Why does North Korea behave erratically in pursuing its nuclear weapons program? Why did the United States prefer bilateral alliances to multilateral ones in Asia after World War II? Why did China become "nice"—no more military coercion—in dealing with the pro-independence Taiwan President Chen Shuibian after 2000? Why did China compromise in the negotiation of the Chunxiao gas exploration in 2008 while Japan became provocative later in the Sino-Japanese disputes in the East China Sea? North Korea’s nuclear behavior, U.S. alliance strategy, China’s Taiwan policy, and Sino-Japanese territorial disputes are all important examples of seemingly irrational foreign policy decisions that have determined regional stability and Asian security. By examining major events in Asian security, this book investigates why and how leaders make risky and seemingly irrational decisions in international politics. The authors take the innovative step of integrating the neoclassical realist framework in political science and prospect theory in psychology. Their analysis suggests that political leaders are more likely to take risky actions when their vital interests and political legitimacy are seriously threatened. For each case, the authors first discuss the weaknesses of some of the prevailing arguments, mainly from rationalist and constructivist theorizing, and then offer an alternative explanation based on their political legitimacy-prospect theory model. This pioneering book tests and expands prospect theory to the study of Asian security and challenges traditional, expected-utility-based, rationalist theories of foreign policy behavior.
This book introduces a new perspective on risk seeking behaviour, developing a framework based on various cognitive theories, and applying it to the specific case-study of Turkey’s foreign policy toward Syria. The author examines why policy makers commit themselves to polices that they do not have the capacity to deliver, and develops an alternative theoretical model to prospect theory in explaining risk taking behaviour based on the concept of overconfidence. The volume suggests that overconfident individuals exhibit risk seeking behaviour that contradicts the risk averse behaviour of individuals in the domain of gain, as predicted by prospect theory. Using a set of testable hypothesis deduced from the model, it presents an empirical investigation of the causes behind Turkish decision makers’ unprecedented level of risk taking toward the uprising in Syria and the consequences of this policy.
Selling the War on Terror from Afghanistan to Iraq
Author: Wojtek Mackiewicz Wolfe
Throughout history and especially during contemporary times, presidential rhetoric sets the foreign policy tone not only for Congress but mainly for the American public. Consequently, US foreign policy is actively marketed and spun to the American public. This book describes the marketing strategy of the War on Terror and how that strategy compelled public opinion towards supporting the spread of the War on Terror from Afghanistan to Iraq. The author investigates how President George W. Bush's initial framing of the September 11th attacks provided the platform for the creation of long term public support for the War on Terror and established early public support for U.S. action in Iraq. Mining public opinion data and nearly 1500 presidential speeches over a four year period, the book argues that presidential framing of threats and losses, not gains, contributed to public support for war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, and President Bush's successful reelection campaign. President Bush's initial framing of the terrorist threat was introduced immediately after the September 11th attacks and reinforced throughout the Afghanistan invasion. During this time period, presidential threat framing established the broad parameters for the War on Terror and enabled the president to successfully market a punitive war in Afghanistan. Second, the president marketed the strategy of preemptive war and led the country into the more costly war in Iraq by focusing on the potentially global threat of terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. President Bush's previous war rhetoric was repackaged into a leaner, more focused format in which the Iraq war became part of the War on Terror, resulting in increased support for the president and a successful reelection campaign. Finally, the author examines the withdraw vs. surge in Iraq debate bringing the book up to date. The book shows the influencing potential of presidential spin and of risky foreign policy in the Middle East, and presents a systematic analysis of how a president effectively pursued a marketing strategy that continues to show an enduring ability to influence public support. Even two years after the Iraq invasion, 52% of Americans believed that the U.S. should stay in Iraq until it is stabilized. This finding bypasses agenda setting explanations, which prescribes issue salience amongst the public for only one year. The large speech database available with the study will also be an added benefit to scholars seeking to teach undergraduate and graduate level qualitative research methods.
