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Analysis of the Importance of Domestic Policies to International Relations

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The American drone attacks to Iraq in 2002, China’s refusal to cooperate with former US President Richard Nixon in 1989, and India’s rejection of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2005, were said to be a quest to protect national interest. Events in the international environment can be unclear, especially when they do not correspond to the ideologies the countries involved claim to advocate. Domestic politics comes before international relations, and countries typically would not risk national interest over a foreign policy. In order to understand how international relations are influenced by domestic politics, it is necessary to consider what countries refer to as national interest, and who are in charge of ensuring that the demands of the state and the public are satisfied.

Political leaders contend with domestic and international politics based on the interest at stake. In most cases, they are about retaining their political power, which they accomplish through coalitions and support from the public. This paper explores on the means by which domestic politics affect international relations, specifically the endorsement of a foreign policy. Also, this paper describes international relations as a two-level game, and delineates national interest using the realist theory.

The Two-Level Game

According to Hagan (1995), the politics of international relations can be understood as a two-level game. At the national level, local groups pursue their interest by compelling the government to adopt favorable policies, whereas officials seek power by establishing alliances among these groups. At the international level, the national government endeavors to satisfy domestic requirements at the same time it attempts to lessen the adve...

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...onal security and economic prosperity, they are also keen at protecting their political power.

The meaning of national interest can vary from one state to another. Nevertheless, national interest is inevitably at the core of domestic and international policies. Domestic politics is important to international relations on account that it is the primary responsibility of domestic politics to ensure that promotion of national interest is observed at all times. A country is prepared to withdraw from an agreement with another country if it puts domestic politics at risk, or to declare war against any country that threatens its security and economic status. On the other hand, this paper does not expound on how domestic politics interact with the international federations and the implications when one country takes an aggressive action against another.
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