Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics: Methods and Applications of Operational Code Analysis

Overview

This book examines how beliefs shape leaders' perceptions of reality and lead to cognitive and motivated biases that distort, block, and recast incoming information from the environment. Using content analysis and formal modeling methods associated with quantitative operational code analysis, contributors analyze how beliefs affect policies related to international security and international political economy.

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Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics: Methods and Applications of Operational Code Analysis

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Overview

This book examines how beliefs shape leaders' perceptions of reality and lead to cognitive and motivated biases that distort, block, and recast incoming information from the environment. Using content analysis and formal modeling methods associated with quantitative operational code analysis, contributors analyze how beliefs affect policies related to international security and international political economy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Four decades ago Alex George performed a significant service by developing the 'operational code' construct as a means of better understanding the politically-relevant beliefs of foreign policy officials. Steve Walker and Mark Schafer led a second wave of important methodological and empirical studies that not only demonstrated the value of the operational code construct, but also developed such significant steps as a system of computer content analysis. In this essential volume, Walker, Schafer, and their colleagues make a compelling case that leaders' beliefs—specifically those encompassed in the operational code—are indeed an important component of world politics, and they demonstrate that in an impressive range of domains."
—Ole Holsti, George V. Allen Professor Emeritus, Duke University
"This collection of thoughtful essays proves that operational-code scholarship represents one of the most durable and successful research programs in political psychology — a program readily adaptable to the study of topics as varied as international terrorists and central bankers. The authors have performed valuable community service."
—Philip Tetlock, Mitchell Professor of Organizational Behavior, University of
California, Berkeley

"Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics is the best current application of operational code analysis to issues of international relations. Schafer and Walker show political actors whose beliefs are expressed rhetorically, both reflecting the international world and producing effects in it. The studies in the book include national leaders from Britain, China, Russia, and the United States as well as non-governmental actors such as terrorists. There are snapshot comparisons of different leaders as well as studies of strategic interactions over time as they wrestle with problems of war and peace, international crises, economic sanctions, trade and high finance. This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the way that individual agents' thoughts, words, and behavior work together in the global political network."
— Francis A. Beer, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado

"Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics provides an invaluable resource to scholars and students of leadership and elite decision making. Coming from a psychological perspective, Walker, Schafer, and colleagues have developed a rigorous, theoretically motivated, yet accessible method for analyzing "leaders at a distance," using the VICS system for content analysis of speeches or other textual material. In addition to several rich applications of VICS to historical cases, this research program includes an innovative marriage of psychology and game theory, which culminates in an agent-based model of sequential elite decision making. In short, this book will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars interested in how leaders make decisions."
—Charles S. Taber, Stony Brook University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403971821
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/3/2006
  • Series: Advances in Foreign Policy Analysis Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Schafer is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University. Stephen G. Walker is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Arizona State University

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Table of Contents

Beliefs and Leadership in World Politics: Methods and Applications of Operational Code Methods and Applications of Operational Code Analysis—Stephen G. Walker and Mark Schafer
Lists of Tables, Figures, and Appendices
• Notes on Editors and Contributors
• Preface
• Introduction
Belief Systems as Causal Mechanisms in World Politics: An Overview of Operational Code Analysis—Stephen G. Walker and Mark Schafer * Part I. Methods: Content Analysis and Formal Models * Operational Code Analysis at a Distance: The Verbs in Context System of Cotnent Analysis—Mark Schafer and Stephen G. Walker
• A World of Beliefs: Modeling Interactions Among Agents with Different Operational Codes—B. Gregory Marfleet and Stephen G. Walker
Part II. Applications: The Domain of Leader-Advisor Relations
The Eyes of Kesteven: How the Worldviews of Margaret Thatcher and Her Cabinet Influenced British Foreign Policy—Scott Crichlow
• George W. Bush and the Vulcans: Leader-Advisor Relations and America's Response to the 9/11 Attacks—Sam Robison
Part III. Applications: The Domain of International Security * Reagan and Gorbachev: Altercasting at the End of the Cold War—Akan Malici
• Crisis Deferred: An Operational Code Analysis of Chinese Leaders across the Strait—Huiyun Feng
• Links Among Beliefs and Personality Traits: The Distinctive Language of Terrorists—Elena Lazarevska, Jayne Scholl, and Michael Young
Part IV. Applications: The Domain of International Political Economy
Economic Sanctions and Operational Code Analysis: Beliefs and the Use of Economic Coercion—Cooper Drury
• Economic Liberalism and the Operational Code Beliefs of U.S. Presidents: The Initiation of NAFTA Disputes, 1989-2002—Matthew Stevenson
• The Political Psychology of the Asian Financial Crisis—Cameron Thies
Conclusion
• Structural International Relations Theories and the Future of Operational Code Analysis—Stephen G. Walker and Mark Schafer
Bibliography

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