1.0 BACKGROUNDTO THE STUDYStatescontinue and may forever continue to be interdependent of one another. Acountry’s foreign policy is largely determined by its geography, history,external threats, military might and domestic political and economic situation.It is also influenced by the nature and ideology of regimes in power, theinterests of bureaucrats and pressure groups, as well as the country’s exposureto the external/international environment.
While a country cannot change itsgeography and history, other factors are subject to change, and for that reasonforeign policy must be adaptable to changing circumstances to be meaningful andrelevant. It is therefore necessary for states to interact with other states toachieve some level of benefits. The level of interaction among countries in theinternational system is greatly determined by a country’s foreign policy.Leaders of states are therefore obliged to pursue such policies that willpromote the realization of the primary purpose of improving the livingstandards of their people. Foreignpolicy concerns the total sum of official international relations espoused byan independent authority, usually a state, in external relations with otherstates (Dougherty & Pfaltzgraff, 2001).
Ultimately, foreign policydetermines the recognition or otherwise of some pacts between the domesticgovernment and a foreign one (Dugbazah, 2007). Foreign policies are essentialin order to help protect the interests of a nation, ensure its security, andpromote its economic prosperity (Salia, 2010). Ghana for instance, endorsed theformation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975which was a useful tool for boosting Ghanaian exports to regional markets(Jeffries, 1982).SinceGhana attained independence, her foreign policy has been embodied by acommitment to the principles and ideologies of nonalignment and Pan-Africanismas first expressed in the early 1960s by Ghana’s first Prime Minister andsubsequently President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (Embassy of the Republic of Ghana inIran, n.d.).
According to Gebe (2008), Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was rather confrontedwith a more complex system with effects for both domestic politics and foreignrelations. His government was ousted in 1966, pushing the country to undergodrastic changes in its foreign policy. Theunderpinning principles guiding Ghana’s foreign policy are underscored in the1992 Constitution. Article 40 of the Constitution provides the broadprinciples, and highlights her foreign policy for the “Promoting and protectionof the interest of Ghana; Establishment of a just and equitable international,economic, political and social order; Promotion of respect for internationallaw and treaty obligations; Promotion of the settlement of internationaldisputes through peaceful means; and Adherence to the principles enshrined inthe Charter and aims or ideals of the United Nations, the African Union, theECOWAS, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement.” InGhana, the power to create foreign policy is vested in the presidency and theForeign Minister (Salia, 2010).
The legislature has considerable oversight insome countries. The Constitution of Ghana has mandated the Ministry of ForeignAffairs to promote and protect the interest of Ghana and those of her citizensabroad. It also aims to safeguard her security and prosperity through thepromotion of friendly and productive relations with all nations. The motivebehind this constitutional mandate is to promote Ghana’s image in othercountries and to advance economic benefits with other countries through foreigninvestment, tourism, exports, technological and cultural means (Salia 2010).
1.1 STATEMENTOF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMThe1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana expressly empowers the Head of Stateto lead the formulation of the country’s foreign policy. Over the years,Ghana’s foreign policy has been criticised as “follow-the-crowd-type” which isattributed to the assumption that Ghana’s foreign policy has no consistency andunique doctrinal bearing or model (Salia, 2010). Critics also argue thatformulation of policies such as foreign policy have been monopolised by topgovernment officials only who are reactive instead of proactive. Secondly,official position on the goals foreign policy seeks to achieve is often vagueand lacks clear policy direction. Finally, the Executive is the soleimplementers of the policy. Though there are assertions that Ghana’s foreignpolicy takes certain factors into consideration, there have been somedisparities in policy-making since independence due to changes in government.This study therefore seeks to examine the principles that have guided theformulation of Ghana’s foreign policy and its influence in the contemporaryinternational system with the view to making recommendations for improvement.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1.2.1 What arethe factors that influence foreign policy decisions? 1.2.2 Hasthere been any significant change in Ghana’s foreign policy since independence under the various leadership? 1.2.3 DidGhana’s foreign policy improve the living standards of Ghanaians? 1.
2.4 How isthe current policy impacting on the contemporary international system? 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY Thebroad objective of this study is to examine the guiding principles of Ghana’sforeign policy in the contemporary international system. To achieve this, thefollowing specific objectives will guide the study:1.3.
1 Establish the factors that have influencedthe foreign policy decisions of successive governments.1.3.2 Investigate whether there have beensignificant changes in Ghana’s foreign policy since independence under variousleaderships.1.3.3 Assess the impact of Ghana’s foreign policy onthe improvement of the living standards of Ghanaians.
1.3.4 Examine the impact ofthe current policies on the contemporary international system. 1.4 SCOPEOF THE STUDYThestudy focuses on the principles of Ghana’s foreign policy in the contemporary internationalsystem. It will consider the parameters adapted by the various heads of state sinceindependence in the formulation of Ghana’s foreign policy and assess the benefitsit has brought to the country.
