Foreign Policy

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Foreign Policy

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The aim of this course is threefold: first, to introduce students to the main concepts and tools of foreign policy analysis; second, to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the elaboration of Spain's foreign policy, its evolution over the last century, and its main projection areas; third, to offer students a first approach to the European Union's external action, paying special attention to the consideration of the EU as a global actor and its main foreign policy instruments.

    The course builds on notions and theories previously studied in the first academic year of the Degree and takes a multidisciplinary approach. In order to achieve its intended goals, the course is structured in four complementary blocks.

    The first one explores the core concepts and theories for the study of foreign policy and analyzes the complex process of foreign policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. The second block uses most of these elements to characterize the elaboration of Spain's foreign policy during the XXth and XXIst centuries and its evolution. The third block looks into the projection of Spain's foreign policy towards different regions and the country's participation in several international organizations and fora. Finally, the fourth block analyzes the external action of the European Union, its consideration as a global actor, its core instruments and its main potentialities and limits.


    1. The study of Foreign Policy: Concept and key elements.
    2. The formulation of Foreign policy: influencing factors, actors and decision-making. Diplomatic services and Foreign Offices. Different cultural and national approaches.

    3. The elaboration of Spain's foreign policy. Foreign policy and political systems.
    4. Spain's foreign policy in a historical perspective. Spain's foreign policy under Franco´s regime. Regime change and foreign policy. 5. Spain's foreign policy since 1975: Changes and continuities.

    6. The geographical orientation of Spain's foreign policy (I). Spain and Europe. Spain, the United States and NATO. Spain and the Mediterranean.
    7. The geographical orientation of Spain's foreign policy (II). Spain and Latin America. Spain and Asia. Spain and Sub-Saharan Africa.
    8. Spain in international organizations and fora. Spain and the United Nations system. Spain and the Gs.

    9. The European Union as a global actor in the international society. The European Union as an actor in the world. The EU's soft power. The EU external action. The principles and objectives of the EU's External Action. The CFSP and ESDP.
    10. The EU's external action after the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. Trends and recent developments. Links between foreign policy and security policies.

    In order to acquire and develop the above-mentioned competences, the following teaching-learning techniques will be used:
    1. Presentation of different topics described in the program.
    2. Practical exercises and simulations proposed by the professor.
    3. In-class discussions.
    4. Individual and group assignments meant for students to deepen in and apply the theoretical contents studied in class.
    5. Individual study.

    The assessment of the students' work will be progressive and formative. The final grade will be the weighted sum of the scores obtained on the following components:
    1.Participation in discussions and debates: 10 %
    2.Case studies and oral presentations: 25%
    3.Mid-term test: 15%
    4.Final exam: 50%

    Participation in discussions and debates
    Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions and debates. The professor of the course will raise several issues throughout the term for students to reflect critically on them and to express their opinions in a systematic and clear manner. Students will also be invited to link current events to explore with the content of the course.

    Case studies and oral presentations:
    All students will be required to do a 10-minute oral presentation on a topic that the professor will announce during the first week of classes. In addition, all students will be asked to prepare some individual and group exercises and to participate in some several simulations and seminars designed to promote their generic and specific competences. The content of these simulations and seminars will be announced during the first week of classes.

    Mid-term test:
    The mid-term test will take place in the seventh week of the term and will cover the first five topics of the syllabus. This mid-term test is meant to help students keep the pace of the course, as well as to offer them an indication of their understanding of the main concepts and theories discussed in class. The mid-term is not eliminatory (the five first topics of the syllabus will also be part of the final exam).

    Final exam:
    The final exam is meant as an opportunity for the student to complete or pass those parts of assessment under points 3 and 4 that remain pending or have not been passed throughout the semester. In no case should it be understood as a comprehensive evaluation of the subject for the students who did not participate in the development of classes and activities during the course.
    NB. Penalties will be implemented if students fail to attend more than 10% classes, if they turn assignments late or if they fail to comply with the different assignments. Penalties will range from 10-30% of final grade.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.