chapter
10 Pages

Constructing Good Theoretical Explanations

To construct a good theoretical explanation of foreign policy output or of the dynamics of U.S.–Latin American relations, we first need to clarify our units of analysis and their modes of operation. Who are the principal actors in international politics? What are their primary goals and what instruments do they use to obtain these goals? To what extent does the traditional realist view of international politics on these matters capture how each may have changed over time?