It will also ascertain whether the foreign policyhas been consistent among successive governments in contemporary international system. 1.5 HYPOTHESISH0: Ghana’s foreign policy content has notbeen consistent among successive governments in contemporary internationalsystem. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDYToa large extent, Ghana’s foreign policy has been criticised for inconsistenciesafter independence. This study seeks to examine the trend in policy formulationdetermine whether the policy decision of past government leaders is a betteralternative for succeeding leaders to adopt in contemporary internationalenvironments. The study would also guide foreign policy makers in contingentinternational situations. This study would also become a reference forresearchers who want to conduct further studies in foreign policy formulation.
1.7 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKGustavsson Model ofForeign Policy ChangeSincethe hypothesis of this study suggests that Ghana’sforeign policy content has not been consistent among successive governments,this model is relevant in order to analyse the factors that have influenced theoverhauling of Ghana’s foreign policies anytime power changes hands. It wouldalso help analyse the international and domestic forces that have influencedthe leadership traits in the foreign policy making journey of Ghana.
Gustavsson,after analysing some models of foreign policy concluded that those modelscontained “promising ideas and analytical pitfalls”. The models he analysed included Goldmann’smodel of stabilizers, Skidmore’s model, Rosati’s model, and Herman’s model offoreign policy decision making. Therefore the model that he developed was as aresult of critiquing the works done by others. His position was that a theorymust focus on the “simultaneous occurrence of changes in the fundamentalstructural conditions, strategic political leadership and the presence of somekind” (Gustavsson, 1999). TheGustavsson models’ assumption is that for foreign policies to change,structural conditions are essential for the change to occur. This implies thata foreign policy decision maker reacts to the sources of change, which informstheir decision making process, leading to a change in foreign policy.
Thus, thepolicy makers acts as the pivot of the decision making process while otherdependent factors revolve around them. However, the chances of success will behigh if this is associated with a crisis of a sort as these tend to unlockprohibiting institutional conditions and increase the need for political risk. Gustavsson(1999) suggested that there are two main categories under which the fundamentalstructural conditions can be grouped. They are international and domesticfactors, which are subdivided into economic and political factors. At theinternational level, a distinction is made between international politics andthe international political economy. According to Srivastava (n.d.),international politics concerns the “practical realities of a state’sinteraction with another state or several other states”.
He further mentionedthat on the academic front, it deals with applying international relationstheories and applying them analytically to contemporary issues in theinternational system.Internationaleconomic factors or international political economy is concerned with the”cross border economic transactions and the institutional conditions governingsuch transactions”. Frieden & Martin (2003) argued that the interactionbetween domestic and international factors affect economic policies andoutcomes.
Also, at the domestic level, Gustavsson (1999) wrote that certainconditions are being put in place to ensure continuous support needed fromvoters, political parties, societal stakeholders, as well as civilorganisations to help push a particular foreign policy agenda or propaganda.This concept drew its strength from the public choice theory, which explainswhy huge attention is given to electoral outcomes, opinion polls, and alliesformed between political parties and other civil society organisations. Economicfactors have to do with the overall level of the economic development of thestate.
Statistical economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), therate of inflation, rate of unemployment, per capita income, living standard,interest rates, foreign direct investment (FDI) are the reflection of theeconomic development of the country (n.d.). Theconsequence of both international and domestic factors is the cognitive factor.Therefore, the assumption is that the sources of change have to be conceived bythe decision makers and also cause a change in their personal beliefs in orderto influence the public policy. It may also involve a group, but for resourcesand time, it may involve only individuals who have the greatest impact on thepolicy and possibly are like-minded. Thismodel also highlights the psychoanalytic theory which emphasised that themaking of foreign policy is dependent on the belief system of the leader.
Hence, the formulation of such policies are not based on objective assessmentof the situation or what pertains in the international system, but is based onthe individual’s principles, views, perception, history, and psychologicalunderstanding (Renshon & Renshon, 2008). Themodel assumes that the policy maker(s) must perceive the source of change(domestic and international) which translates into their belief system andbring about a change in those beliefs. Thus, a change in belief is plays anessential role in public policy change. Figure1: The Casual Dynamicsof Foreign Policy Change Thefigure above illustrates the casual dynamics of foreign policy changeillustrating the various factors that influence those changes. The individualis placed in the centre of the decision making dynamics, and all other thingsrevolves around him. The three steps: international and domestic factors,individual decision-makers, and the decision making process is based inHerman’s typology of foreign policy change. The typology is connected to twofeedback arrows, indicating that once a change has occurred, it might affectinternational and domestic factors, and possibly contribute to a new round offoreign policy change.
Herman& Herman (2001) referred to the individual model as the ‘predominantleader’ under the authoritative decision unit. The predominant leader succeedsif there is only one constitutionally elected, or there is the existence of ageneral law which commits the nation’s resources foreign policy making; ifthere is a bureaucratic foreign policy system with the most powerful of alldecision making individuals at the helm of affair. A case study of the 1990Swedish orientation on its membership of the then European Commission (nowEuropean Union) empirically applied this model which positively proved theassumptions of this model (Gustavsson, 1998).
Astudy by Doeser (2011) also supported the assumptions of Gustavsson’s Model ofPolicy Change. The study found how domestic politics can impact on changes inforeign security policy of small states. The study showed that changes in twoparticular domestic political factors, in terms of party opposition and publicopinion facilitated a change in foreign policy by creating opportunities forthe government to use foreign policy change as a strategy to increase itspolitical power on the domestic scene.
