You are on page 1of 23

Contextualizing and Critiquing the Poliheuristic Theory Author(s): Eric Stern Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Conflict

Resolution, Vol. 48, No. 1, The Poliheuristic Theory of Foreign Policy Decision Making (Feb., 2004), pp. 105-126 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 18/03/2012 07:37
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Sage Publications, Inc. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Contextualizingand Critiquingthe PoliheuristicTheory
SwedishNational Defense College CRISMART, Uppsala University

The poliheuristictheoryof decision (PH) is placed in its properhistoricalcontext througha brief diachronicoverview of the evolutionof the foreign policy decision-makingtraditionfrom Snyder,Bruck,and Sapinto the present.The PH programis examinedand contextualizedin synchronicfashion via juxtaposition with threeparallellines of theoreticalandempiricalforeignpolicy decision-making research: cognitive and are institutionalism, problemrepresentation, decision units.These approaches foundto exhibitdifferent methodologicalstrengthsand weaknesses and to emphasizedifferentaspects of the decision-makingprois cess. Substantial exist, suggestingthatthe potentialfor synergyandcross-fertilization complementarities great. problem Keywords: Poliheuristictheory;decision making;foreignpolicy; cognitive institutionalism; decision units representation;

THE CONTEXT1 The study of foreign policy decision making-the traditionto which the poliheuristictheoryof decision makingclearlybelongs-has been characterized alterby natingperiods of feast and famine since its beginnings in the 1950s. A first wave of studiesbeganwith Snyder,Bruck,andSapin's(1963) programmatic manifesto,which outlined an alternativeto the post-WorldWarII realist orthodoxy(e.g., Morgenthau 1948; see also Vasquez 1983) and ended with Paige's (1968) landmarkstudy of the Koreancrisis. A second wave of pioneeringstudies came in the 1970s, bringingthe organizationaland psychological foundationsof foreign policy making into sharper focus (Allison 1971; Janis 1972; Steinbrunner1974; Halperin 1974; Cottam 1977). (e.g., George 1980; Lebow 1981; Smith and Despite many noteworthycontributions Clarke1985; Larson 1985; Janis 1989; Hermann,Kegley, and Rosenau 1987) during the 1980s, it is fairto say thatmuchof the attentionof the scholarlyinternational rela1. This section depicts the evolution of the discourseon foreign policy decision making in political science and international relations.For reviews of the psychological literature decision making,see, for on example, Abelson and Levi (1985) and Dawes (1998). AUTHOR'SNOTE:Severalsections of this articledrawon a workingpapertitled "Emerging Theories of ForeignPolicy Decision Making,"coauthoredwith Margaret Hermann. G. JOURNAL CONFLICT OF ol. 2004 RESOLUTION, 48 No. 1,February 105-126 DOI:10. 177/0022002703261052 ? 2004SagePublications 105

Vertzberger1990. Bovens and 't Hart 1996). the idiosyncratic selection of and overlapping that among the models. e.often expecting one to come out the "winner" the cf.. 't Hart. and Sundelius 1997.106 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION tions community was directed elsewhere. However. her study is not particularly cisms of Allison's work-namely. Steinbrunner 2002). 't Hart 1994. Garrison1999). A furthersignal of the mountinginterestin the topic is the republicationand/orrevision of severalof the seminalworksmentionedabove (Allison and Zelikow 1999. competitive A particularly noteworthysuccessor to Allison and an importantmethodological is exemplarin this tradition MariekeKleiboer's(1998) studyTheMultipleRealitiesof InternationalMediation. Therecan be no doubtthatwe now have a moredifferentiated (Lawrenceand Lorch 1969. Morgan1986. Welch 1992. Farnham1997. Kleiboer bridges the gap between foreign policy analysis conflict (power andinternational relationsby developingfour models of international which can humanneeds. Suedfeld and Leighton2002) pictureof the foreign policy-makingprocess thanever before.fromthe vantagepointof the firstdecadeof the new millennium.g... intervention. Baldwin 1993). e. Much progress has been made. andstructural determinist).Bruck and Sapin 2002. Steinbrunner 1974. Ster and Verbeek1998).2 race (see.andgovspectiveacrossthe three"paradigms" criticizedon both empiricaland ernmental[cabinet/bureaucratic] politics). Parkerand Stern2002).. Kleiboer's be used to explainandevaluateempiricalcases of third-party study is exemplaryin its systematic derivationof the models from an "ontological vulnerableto one of the main critiIn matrix. is to one of the most widely cited contributions the foreignpolicy analysisliterature and an important exemplarof this approach.Carlsnaes2002). and not least at the neorealist-neoliberal debate(e. Allison's researchdemonstrated both the questhat tions posed andthe explanationsfound changeddramatically the analystshifts peras (rationalactor. Allison's Essence of Decision. Khong 1992. Haney 1997. Hudhas son 1995. initiallypublishedin 1971. Stem.g. Snyder. Krasner 1972.organizational process. The multiperspectivist approach consists of identifyingseveralalternative decision-making(or policy-making)models from the literature considershow well each illuminatesand accountsfor a given and empiricalcase (or cases). e. Some scholarshaverespondedto this mountingdifferentiation embracingit and by attemptingto turn it into a methodological virtue.g.politicalpsychological. political. Allison's work has proveninfluentialin termsof its models researchdesign. such as organizational (see. Multiperspectivism also been successfullyappliedin neighboring has fields. sociology and public administration . Although theoretical grounds (see. Kleiboer'sstudyconvincinglydemonstrates much of the dishistoricalcases (such as the agreementamongempiricalanalystsassessing particular first CampDavid Accords and the Falklands/Malvinas conflict) stems from a lack of 2.g. Bendor and Hammond 1992. A numberof scholarssince have attemptedto pit alternative in or paradigmsagainsteach other.This monograph'simpactderivedat least as much from its juxtapositionof three ways of theorizingabout how and why foreign policy decision are made as from its relativelyearly (9 years afterthe fact) empirical work on the Cubanmissile is clearthata thirdwave of foreignpolicy decision-makingstudies was launchedduringthe 1990s (e." so doing.g.. Lebow and Stein 1994. and significantaccumulation takenplace (Ripley 1993.

policy-makingprocess as a whole or focusing on particular For example. framework in a pioneering analysis of the Koreanconflict (Paige 1968) and has been a major to sourceof conceptualand methodologicalinspiration severalgenerationsof foreign policy analysts(M..Kleiboer'sstudyalso suggests thatinsteadof viewto ing the alternative perspectivesas competitors. Hudson2003).which are often left implicitin the empiricaldiscourse." crisis management. integrativemonographson foreignpolicy decision makingby Vertzberger (1990) and Maoz (1990). Stein 1969. In the decades thatfollowed. it can and should be arguedthatthe poliheuristictheory and its intellectual"cousins"complementeach otherand togetherform a relativelyrich conceptualand empiricalbasis for reflecting on the processes of foreign policy decision making. which came to emphasize making"cycles.g. Although these lattertwo works have made significantconceptual contributions.and Hermann1982). and Hermann1978. one influentialattemptcombined elements of Easton's (1953) systems theory of politics and political psychology. .. and the nearlysimultaneousencyclopedic. successfullydeployed ified. BrecherandWilkenfeld1997). The multiperspectivistchallenge not withstanding. a to frameworks numberof scholarshave attempted formulateintegrative depictingthe partsof it. 1999. Salmore.Bruck.Steinburg."which combineda broadrangeof domestic and international to the policy-makingprocess. Brecher. positing a so-called input-processand outputmodel of the foreignpolicy-makingprocess(e.much of the half century of researchon foreign policy decision makinghas been characterized the impulse to by identify and integratethe variablesand processes that shape policy formulationand execution-an impulse clearly visible in the work on the poliheuristictheory (see below).In fact. ues in modified form to this day in the International conBrecher1993.g. the dynamicnotionof multiple and policyThe researchby Brecherand associates.let us now focus our attentionon the poliheuristictheory itself beforemoving on to examinethreeadjacentbodies of emergingtheoreticalandempirical