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Contexto Internacional

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JESUS, Diego Santos Vieira de. From the reduction of strategic uncertainty to the consolidation of exclusion: the relevance of ideational factors in foreign policy analysis. Contexto int. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.3, pp.503-534. ISSN 0102-8529.

The main purpose of this article is to discuss the relevance of ideational factors in Foreign Policy Analysis. The main idea indicates that ideational factors are gradually relevant in foreign policy debates, because a growing number of foreign policy analysts - mainly neo-institutionalists, "moderate" constructivists and poststructuralists - conceived that ideas can: 1) have impact on the content of foreign policy because they bring maps that enhance actors' clarity about their objectives and the relation between means and ends in conditions of uncertainty, affect results in multiple equilibrium situations and generalize patterns of behavior when they are embedded in institutions (neo-institutionalist perspective); 2) regulate the political behavior of states and construct their foreign policy identities and interests, so that those ideational factors can be seen as endogenous to interaction. The environments in which actors are involved can be conceived as ideational instead of only material environments and construct the basic properties of those actors. The meaning of material forces can also depend on shared ideas (constructivist perspective); 3) can be seen as constructions of discursive practices related to the formation and the execution of foreign policy and legitimate power and sovereignty and strengthen t he marginalization a nd exclusion o f d ifference (poststructuralist perspective).

Keywords : Ideas; Foreign Policy Analysis; Neo-Institutionalism; Post-Positivism.

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