Decision-Making in Foreign Affairs
This course is divided into three parts, which cover decision-making on the individual, group, and organizational levels. In the first part, we look at individual-level decision-making, with a focus on cognitive biases and analogies. Next, we move on to group-level decision-making and explore its advantages and drawbacks. Then, we discuss the role played by foreign policy bureaucracies and governmental organizations in foreign policy decisions and contrast these models with the (dominant) realist rational actor model. Throughout the course, we make extensive use of case studies drawn from 20th-century international affairs to illustrate the usefulness of the different models.
You'll Walk Away with
- A greater appreciation of the challenges faced by decision-makers in various situational contexts
- Insights into improving the quality of decision-making
- A more critical attitude toward the “political marketing” strategies used by governments to justify their foreign policy decisions
- Aspiring foreign affairs analysts and journalists and anybody desiring to understand how important foreign policy decisions are made (and why they succeed or fail)
- Business students and anybody seeking to understand decision-making more generally at the individual, group, and organizational levels