Foreign Policy - Key difference between ir theory and foreign policy is that foreign policy is
more individual based
- What explains foreign policy decision making has a lot to do with individuals.
What they see, what they want, what they’ve learned
- Ir theory is very process oriented. How did they come to this decision.
- Foreign policy is very strategic. Actions are repeated
- Foreign policy can be guided by theoretical ideas about liberalism, realism
What it is: - A strategy
- Foreign policy is RATIONAL PROCESS
- Decision making
- Spells out goals and objectives
- Spells out tactics
3 primary variables to 1. Who specifically those individuals are who are making the decisions
consider: because all their prospective are different
2. What is the state I’m dealing with. What are their typical processes. How
rich are they, how poor are they, what is their culture, are the desperate, are
they hopeful etc.
3. What’s the international context from where they operate? Does it look like
a realist/liberalist world right now? Are they in the system? Are they
Biggest problem with - Individual rationality. Knowing there is no perfect rational person. It doesn’t
foreign policy decision exist. There are things that get in the way of us being perfectly rational
- Individuals try to be rational, but they’re subject to human qualities
- Risk aversion/acceptance= risk matters! How much of a risk are you willing
to take. It depends on the person and what kind of pressure they’re put in
You can systematically - 1. Perception. All individuals perceive and misperceive things differently categorize why people from each other.
aren’t purely rational
(computationally - How you see is how decisions are made
rational) - Both perceptions and misperceptions are rational, but they depend on the
person and their background
- 2. Affective bias. How we feel about an issue. Some call it our gut, some call
it our heart.
- Like or dislike toward something
- It’s still rational, but not perfect.
- 3. Cognitive bias. How you think about something.
- Wishful thinking , never realized in actions. Hoping the best will occur
and knowing it probably won’t
• historical analysis: Cuban missile crisis
- Justification of effo , not willing to give something up even though you
know it’s a lost cause. (grey’s anatomy when someone is flatlined but
they keep trying)