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Explaining Foreign Policy

U.S. Decision-Making in the Gulf Wars

Steve A. Yetiv

second edition
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Steve A. Yetiv has developed an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to studying foreign policy decisions, which he applies here to understand better how and why the United States went to war in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and 2003.

Yetiv’s innovative method employs the rational actor, cognitive, domestic politics, groupthink, and bureaucratic politics models to explain the foreign policy behavior of governments. Drawing on the widest set of primary sources to date—including a trove of recently declassified documents—and on interviews with key actors, he applies these models to illuminate the…

Steve A. Yetiv has developed an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to studying foreign policy decisions, which he applies here to understand better how and why the United States went to war in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and 2003.

Yetiv’s innovative method employs the rational actor, cognitive, domestic politics, groupthink, and bureaucratic politics models to explain the foreign policy behavior of governments. Drawing on the widest set of primary sources to date—including a trove of recently declassified documents—and on interviews with key actors, he applies these models to illuminate the decision-making process in the two Gulf Wars and to develop theoretical notions about foreign policy. What Yetiv discovers, in addition to empirical evidence about the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, is that no one approach provides the best explanation, but when all five are used, a fuller and more complete understanding emerges.

Thoroughly updated with a new preface and a chapter on the 2003 Iraq War, Explaining Foreign Policy, already widely used in courses, will continue to be of interest to students and scholars of foreign policy, international relations, and related fields.

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Explaining Foreign Policy

Steve A. Yetiv

second edition
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Reviews

Provides a multiperspective approach that can enrich and enlighten readers' knowledge of foreign policy decisions.

Rarely does one find a book that both thoroughly presents a theoretical framework and then actually tests that framework against reality by the rigorous use of history. Steve Yetiv... has done a remarkably good job of balancing both elements in a new study of U.S. decision-making in the first Persian Gulf War.

Whether or not Explaining Foreign Policy ultimately takes its place beside Essence of Decision as a seminal work in the field, the book serves the same function in challenging analysts to question conventional models and accommodate complexity in the scholarly study of foreign policy.

An important approach to analyzing complex foreign policy decision-making.

An impressive foreign-policy analysis of U.S. decision-making in the Persian Gulf War... A well-researched and highly readable book.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
336
ISBN
9780801898945
Illustration Description
1 line drawing
Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The United States, Iraq, and the Crisis: Some Background
2. The Rational Actor Model
3. A Cognitive Compass: Analogies at Work
4. Constructing

Preface to the Second Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The United States, Iraq, and the Crisis: Some Background
2. The Rational Actor Model
3. A Cognitive Compass: Analogies at Work
4. Constructing the Threat: Saddam the Global Menace
5. Elements of Groupthink on the Road to War
6. Government Politics: Not Much, Actually
7. Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: Evaluating the Perspectives
8. Threading the Tale
9. Tackling Puzzles and Developing Theory
10. Understanding Government Behavior: Integrating Process, Choice, and Outcome
11. Invading Iraq
12. Beyond the Gulf: Foreign Policy and World Politics
Appendix: Core Interviews
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Steve A. Yetiv

Steve A. Yetiv is a professor of political science at Old Dominion University and author of The Absence of Grand Strategy: The United States in the Persian Gulf, 1972–2005 and Explaining Foreign Policy: U.S. Decision-Making in the Gulf Wars, both published by Johns Hopkins.
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