Determinants of Foreign policy (Power-Structure, International Organizations and External Factors)


Determinants of Foreign policy

It is necessary for every state to maintain its relation to other state, these state to state relations are called the international relations. These relations are sustained by the foreign policy. The foreign policy of a state is influenced by internal and external factors, these factors gives the direction to the country’s foreign relations and help to sustain the relations.

Many factors influence the foreign policy of a country, their influence is driven by its nature, like some factors affects country’s internal control ( internal factors) and others influences its external environment (external factors).

External Factors

External factors are those factors, which has a direct and indirect impact on the foreign policy of a country, that influence the decision making of a country and help to determine the external environment. The external factors are the instrument for a country to stabilize its relations with the world and become a major player in the world. The external factors changes the world order and the priorities of nations, because due to these factor a nation become a superpower or a favorite to others.

The world has become interlinked that any incident happens in a country has an immediate impact in other countries, anything happens in the world, has a direct effects to the world. Due to these interlinking the foreign policy of some countries are interconnected and they are dependent of each other’s decisions; dependence of foreign policies and decisions making.

The world has shrink to become a small and interlinked, these interconnectivity gives more difficulty in decision making, because a country has to consider its neighbor, friend as well as their rival country to reach in a decision.


The great power structure prevailing in the world also greatly influence the foreign policy of a country. Every country has to identify its status in this power politics in the world. Once a country has reached to identify its status in this power game it has reached to determine its role in this power politics.

There are different forms of power structures the world had experienced, these power structures dominated the world politics and countries has to design its foreign policy according to the changes in the power game. The first power structure is that the world is dominated by a single nation; unipolar. A nation’s status determines its role in the world politics, like in unipolar world every country has to maintain its relation with this superpower, its foreign policy is influenced by decisions of this superpower, because in this unipolar system country has no option to select; no alternatives, so it has to construct its foreign policy with respect to the superpower’s will. On the other hand what if, when a country is a superpower.

The second possibility of s power-structure is bipolar power-structure. In this power structure a country has to maintain its relation with one of the powerful country and it has to be strict in its decisions because a country has only two options, has to associate with one of them. The third is the different powerful countries live in a power politics, this is most difficult situation for a country, to sustain its foreign policy and sustain its existence in this power structure.

International organizations

The International organizations also greatly influence in the foreign policy of a country. While formulation its foreign policy it has to consider its association with other countries, treaties laws and contracts with other countries. So that its decision never hurt them and work to sustain its significance. No country can forget them for formulation its foreign policy and not achieve its objectives without considering them in decision making.

Reaction of other states

A country can never forget its external environment while formulating its foreign policy, has to take note of the reaction of the other nations to its actions. No country can afford to pursue interest which are fundamentally against the interest of other states and any policy which show this narrow nation interest produce disastrous consequences.


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