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Keywords:

  • Culture and foreign policy;
  • cross-cultural psychology and foreign policy decision-making;
  • cultural dynamics and international relations

The literature on international relations frequently refers to culture in broad, macro-level ways to explain what cannot be explained by economic or military power. The assumptions that culture is simple, uniform and the opposite of power are, in the view of the authors, erroneous. Also, the authors note that there is a lack of scholarly interaction among psychologists interested in cross-cultural phenomena and international relations specialists interested in questions of identity and foreign policy. As an introduction to a special section on culture and foreign policy, this article calls for more communication among these scholarly communities; provides a set of observations about foreign policy and culture understood as a complex, dynamic concept; and calls for specific kinds of studies to better understand foreign policy in the context of cultural complexity and richness.