The Decision Point: Six Cases in U. S. Foreign Policy Decision Making

Overview


Filling a gap in the U.S. foreign policy textbook market, this innovative introduction shows students how real American foreign policy makers make real decisions. Drawing on and summarizing a vast amount of literature, author David Patrick Houghton introduces students to three basic theories of decision-making. He then applies each of these perspectives to six well-known historical cases that range from classic to contemporary: the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Iran Hostage Crisis, ...
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Overview


Filling a gap in the U.S. foreign policy textbook market, this innovative introduction shows students how real American foreign policy makers make real decisions. Drawing on and summarizing a vast amount of literature, author David Patrick Houghton introduces students to three basic theories of decision-making. He then applies each of these perspectives to six well-known historical cases that range from classic to contemporary: the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Iran Hostage Crisis, the Kosovo War, and the Iraq War. Houghton uses the crucial "decision points" of these events to give students a sense of what it is actually like to make high-level decisions. He also shows how the theories discussed in the book can be applied to these case studies.

Featuring a direct, accessible writing style, coverage of recent advances in the field--including new psychological models like prospect theory and poliheuristic theory--and an affordable price, The Decision Point: Six Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy Decision Making serves as a perfect text or supplement for courses in U.S. Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Decision-Making.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199743520
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/18/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Patrick Houghton is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of three other books, including Political Psychology: Situations, Individuals, and Cases (2008) and U.S. Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis (2001) and numerous articles published in internationally known journals.

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Table of Contents

Preface
PART I. THEORIES
Chapter 1. The Decision Point: An Introduction
The Traditions of Foreign Policy Decision-Making
Homo Economicus or the Rational Actor Model (RAM)
Three Alternatives to Homo Economicus
Homo Bureaucraticus
Homo Sociologicus
Homo Psychologicus
Levels of Analysis
Outline of the Book
Chapter 2. Homo Bureaucraticus
1. The Opening to China
2. The Hainan Island Incident of 2001
The Assumptions of Homo Bureaucraticus
"Where You Stand Depends On Where You Sit"
Organizational Culture: "The Way Things Are Done Around Here"
Chapter 3. Homo Sociologicus
Explaining the Iran-Contra Fiasco
The Assumptions of Homo Sociologicus
From Homo Sociologicus to Homo Psychologicus
Chapter 4. Homo Psychologicus
The Mayaguez Raid: Why The Rush?
"Bears To Honey": The Irresistible Pull of Analogical Reasoning
The Assumptions of Homo Psychologicus
From Theories to Case Studies
PART II. CASE STUDIES
Chapter 5. The Bay of Pigs: "How Could I Have Been So Stupid?"
A Thorn or a Dagger?
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Approaches: Some Points to Consider
Conclusions
Chapter 6. To the Brink: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Rational Decision-Making?
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Perspectives
Chapter 7. An Agonizing Decision: Escalating the Vietnam War
Why Did Johnson Escalate?
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Perspectives
Chapter 8. Disaster in the Desert: The Iran Hostage Crisis
The Hostages are Taken
Explaining Carter's Decisions
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Perspectives
Chapter 9. NATO Intervenes: 78 Days Over Kosovo
The Historical Background to the Conflict
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Perspectives
Chapter 10. Into Iraq: A War of Choice
Why Did the United States Decide to Invade Iraq?
1. Homo Bureaucraticus
2. Homo Sociologicus
3. Homo Psychologicus
Assessing the Three Perspectives
Chapter 11. Conclusions: A Personal View
Bibliography
Index

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