation of a balance of power in the world, and (4) the protection of human rights and democracy.[6]


Thus, foreign policy determination and decision making involves a series of processes and possesses different factors. But it provides crucial strategies and guidelines to the nations and international organisations in this Global World. It defines the nation’s relation with other nations. Thus, it becomes really important that countries put genuine efforts to enhance its foreign policies and formulate a proper foreign policy. And without a properly formulated foreign policy, a nation may lose its position and respect in international affairs and may eventually become unable to achieve its aims and basic national interest. It is also important that nations align their foreign polices with other nations for easy and smooth functioning of the global system. And the International Organisation such as United Nations and World Trade Organization provide a proper guidance to the nations for easy and advance development of foreign policy.


  • Chris Alden and Amnon Aran, Foreign Policy Analysis-New Approaches, (Routledge Publication), USA, 2012.
  • Fredrik Bynander and Stefano,Rethinking Foreign policy,( Rouldge Publication), USA & Canada,2013.
  • Gupta, Madan Gopal, Contemporary World Politics, (Central Book Depot, Allahabad, 1964).
  • Maan, Poonam, ‘India’s Foreign Policy in the Post Cold War Era’, (Harman Books, New Delhi, 2000).
  • Jesmine Ahmed, ‘The Theoretical Significance of Foreign Policy in International Relations- An Analysis’ (2020), Vol 7, Issue 2, Journal of Critical Reviews.

[1]Encyclopedia Britannica, Foreign Policy, (accessed 12 March 2021).

[2] Jesmine Ahmed, ‘The Theoretical Significance of Foreign Policy in International Relations- An Analysis’ (2020), Vol 7, Issue 2, Journal of Critical Reviews.

[3] Jesmine Ahmed, ‘The Theoretical Significance of Foreign Policy in International Relations- An Analysis’ (2020), Vol 7, Issue 2, Journal of Critical Reviews.

[4] Chris Alden and Amnon Aran, ‘Foreign Policy Analysis-New Approaches’ (2012), Routledge Publication, USA.

[5] Maan, Poonam, ‘India’s Foreign Policy in the Post Cold War Era’, (Harman Books, New Delhi, 2000).

[6] Lumen, Module 17 Foreign Policy,,aid%2C%20and%20global%20environmental%20policy.

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