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POSC 458 week 5

by: Hewan Ft

POSC 458 week 5 POSC 458

Hewan Ft

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week 5 lecture and slide notes
International Political Analysis
Dr. Yang
Class Notes
political science
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hewan Ft on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 458 at James Madison University taught by Dr. Yang in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see International Political Analysis in Political Science at James Madison University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Lecture 5 notes State level drivers inside the nation state Rational Actor Model (RAM) Foreign policy decision-making model based on realist view (anarchic world, maximize relative power): 2 Key Assumptions:  all leaders act on the behalf of the interest of their own country. Assumed to be a unified entity, regardless of how/who leads the country. o Unitary actor assumption  Actors do a cost-benefit analysis- Rational decision-making: -  Problem recognition- when a crisis strikes, figure out the nature of the crisis.  Goal selection- if decision will be made, what would the goal they are trying to accomplish. The goal would show the different alternatives to accomplishing it.  Identification of alternatives- which alternatives would accomplish the goals best.  Choose best benefit Critiques:-  States are not unitary actors- rational choice is not reasonable as it is not a one size fits all  Psychological biases- most leaders are trying to stay in power, and therefore their rationality would be tainted.  Maximizing Vs Satisficing – because of the constraints of time and level of energy and interest, leaders would not be able to evaluate all the information. Hence most leaders instead of maximizing knowledge on issue, they would prefer to satisfy -the first possible alternative- hence not make a well thought out decision. Examples:- Soviet union:  Bridging the missile gap  Bay of pigs- shows America as a failure and thus the lesser opponent USA:  Blockade of Cuba would not escalated war- rational because it wouldn’t be a full scale war but shows commitment  Force USSR to make next move The bureaucratic politics model in FPDM BP MODEL:  Policy is a result of bureaucratic push and pull of national interest  Bureaucratic interest depends on where you sit o Your role- multiple sources of input o Your budget-treats are exaggerated so that that military can get more funding  Foreign policy is the result of an internal battle o Compromise- best possible option o One or more actors win o Unanticipated outcome Examples: Soviet Union  Khrushchev’s political stability  Military leaders discontent- red army might have pushed for the implementation. USA:  Election politics and bay of pigs- 1962 is midterm congressional election o Rejection of diplomacy- to win more seats, JFK had to stand tough on the issue.  JFK Vs. Lemay/CIA- LeMay wanted an air strike, CIA planned the bay of pigs operations which failed. The Organizational Process Model  Stresses how bureaucracies make decisions influence content of decisions  Not a cost benefit analysis  Standard operating procedure (sop) is the procedure that bureaucracies adopt to deal with large number of small tasks. Almost like a manual, which does not properly assess ever crisis. Mainly the sake of efficiency but could lead to a mishap. Examples Soviet Union  Little experience with foreign nuke installments- USSR did not keep it a secret well enough so US spies found it  No plan for next move if US takes action- USA  AIRSTRIKE- uncertain and could easily cause more negativity  Pre-existing plan for naval blockade There is no single model that works for every situation and all 3 should be used.


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