research. Callahan. Otherimportant integrative contributionsinclude work done under the auspices of the Comparative ceptual Research on the Events of Nations (CREON) project (e. work on integrativetaxonomies of explanation(Carlsnaes1986.Brady. Having looked back at the context of foreign policy analysis that spawned the poliheuristictheory.they have not yet spawned a large and cumulativebody of empirical research(but see Vertzberger 1998). not least due to its emphasison contextualanalysisof the settingsin which policy making takes place. anddifficultto operationalize. Snyder.THEORY 107 Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC clarityregardingnormativeand ontological framesof might be more appropriate view them as complementary. Brecher 1974). It seems thatthe complexity and scope of these frameworksmay have posed somethingof an obstacle to empiricalapplication.continthe challenge of crisis decision makingand international Crisis Behavior project (e.Deridedby some as overlycomplex. G. inadequately specthe was. 1992).. the emphasison processtracing.g. and Sapin's (1963) original frameworkcontained an oftencited (and occasionally ridiculed)figure schematicallydepicting"anactorin a situavariablesrelevant tion. East. in fact. This body of researchwas noteworthyin severalrespects. Hermann2001.

. and Theoret 1976. 336).The latterdenotes the various cognitive means used to cope with complexity( is important note thatPH focuses on what we have termedthe backend of the decision-makingprocess. Redd 2002. concerns. Smith and Clarke 1985). . (1997. 84-88. MintzandGeva 1997.. Mintz et al. Despite its "back-end" orientation.108 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION THE POI. options development and choice (cf. Allison and Zelikow 1999. Raisanghani. Mintzberg.serving to simplify and reducethe "decision matrix." second is a morerationalistic The treatment the remainingalternatives of and dimensionsandtendsto be basedon analytic.and cumulativeempiricalresearchprograms in the area of foreign policy decision making is the poliheuristictheory of decision (PH).81)? Decision making is conceptualizedas consisting of two stages. The first is a cognitively based screeningof alternatives. PH focuses on five distinctive process characteristicsthat are thought to reflect settings(MintzandGeva high-level decision makingin natural(as well as laboratory) 1997. thatis. Growing out of pioneering work reportedin Mintz (1993. then. This researchprogramattemptsto drawon and integrateinsightsfrom both the cognitive and rationalisticapproachesto the study of (foreign policy) decision making.81)? actually * Howdo decision makers choosea certain of (Mintz policyfroma portfolio alternatives andGeva. the PH programhas generatedan impressiveandrapidlygrowingbody of publishedworkthatmakesuse of a varietyof to methodologiesand can be arguedthatthe core questions of the PH programare as follows: * Howdo decision makers makedecisions and (Mintz Geva1997. icy decisions wellasthecognitive processes otherwords. poliheuristictheoryof decision (PH) has thusfarnot explicitly focused on implementation(cf. 4. and Redd (2002). Simplifyingsomewhat. 84). (1997). 336. 336) has recently describedit as follows: Thepoliheuristic of the theory decision incorporates conditions surrounding foreign polas with In associated thesesurroundings. are the key researchquestions. on and of which makes theory the relevant boththecontents processes foreign to and of policymaking.3 What. 338): * Nonholisticsearch:Decision makingderivesnot from"evaluation comparisonof all and but decision acrossdifferent dimensions" rather fromtheuse of "heuristic alternatives of detailed complicated and rulesthatdo notrequire concentrates the "why" the "how" decisionmaking..IHEURISTIC THEORY OF DECISION One of the most significant.fruitful. comparisons relevant the 3. This passage is adaptedfrom Mintz et al.1997.For our presentpurposes.4 The termpoliheuristic is inspiredby the prefixpoly (an elegant play on words referof ring both to manyand to the politicized character foreign policy making)and heuristic (shortcuts). 554).expectedutilityor lexicographicrulesof choice (Redd 2002. 2003). Burstein and Berbaum1983). and assumptionsof the PH researchprogram? Redd (2002. Mintz and Geva (1997). 82.