Calculating Political Risk is rich and illuminating, and much more than a political science treatise. Althaus draws on diverse literature, extensive interviews and intriguing case studies to offer interdisciplinary, practical and nuanced insight. This book provides new perspectives and more precise language for making sense of a critical dimension of politics, policy-making and public management. Evert Lindquist, Director and Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Canada This powerful new book is the first ever examination of the hard edge of how political risk - something faced by all political actors innumerable times every day - is calculated and used in decision-making. It opens with an outline of the historical and linguistic origins of risk, the various disciplinary understandings of risk, the risk society concept, and how risk has come to be so prominent in the context of environmental disaster and terrorism. The book then defines political risk and looks at its manifestations in the public sector, from project to high-level political risk. It also looks at risk identification versus risk management and compares the concept of political risk with the private sector practice of risk management. Unique research findings from interviews with over 100 risk practitioners and politicians provide a detailed look at how political actors calculate political risk. Case study-based chapters look in-depth at neat and discrete examples: risk calculation in state development plans in Australia; political risk identification and management in the UK during the mad cow crisis; and US government risk calculation in the post-September 11 context. The final chapters draw together the experiences and lessons learned from the case studies and practitioner insights to formulate a better understanding of what political risk is and what its calculation means in political practice. The author shows how political risk calculation provides a fresh perspective on policy analysis and identifies how political risk is relevant to a broader understanding of politics and political science, as well as policy formulation and implementation on the ground.
Neorealists argue that all states aim to acquire power and that state cooperation can therefore only be temporary, based on a common opposition to a third country. This view condemns the world to endless conflict for the indefinite future. Based upon careful attention to actual historical outcomes, this book contends that, while some countries and leaders have demonstrated excessive power drives, others have essentially underplayed their power and sought less position and influence than their comparative strength might have justified. Featuring case studies from across the globe, History and Neorealism examines how states have actually acted. The authors conclude that leadership, domestic politics, and the domain (of gain or loss) in which they reside play an important role along with international factors in raising the possibility of a world in which conflict does not remain constant and, though not eliminated, can be progressively reduced.
Case Studies Involving the Preparation, Commitment, Application and Withdrawal of Force
Author: Kevin Dougherty
President Bill Clinton, speaking as might any commander-in-chief, on the eve of his decision to deploy ground troops to Bosnia in 1995, declared he had “no responsibility more grave than putting soldiers in harm’s way.” Such a statement suggests that a study of the decision-making process associated with the weighty matters of using force would be enlightening. Indeed, it is. The decision-making process is far from standardized nor is it simple. While all individuals associated with important decisions about national security and the lives of America’s service members take their responsibilities seriously, the processes by which they reach their conclusions are varied and complicated. The book traces eight traditional and emerging theories or models of decision-making by first explaining the components of each model and then by analyzing its practical application through three case studies. Each chapter concludes with a discussion of the utility and explanatory power of the particular model. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
Political leadership has made a comeback. It was studied intensively not only by political scientists but also by political sociologists and psychologists, Sovietologists, political anthropologists, and by scholars in comparative and development studies from the 1940s to the 1970s. Thereafter, the field lost its way with the rise of structuralism, neo-institutionalism, and rational choice approaches to the study of politics, government, and governance. Recently, however, students of politics have returned to studying the role of individual leaders and the exercise of leadership to explain political outcomes. The list of topics is nigh endless: elections, conflict management, public policy, government popularity, development, governance networks, and regional integration. In the media age, leaders are presented and stage-managed—spun—as the solution to almost every social problem. Through the mass media and the Internet, citizens and professional observers follow the rise, impact, and fall of senior political officeholders at closer quarters than ever before. This Handbook encapsulates the resurgence by asking, where are we today? It orders the multidisciplinary field by identifying the distinct and distinctive contributions of the disciplines. It meets the urgent need to take stock. It brings together scholars from around the world, encouraging a comparative perspective, to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the major disciplines, methods, and regions. It showcases both the normative and empirical traditions in political leadership studies, and juxtaposes behavioural, institutional, and interpretive approaches. It covers formal, office-based as well as informal, emergent political leadership, and in both democratic and undemocratic polities.
The book has three objectives: to expose students to the ways different US presidents handled major foreign policy making problems; to test the explanatory value of alternative decision-making models; And to reintroduce students to a wide range of critical US foreign policy issues.