The study also highlighted the role thatexternal forces played. When changing its foreign policy, the Danish governmentsought to multiply payoffs in both international and domestic gains. Thestudy suggested that the foreign policies of democratic states, like Ghana, areexposed to major pressures from both the international and domestic frontswhich may influence the policy decisions taken by those in authority. Thus,leaders of democratic states are more likely to pay attention to internationaland domestic factors when making their foreign policies.
Gustavsson’smodel was however criticised by Maull (2013) who said that a shift or a changein foreign policy could not be dependent only on interaction between domesticand international factors with the leader being the only decision maker. Heemphasised that a change in foreign policy depends highly on the role that astate plays in the international system. For instance, if Ghana, according UNconvention must accept refugees from countries where there is war, this eventwould have a more powerful effect on the foreign policy direction of thecountry rather than just what the leader feels is right. Also, the model doesnot address whether foreign policy change, on the average, is more likely tocome in occasional, but substantial, shifts or in gradual modifications. 1.8 LITERATURE REVIEWThebooks and journals to be reviewed during the study include:Macridis, RC (1992).
Foreign Policy in World Politics (8th Edition) A PearsonEducation Company, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458.Clarke M & White B (1995). Understanding ForeignPolicy. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd Great Yarmouth, Britain.Gombe K. & Ajulu R (2002). Ashgate Publishing Company131 MainStreet Burlington VT 05401-5600 USARyan, K.B, Kaarbo, J.
, Lantis,J.S., & Snarr,M.T. (2013).
Foreign Policy ComparativePerspective. Sage: London.Boakye, K. (n.d.).
Six factors that has influencedGhana’s foreign policy since independence. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/32227737/six_factors_that_has_influencedghanas_foreign_policy_independence. Betz J. (n.d.).
The Interaction between DomesticFactors and Foreign Policies in India. Retrieved fromhttps://www.researchgate.
net/publication/238787310_The_Interaction_Between_Domestic_Factors_and_Foreign_Policies_in_IndiaCreswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative Enquiry Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Eidenfalk, J. (2006, June). Towards a new model of foreign policy change.
Paper presented atAustralasian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Newcastle.Retrieved fromhttp://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2674=artspapersEmbassy of the Republic of Ghana Tehran, Iran.
(n.d.). Foreign Policy of Ghana. Retrieved fromhttp://www.
ghanaembassyiran.com/en/page/theembassy/ Gebe, B.Y. (2008). Ghana’s Foreign Policy atIndependence and Implications for the 1966 Coup D’état. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 2(3),160-86Goldmann,Kjell, (1988), Change and Stability in Foreign Policy: The Problems andPossibilities of Détente.
Hermann(1990), Changing Course: When Governments Chose to Redirect Foreign Policy Henderson(2016), Public choice in foreign policyJacobs, L.R., & Page, B.I. (n.d.
). WhoInfluences U.S.
Foreign Policy? Instituteof Policy Research.Jeffries, R. (1982). Rawlings and the PoliticalEconomy of Underdevelopment in Ghana. African Affairs, 81(324) 307-17Awal, M. (2017, January 23). Ghana’s foreign policywill be economic diplomacy.
Retrieved from http://starrfmonline.com/2017/01/23/ghanas-foreign-policy-will-economic-diplomacy-ayorkor-botchwey/Sanusi, A.H. & Adu-Gyamfi, S. (2017). Ghana’sforeign policy: Some regional and national interests. Journal of Human Sciences 14(1),598-608.
14687/jhs.v14.4370Kwawukume, V. (2017).
Foreign Ministry getsEconomic, Trade and Investment Bureau. Retrieved fromhttps://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/foreign-ministry-gets-economic-trade-and-investment-bureau.
html/Naveh, C. (2002). The Role of the Media in ForeignPolicy Decision-Making: A Theoretical Framework. Conflict and Communication Online, 1(2), 1-13Page, B.I., & Shapiro, R.
Y. (1983). Effects ofPublic Opinion on Policy. American Political Science Review 77(1), 175–90. 1.9 SOURCES OF DATAThestudy would depend on both primary and secondary data. Primary data would begathered through unstructured interviews with Ghanaian public officials in theMinistry of Foreign Affairs as well as academicians in the field ofinternational affairs. Secondary data would be sourced by reviewing books,journals, newspapers, and other relevant materials on international relationsand foreign policy.
1.10 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY1.10.1 Research designInorder to undertake this study successfully, a qualitative design approach wouldbe adopted.
The choice for this approach to the study is motivated by theassertion that qualitative research is suitable for explaining events, somequality or a phenomenon. This study aims at identifying non quantifiableinfluential events, and determines factors that accounts for differences andsimilarities in foreign policy directions in contemporary internationalenvironment (Creswell, 2007). 1.10.
2 Analysis and interpretation of dataThestudy would use content analysis of data collected to do comparative analysisand interpretation of the complexities of continuity and changes in foreignpolicy decision making and its influence on contemporary international system.