5. quotedin Mintz and Geva 1997. search: Unlike rationalisticmodels. McDermott1998). Farnham .the poliheuristictheorysuggests thatsuch variations may in fact have profoundeffects on preferencesand choices (Mintz and Geva 1997. decision rules: Low scores on salient dimensionscannotbe compenNoncompensatory satedby high scores on another. 2003). it should be noted that one of the key features that qualifies PH as an integrative approach is its relatively successful effort to bridge the gap between cognitive and rationalistic paradigms (e. 85). Dimension-basedprocessing: So-called "attributes" (values or aspects) of a problem drivethe searchrather thanalternatives. or the alternative is discarded(Mintz and Geva 1997. 85). PH stands out as a thriving research program.and decision-making privatelife. 6. In fact. example. Alternatives fail to meet minimumstandards that on key dimensions are discarded.5 Satisficingbehavior: The searchends when an acceptablealternativesurvives scrutiny on the key dimensions. interdisciplinary multimethod approach to empirical research and theoretical development. including case studies (Mintz 1993.publicpolicy. which (like the other three perspectives emphasized in this article) serves as a useful complement and alternative to the rational choice perspective. for (1997) and Chaikenand Trope(1999) for overviews. formal modeling (Goertz 2004).See.uncertainty. cf.g. cf. Unlike the research on problem representation (see below). The decision board is a matrix-based platform for the controlled manipulation of information provided to subjects and the monitoring of the choices they have made (Mintz and Geva 1997. Dimensions tend to be applied sequentially. PH has been characterized by a clear and consensual commitment to variable centric. see Fiske and Tetlock(1997) on taboo trade-offs. 90-93). value complexity-as well as cogand nitive and practicalconstraints-tend to rule out "maximizing"(Mintz and Geva 1997. 87. large-N comparative studies (DeRouen and Sprecher 2004)./ Stern CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 109 andadoptsor rejectsundesirable alternatives the basis of one or a few criteria" on (Mintz 1993. PH has been characterized by a pragmatic. Researchers associated with the PH perspective have made use of a variety of methodologies and research designs.Ambiguity. Mintz 2003. many of which have made use of variants of the innovative "decision board" methodology. Fora parallelanalysisof noncompensatory behaviorin politics.6 * * * * Like the emerging research on problem representation (see below). which assume thatvariationsin the Order-sensitive mannerin which alternativesare describedandthe orderin which they are presenteddo not affect decision makers'preferences. 85-86). The potential external validity of the experimental findings has been heightened by the use of policy practitioners (especially military officers) in addition to university students. Steinbrunner 1974. Lepgold and Lamborn 2001)..Minimumstandards mustbe fulfilled. PH thusalso bearsa family resemblanceto the varioussocial contingencytheoriesof judgmentand decision makingthatemergedduringthe 1980s and 1990s in social andorganizational psychology. positivistic social science research. and a series of experimental simulations. 86-87). the in sequence is heavily influencedby the availabilityof informationthat is interpreted a mannerthat directs analytical attentionto a particulardimension or triggersa shift of emphasisto another(Mintz and Geva 1997.

