Analytical Distinctions and Theories

  • Joseph Frankel
Part of the Key Concepts in Political Science book series (KCP)


The method by which we classify social phenomena is indicated less by their nature than by the aims of our analysis. No existing taxonomy, including that proposed by Professor Rosenau, is convenient for the comparative study of foreign policy which is the major objective of this book. Hence I would like to propose a new classification of the uses of the term ‘national interest’ into aspirational, operational and explanatory and polemical. The logic of this classification is highly imperfect since the third category overlaps with the first two; moreover, the suggested categories do not escape the nature of ‘ideal types’. Nevertheless, the classification is operationally convenient since every single use of ‘national interest’ falls predominantly, though seldom completely, within one of the proposed categories.


Foreign Policy Actual Policy National Interest Domestic Politics Operational Interest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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2/Analytical Distinctions and Theories

  1. 1.
    Lady Gwendolen Cecil, Life of the Marquis of Salisbury, Vol. II, p. 130 q. by J. Joll,Britain and Europe, 1950, p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. Burton M. Sapin, The Making of United States Foreign Policy 1966, PP. 98–9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cf. F. Schurman, Ideology and Organization in Communist China, 1966; p. 22.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Seliger, Dimensions. of Ideology, mimeographed, 1968, passim, esp. P. 24.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Power Through Purpose 1954. See also W. R. Schilling op, cit. in World Politic, 1956, PP. 573–4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pall Mall Press Ltd. London 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Frankel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SouthamptonUK

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