The workshop aims to explore the fruitfulness of an interpretive approach to the study of foreign policies. The interpretive approach concentrates on the beliefs of various policy actors, and, crucially, explains these beliefs and the policies they shape by locating them in historical traditions and as responses to dilemmas. Generally, it seeks thereby to highlight the contingency, diversity, and contestability of the narratives, traditions and expertise that inform political action and practices. The interpretive approach is widespread in the study of governance and domestic policy, but arguably has not yet had much impact on studies of foreign policy. Workshop papers should examine aspects of the foreign policies of major states – major decisions, key policies, or core practices – in terms of the beliefs and traditions that inform them, as well as the dilemmas to which they respond. The papers should focus on the post-Cold War era, but will aim to situate this analysis against a broader historical background. They should examine the ruling political narratives and technical rationalities, drawn from social scientific research, that shape policy. They should highlight the connections between the beliefs of policy actors and their practices, and aim to explain the development of those practices in terms of beliefs, traditions and dilemmas.