Pragmatists(generally high self-monitors)tend to be highly sensitive to such cues. how decision makersare activated. The PH researcherscorrectlynote and emphasizethe multiple constraintsthatoperate on foreign policy decision makers. McDermott1998). However. . The sensitivity of policy makersto the domestic political context should be seen as a contingentratherthana generalphenomenon. Ster 1999. For importantrecent exceptions that suggest that the PH researchershave become awareof this oversightand are well on their way to remedyingit.7 2. they have arguedand found some degree of experimentalsupportfor the notion that domestic political considerationsare on very close to an absoluteconstraint policy making.JohnF. 8.this argumentoverstatesthe case somewhat. A more recent (and somewhat less extreme) example was the Clinton administration's decision to supportandsubsequentfailureto secureSenateratification of the ComprehensiveTest Ban Treaty(Jones 2002). The recent (re-)emphasison case studies and large-Ncomparativestudies of decision making in naturalsettings (e. heavily if not overemphasized. Roosevelt's decision making duringthe Munichcrisis. This probably stems in large measure from the relatively heavy emphasis on experimentalsimulation in which the experimenters themselves select. PH can tell us little aboutwhy policy makersframe a given problemas a crisis or noncrisissituation." or contextualand institutionalvariableshave not been emphasized. Eriksson 2001). Brecher 1993.and how decision units are formed in real-worldsettings (cf.. Ster and Sundelius 2002.with the significantexception of the domesticpolitical constraints. 4.Therefore. Nor has PH been of muchhelp in understanding why a given decision problemis framedin termsof gains or losses-a factorthoughtby prospecttheoriststo be closely linked to the risk-takingpropensitiesof foreign policy decision makers(cf. Although the notions of dimension-basedsearch and elimination by aspects do contributeto ourknowledgeof how problemsare"represented" "framed. motivate. 1. see Mintz and Redd (2003). 3. which are. Mintz 2003). F. In Profilesin Courage.First of all. Walker1995). Kennedy( 1961)providesa numberof inspiringexamplesof political figures who daredto swim againstthe dominantpublic and political tides of their times. PH tells us relativelylittle abouthow problemsare detected. 233-34) has reached similar conclusions on the basis of her detailed historical case study of we will see. Farham 1997.Woodrow Wilson's ultimatelyfutile crusadefor the U. Hermann2001).The logic is at firstglance compelto ling.theywill not take any course of action that is incompatible with domestic political imperatives.In particular. G.110 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Despite the considerable theoretical merits of the PH approach and a mounting body of empirical evidence (especially from the laboratory setting) to support the basic contours of the model. For example.anddelegatetasksto the decision makers.g.which tends to have a dramaticimpacton the natureof the decision-makingprocess (C. M. Stem 1999.S. membershipin the League of Nations to (which cost him his healthandmost likely contributed not only his politicalbutphysical demise) is perhapsthe classic example (Georgeand George 1964. whereascrusaders(generallylow self-monitors)tend to ignore such 7. Hermann 1963. the perspective has some blind spots and limitations.A substantial body of empiricalresearch that clearlydemonstrates decision makersdiffergreatlyin theirsensitivityto anddegree of autonomywith respectto the domestic political context (see the discussion of decision units above). DeRouen and Sprecher2004) is likely to further compensatefor the externalvalidity to simulationsand suggest ways of extendingthe PH approach cover these dimenlimitationsof laboratory sions (cf. Politiciansmustmaintainpoliticalsupport stayin power. BarbaraFarham (1997. historical evidence suggests that policy makersdo indeed sometimes embarkon foreign policy projectsin the face of heavy (even preponderant) political opposition. Brecher 1993.

