The Quest for the National Interest: A Methodological Reflection on Czech Foreign Policy

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The concept of national interest belongs among the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy debate. This volume illustrates how the term can be used as a meaningful analytical tool. It introduces three criteria (relevance, domestic consensus, and external acceptance) which serve to identify national interest. The authors apply these criteria to Czech foreign policy making and provide some interesting findings concerning a country's possibilities to define and pursue its national interest. Since the authors use four different methodologies (case studies, discourse analysis, grounded theory, and ethnography), the volume also shows the variety of possible ways to analyse national interests.