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POL208- Nov 19- Nuclear Deterrence.doc

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Political Science
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Lilach Gilady

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POL208- NOV. 19: NUCLEAR DETERRENCE 4 REVIEW SESSIONS for midterm ( come with questions) Look at the lecture outlines- treat them as a study guide. If a concept is there, study it. They target the most important concepts covered in the lecture. The Fiscal Cliff: Game of chicken between republicans and democrats - Obama: rationality of irrationality CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: - classic case - two super powers driving towards eachother - crises have 3 components: surprise, high level of threat, short period of time to make decisions. - This type of crisis is one that is likely to produce a high level of stress th - The importance of a potentially 4 model that can explain the outcome— psychological models - Cognitive models of decision makers during stress - Future of mankind- high stakes - Can we expect actors under conditions of stress to be rational - We need to be able to collect information, assess it. We have to be open to all possibilities and possible information. This takes time, open- mindedness and very careful calculations - What does this say about crisis decision- making COGNITIVE MODELS: - past experience, personality, skill - generalize more about what happens during crises - the effects of stress  reduction in cognitive complexity, increased cognitive rigidity, reduced time horizon ( curvilinear relation; selection process) - cognitive rigidity--- we are less likely to accept information that is contrary to our beliefs - high levels of stress make us feel as though we do not have time to make decisions - high levels of stress increase the crisis that we feel - at the beginning of the Cuban missile crisis people were less rigid, as time progresses they start capitalizing on short cuts - some levels of stress may be positive, but beyond a certain point we start seeing negative implications. - Politicians are especially well suited for stressful environments--- debates, campaigning, competition - Group pathologies: group- think, risky decisions, the effects of the group size and composition. - Groups are more likely to accept risky decisions- because it feels like the responsibility is shared by many - Dangerous behavior more likely with groups - The bigger the group the more pathologies we’re likely to see - Kennedy removes himself for excomm he wanted to remove the dangers of group think - The impact of historical analogies; framing--- anaologies are used in not a careful way. - If we don’t use them in a careful way we can come to the wrong conclusions - Historical analogies are hard to escape- we want to study history but we need to be careful not to be trapped by the analogy - The way we frame the crisis can have great impact on how we understand that policies and options that are open to us THE FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR: - -attribution: situational constraints vs. dispositional traits - when we see a certain action by an actor we try to attribute it to a certain cause. - We can attribute the cause of action to the character, nature of the actor - Attributing it to your situation, the constructs under which you work - Following holocaust ppl were asking—how can ppl do that? - Were Nazis inherently mean/ cruel, were they victims to their circumstances? - The milgram obedience experiments- a very important exp in the history of the social scientists - People were asked to volunteer to a scientific experiment - It suggests that we should put a lot of emphasis on situational constraints when we try to explain these types of behaviours - We tend to treat differently friends and enemies - With friends/ enemies we tend to highlight the dispositional traits - We attribute different causes to friends and to enemies PROSPECT THEORY: - Daniel kahneman ( Amos Tverski) - Tries to find systematic and hence, predictable, distortions in rationality - Experimental approach ( psychology) - The way you frame your policy choices affects the likilhood of these policies being chosen PROSPECT THEORY CONCLUSIONS: -framing of policy affects our choices - whether we frame things as a potential gain/ loss affects our likelihood of taking a chance as long as we feel as though we’re gaining we tend to opt for something which is sure and we tend to not take any risks - we need to know whether we’re playing in the domain of gains or losses - we’re wlling to gamble if we think we’re playing in the realm of losses - we tend to be risk averse when we think we’re in the realm of gains - losing in gambling you will gamble more - crisis decision making: problematic implications ( carter) - in the realm of losses we’re more willing to take gambles, sometimes silly gambles - there was a flawed attempt to save the hostages that carter authorized--- he was so deep in the realm of losses, he decided to take a gamble - critique external validity – do these experiments have external validity--- can we deduce from these experiments that leaders behave in a similar way in an international crisis HOW WAS WAR AVERTED IN 1962: - the decision making environment encouraged debate - the president wanted as much debate as possible to steer away from group think - we see a very calculated effort to put decisionmakers if the other sides shoes - how would things look from the perspective from the soviet union- clear effort to employ empathy- - the policy that was adopted in the end: naval blockade - it was esp. chosen to buy more time - one of the most scarce resources in crisis is time - created more room for gradual escalation - excercised direct and tight control over actual force deployment - created and operated multiple channels of communication with the soviet leadership CRISIS BEHAVIOUR FINAL POINTS: - 1962- pure luck - any small thing could’ve turned it into a full scale nuclear war - aversion of war was pure luck - nationalism, modern economics, technology, nuclear weapons changed the ratio of risks and rewards in war. This increased caution and restraint. Will it always work? - Crises as “ surrogates for war” ( Waltz) in the nuclear age, between super powers its almost impossible to fight a direct war. What the USSR and US had during the coldwar was a series of crises, - Instead of fighting a war, they played chicken - Policy makers learn from past experiences. Crises became routinized ( the hot line) repeated exposure to acute crises may reduce the probability of an outbreak of a general war ( mcclelland 1961: 200) - Is there an “ institutional memory” it assumes that the lessons of the Cuban missile crises were useful to presidents later on - Can we use the
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