Brandstrom and Kuipers 2003).cajole. energy. Bush probablydid when he contemplated intervention Somaliaafterhis defeat at the hands of (butbefore handingover the reins of power to) Bill Clinton.For example. Byman and Pollack 2001). to their peril (Stoessinger 1979. Stern et al.etc. coerce. In a similarway. Preston2000. They can use theirpolitical resources and "bullypulpits"in attemptsto educate. Decision makers can lead public andelite opinion as well as follow it.persuade. George 1997). 5.a factoras simple as proximityto elections can have a majorimpacton the degree of political autonomy perceived by the decision makers. G. but not necessarilydomesticallypopular. cf.S. 39-43). COGNITIVE INSTITUTIONALISM Cognitive institutionalism (CI) takes as its point of departure an emphasis on dynamic subjectivity and the processes of framing/representation. .Hargrove1998). it is possible andshould makingwouldlike (e. regime and political situation (and degree of leader autonomy. COMPLEMENTARY COUSINS? Let us now turn to some of the other emerging bodies of research that should be seen as complements to the poliheuristic theory: cognitive institutionalism (CI).dependence on coalition partners. See also Farnham( worldorder. Anderson 1987. or buy the necessarysupport(Neustadt1990. Hermann2001).9 policy or political allies) to change them (cf. Furthermore. problem representation (PR). and organizations are heavily influenced by experiential and contextual factors that can best be uncovered through relatively detailed or "thick" process tracing and structured. Stern and Sundelius 2002. as Alexander George (1980) and Irving Janis (1989) have convincingly can Constraints sometimes be shifted throughthe efforts of leaders (and their argued. Essentially. The path-dependent context in which policy making takes place shapes propensities 9. groups. Klein 2001) and several strands of the so-called new institutionalism (Kingdon 1984. the in W. MacGregor not be overlookedwhen conceptualizingthe natureof the domesticpolitical constraints on policy making. 2002. resources. A "lameduck"U. political constraintsshould be conceptualizedin dynamicratherthan static terms. the approach suggests that problem setting and problem solving by individuals.g. Such attemptsarelikely to be politically risky and consume large quantitiesof scarce resources. focused comparison (cf.. which characterize the social psychological literature on social cognition and naturalistic decision making (Fiske and Taylor 1991. M. ratings. presidentmay perceivehimself to have been liberatedfromdomestic political constraintsand free to seek his place in history or make a contributionto forging a new. Although such "transformational leadership" (Bass 1997) may be less common thansome observersof foreign (anddomestic)policy Bums andSorenson2000). and decision units (DU). Peters 1999) in sociology and political science (Stern 1999. such as leaders' GeorgeH. they are with a successful likely to perceivea greaterdegreeof freedomfrompoliticalconstraints electionjust behindthem (as opposed to when a personallysalientone is approaching).Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 111 cues-sometimes like Wilson. high/low generalpublic approval Finally. Kowert contextualfactorssuch as the natureof the 2002. and political capital.) areoften highly significant.

Eriksson2001).cognitive institutionalism notas a cold-blooded butas a warm-blooded not calculator fish.antipathies.These cases are drawnfrom a wide range of nationalsettings (e. The limited information-processingcapacityof these policy makersleadsthemto takeshortcutsandto use heuristicsto define theirenvironmentsand currentproblems. loyalties. Vertzberger1990. Spain. Russia. Iceland. Estonia.Such perceptualbiases may lead policy makersto deny or exaggeratethreatsand. the distributionof political administrative power.falloutfrom problemdefinitionsarehighly sensitiveto circumstantial the nuclear accident at Chernobylin 1986 was initially framed as a possible Swedish fromwarningits neighborsthatthe nuclearaccident(largelybecausethe USSR refrained was accidenthadoccurred). Forexample. as a rational to but decision maker-besetby ready workoutthebestsolution as a reluctant always with incongruous and conflict.Bulgaria. France. Some key conceptual and comparativeempirical findings include the following points: * As cognitivisttheoriespredict(cf.and dozens more arecurrentlyin progress. shape the policy agenda. Other studies have been focused on international policy crises in various (Gronvall2001. groups. cues. It shouldbe notedthatCI focuses on policy decision making(in both the domesticandforeignpolicy domains).Finland. Austria. 