Role of Ideology in Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Iran

By Javaid, Umbreen; Naz, Uzma et al. | Journal of Political Studies, Summer 2016 | Go to article overview

Role of Ideology in Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Iran


Javaid, Umbreen, Naz, Uzma, Watoo, Muhammad Arshad, Rashid, Azhar, Journal of Political Studies


Ideology and Foreign Policy

Foreign policy enables a state to establish its relations beyond the borders. A state formulates its foreign policy to cater its multiplicity of interests which is only possible by building strong and cordial relations with the international community. Foreign policy is a process of interaction with other states in a pragmatic way to maximize one's goals and minimizes losses. In other words it may be taken as a technique to avoid the threats and availing the opportunities of benefits in an unfavorable environment. Many internal and external factors do play their greater role in the formulations of foreign policy. Ideology is a key factor that is taken under consideration while devising a foreign policy at internal and external levels. At internal level, in the sense how leadership and ruling elite see the issues internally and opts and devise policies accordingly. At external level in a way, a block follows an ideology which suits their system and interests well.

Ideology is "a system of ideas concerning phenomena, especially those of social life; the manner of thinking characteristic of a class or an individual."

Though this assertion does not completely fulfill the true meaning of ideology rather portrays a vague picture. First part shows the objectivity and later depicts the subjectivity. Ideology is a science of ideas or set of ideas which provide guide lines for future course of action through building coherence between past and presenti.

Historical Background of Ideology

The word ideology was coined for the first time by Destutt de Tracy in the 18th century. He says that ideology is a radical empirical analysis of the human mind. This also dates back to the French Revolution in the European History from where this phenomenon took actual roots. Ideology depends upon strong analysis based on empiricism over a long period of time. Though human nature tends to be changed and owes to new variations and dimensions. Critical analysis or antithesis will help a bit to modify but still essence of the ideology through the process of modification will not be hurt. Ideology in international relations date back to 19th century and even much earlier where ideological cover of political conduct was acquired for the sake of international and international legitimacy.

Hypothesis

Iranian Foreign policy is a unique manifestation of both Ideology and Pragmatism where rational and individual models are equally participating.

Research Questions

What is the role of ideology in Iranian Constitution and foreign policy?

Is Iranian foreign policy is based on Ideology or pragmatism?

Which model of foreign policy formulation attributes in the foreign policy of Iran?

Scope of Research

The scope of the research is to uncover the role of ideology in foreign policy making that is unavoidable factor. Moreover, Iran is key state in the Middle East having key strategic location in the region. It is also a point of great concern for the world community why Iran behaves in a certain specific mood in the international environment of world politics. Iran's role is strategic in the region so its prospects are greater on the future course of world politics. It also attributes how Iran's foreign policy can impact the global political environment.

Method of Research

Explanatory, exploratory and analytical methods have been used for the research purposes. All the available resources like books; journal etc. has been used for literature review

Role of Ideology in Politics and International Relations

Every ideology, political, religious and economic factors is aimed to provide an umbrella to legitimize the actions of politicians at the national and international level. Ideology can be derived from the history, beliefs system and social system of a state, country or nation states. Role of ideology in politics is greater along with the phenomenon of interests. …

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