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Section I: Theories of Decision-making: 2) How much influence do individual leaders have on foreign policy decision-making? How can we measure

Section I: Theories of Decision-making:
2) How much influence do individual leaders have on foreign policy decision-making? How can
we measure this influence? Using your knowledge of models of decision-making explain and
expand on the influence of individuals in foreign policy.

Argument : individual leaders have significant influence on foreign policy decisionmaking
especially in the unitary models of Rational Actor Model and Psychological Model on rational
choices and cognitive perception by leaders; and also on non-unitary models of Organization
Decision Making and Bureaucratic Politics on leveraging Standard Operating Procedures and
impacting negotiating process.

– RAM : risk evaluation and maximization of utility influence decision-making (rational
and unitary)

– Psychological : their perception to the world and their status in the position affect
decision-making. (non-rational and unitary)

– ODM : within the organization impact standard operation procedures to influence
decision-making. (rational and non-unitary)

– BP : influence bureaucratic bargaining process to leverage to decision-making.
(non-rational and non-unitary)

Section II: The Practice of Decision-making :
2) Amy Zegart argues that errors are a feature – and not a bug – of organizational
decision-making. Is she correct? Use examples from the case studies to analyze the contribution
of organizations to foreign policy decision-making. Can leaders avoid pitfalls? Are they cursed
to suffer from organizational mismanagement of foreign policy? OR is Zegart incorrect –
organizations improve decision-making?

● Incorrect, the organizations help make foreign policy decisionmaking as long as the SOPs
has been built up and 4 streams of decisionmaking communicated well.

– 911 case is a failure of process of building SOPs not the failure of SOPs itself??
– Fail to match the situation with the SOPs, not the failure of SOPs itself.

– 911 is a result of failed bureaucratic bargaining not organization failure.
– 911 failure results from problems and participant failure thus cause the solutions and

choice opportunities failure in decisionmaking

Two cases comparison:
– Context different: 911 extreme case, lack of experience
– 911 case is a failure of process of building SOPs not the failure of SOPs itself

– Gulf war cases have successful previous US oversea intervention experience

Essay 2 structure :
Introduction: 1 page

– Argument: Incorrect, the organizations help make foreign policy decisionmaking as long
as the SOPs has been built up and 4 streams of decisionmaking communicated well.

Body paragraph 1: 2 pages
– Organization help in foreign policy decisionmaking and decrease the individual’s

mismanagement risks.
– How ODM model works

– Pattern-matching SOPs
– 4 streams: Problem, solutions, participants and choice opportunities (a

process of coordination)
– How organization helps leader minimize mistakes

Body paragraph 2: 1 ½ pages
– Analyze the case of one hundred hour of war (ODM model successful case)

– Context
– Individual actors in organizations
– Potential options in responding to Iraq invasion
– Good communication of the 4 streams
– SOPs (has previous oversea intervention experience, and have coordinated goal

causes good communication)

Body paragraph 3: 1 ½ pages
– Analyze the case of 911 attack (ODM model failure case)

– Context
– Individual actors in organizations
– Lack of experience even with the warning
– Some negative sides of organization (could refer to the class notes)
– Did not have previous SOPs due to new form of terror attack

Body paragraph 4: Compare two cases: 1 ½ pages
– Why the case of gulf war is successful and why 911 attack failed to defend

– Relates to the ODM model
– Context different: 911 extreme case, lack of experience. 100 hour war has

coordinated goal and have previous oversea intervention SOPs
– 911 case is a failure of process of building SOPs not the failure of SOPs itself.

Body paragraph 5: 1 ½ pages
– Use the 100 hour war case to answer the questions: Can leaders avoid pitfalls? Are they

cursed to suffer from organizational mismanagement of foreign policy?
– Yes, the organization can help leader minimize the pitfalls and eliminate

mismanagement in pattern-matching when SOPs already built and 4 streams
coordinated well.

Conclusion: 1 page

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