15) have observed. expectations.and Dutton 1981). respondin a as rigid fashion (Staw. This approach examineshow beliefs. "hot"as well as "cold" (Crawfoord 2000).Khong 1992. and organizationsin which affect the flow of inforpolicy makersare located. and routines in the modern governmentalapparatusand examines how they roles. and often is.Argentina.andthe radiation firstdiscoveredat a Swedish nuclearpower .struggling longings.Rumania.the United States. Larson1985.Poland. Thus. in some cases.112 RESOLUTION JOURNALOF CONFLICT toward problem perception as well as identification or construction of particular courses of action. and Sundelius1997). Well over 100 cases have been subjectedto process-tracinganalysis inspiredby this approach. Albania. The cognitive-institutional has approach been used most often in the studyof crisis decision making(butsee Sundelius 1995 on the Swedishdecision tojoin the European Union [EU]). This neoinstitutional focus acknowledgesthe pervasivenessof rules. Ster. Olsson 2001) and the United partsof the EU institutionalapparatus Nations system. mammal.and New Zealand). political cognition can be.Norway.g. and influence coordinationbetween and within organizations. Rochefortand Cobb 1994. arguingthatthese mesostructures and dispositions toward mation. Sweden. CI closely examines the factions. Janis and Mann views the decision maker (1977.Rosati2001. Dawes 1998).andorganizational culturesand agendas shape the ways in which policy makersperceive and frame problems (cf. Denmark..China.and worry. Lithuania. structurepolicy discourse.doubts.enablingsystematiccomparisonof patterns across policy sectors and types of cases. networks. cooperation and conflict within a given policy-making system ('t Hart. Furthermore. Sandelands. Slovenia. Latvia.

CI findingssuggest thatdecision makersdifferin theircapacityto makeuse of historical analogy as a policy-makingheuristic. This plant promptly(and unnecessarily)evacuatedsome 800 persons before it became clear that the emerging environmentalcrisis was of international ratherthan domestic origins. when Austrians ralliedto theircontroversialpresident(andformerUN secretarygeneral)in the face of foreign criticism (Larsson and Lundgren2003). Paige 1968. the evidence from most of the 1990s is suggestive ratherof a patternof 10. Klein 2001). "prison. Khong 1992)."and rhetorical"weapon"(Brandstr6m. and Poland suggest that this patternis not typical of all transitionaldemocracies.g. It should be noted that a numberof importantsteps towardinstitutionalizing system for crisis a managementin Sweden have been takenin recent years by the use history in a somewhatmore balanced and effective manner(Neustadt and May 1986. Haney 1997). Stem. National contexts differ substantiallyin their capacities and propensitiesto learn and reformon the basis of crises experience.the experiences from Latvia.For example. as was the case in the French responseto the terrorbombingsof 1995. Billings and Hermann 1998.Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 113 * * * * plant (Stem 1999. Although decision makers cannot transcend the individual limitations of human cognition (Vertzberger1990. Khong 1992.even taught. and Bynander 1997). By contrast. National contexts (and particularadministrations) differ widely in the extent to which crisis decision making is an institutionalizedpolicy-makingfunction (cf. Ster and Hansen 2001.Sandelands. Houghton 2001). FindingsfromCherobyl andmanyothercases similarto those studiedby CI researchers (e.Russia. it shouldbe keptin mindthathistoryis used not only as a problem-solvingheuristicbutalso for a numberof other purposes..the responseof the 14 EU heads of government to the prospect of Jorg Haider's right wing extremist party FPO (FreiheitlicheParteiOsterreichs)taking a place in Austria'sruling coalition revealed a strikinginsensitivityto the lessons of the Waldheimcase duringthe 1980s. Stem andSundelius1992). Staw.andDutton 1981. Thus. history may serve not only as a metaphorical "teacher" the (providinglessons fromthe pastandtemplatesfor appreciating present)but also as "filter. the generic and relativelybroad crisis conceptdevelopedin Estonia(which encompassesnot only foreignpolicy andmilitary security crises but also naturaldisasters.forthcoming). By contrast. In these countries.However. . Swedish foreign policy (and