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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

PBPL 7 Leadership in Foreign Policy Decision-making

Do heads of state matter when it comes to making foreign policy decisions?  We certainly act as if they do and we vote as if they do.  But it’s also possible that sometimes, structural conditions render leaders irrelevant –that any leader, when faced with the same constraints, could not help but make the same decision.  Any responsible study of foreign policy will pay attention to questions of the conditions under which leaders matter as well as the constraints on foreign policy leadership.  Therefore, in this course, we will study the essence of foreign policy decision-making with a special emphasis on the sorts of decisions that leaders can and do make. As we do so we will be introduced to a number of tools and models to help explain the process of foreign policy decision-making. These tools, concepts, and models will broadly include the political psychology of foreign policy decision-making, the dangers of decision-making during times of great crisis, and the role that various organizations play in foreign policy decisions.

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


Not offered in the period from 17F through 19S.