domestic) crisis decision makhave entaileddeparing have tendedto takeplace on an ad hoc basis andnot infrequently turesfromexisting legal frameworks Successfulcrisis (e. makinguse a relativelywide rangeof analogiesand maintainingsensitivitynot only to situationaland contextual similarities but also to differences (cf. this impulse has resulted in tendencies towardhyperllearing in which reform efforts are undertakenprematurelyand without systematic analysis of the performanceand potentialof any given set of institutionalarrangements for crisis management. Lithuania. Stem 1997). Gronvall2001) suggest that strong versions of the so-called threat-rigidityhypothesis (in which decision makers cling rigidly to established problem frames or courses of actions) underestimatethe capacity of crisis decision makersto shift cognitive gears underpressureundercertain favorablecircumstances(cf. Stern and Sundelius 1997. they can indeed be encouraged.includinga numberof quasi-legalbehaviors. Some deploy history in a rigorousand effective fashion. Bobrow 1989). and 't Hart." "blindspot.severe economic turbulence. However. Bynander 1998. 202).10 innovations.andterrorism) encourageda succession of Estoniangovernments has to attemptto draw lessons and make reforms after majorevents (Ster and Nohrstedt 1999.which servedas a model in developingthe Estoniansystem) has aspiredto a more institutionalized"crisiscommittee"system for the management of crises (Haney 1997). Vertzberger 1990.g." Bynander.environmentalcatastrophes. Estonia(like the United States. For example. In practice..have often been subsequently formalized and ratifiedpost hoc (Sundelius.

andintegrating tendto . and of 3. Farnham1997. the problemhas been minimizedbut not completely eliminated. these sesand in sions thus far have not been structured a fashion suitablefor social scientific experimentation. Heavy data requirements: of implementation multipledecision occasions for a given crisis is highly dataintensive. They have been regularly used to develop training tools (teaching cases and crisis simulations) that are widely used to train government officials in Sweden and abroad. Properlydocumentingand analyzing a crisis generallyrequiresfinding a large and diverse body of empiricalmaterialrangingfrom governmentdocuments. structured comparative use 1979. Newlove. Ster.crises) into occasions for decision.choices. and methods(George process-tracing.options.or hyperactivestancewith to crisis management regard institutionalizing capacity(PorfirievandSvedin2002).and political supportare crucialcomponents of the context of foreign policy making (cf. cf. Heavy reliance on qualitativemethods:Virtuallyall of the researchconductedto date has employedqualitative. 2..legitimacy. 2002).butnot exclusively. quantitative analysisof public opinion dataor media discourseswould be helpful in calibratingshifts in the perceptionsof variousstakeholders regardingthe credibility. cognitive-institutionalresearch would benefit from application of the experimental simulation techniques developed by the poliheuristic theory researchers. Complementary of quantitative techniquesfor coding and analyzing empiricalfindings would add anotherelement of rigor (cf.extensive ex(Ster 1999) suggeststhatthereis periencewith empiricalapplicationof the framework significant variabilityin the ways analysts choose to "slice" a given crisis (Lindgren to 2003). and Svedin 2003). Strenuousefforts to open the black box of Brussels have proved worthwhileand revealedthat the intragovemmental politics and organizational with those takingplace in largeWestprocessestakingplace therearelargelycomparable ern nation-states(Gr6nvall2001. Verbeekand Reinalda 1998). Olsson 2001. Important in theirown right. Brecherand Wilkenfeld 1997. This is partlythe result of sectoral fragmentationin the absence or late arrivalof a generic crisis managementconcept (Stem and Hansen 2000. However.because an interestin crisis communication(domestic and international) supplementsthe focus on crisis decision makingthat is the focus of this study(e.and political supportfor forfactorsand worthyobjects of research eign policy makersand theirpolicies.legitimacy. Stern 1999).g. Goertz 1994.Amassingthe material. cf. and participantmemoirs to journalistic and social scientific secondary acit counts. Brecher 1993.114 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION transitional decline andneglect-a reactiveratherthana pro. *The EU has had greatdifficultyin makingcrisis decisions but has graduallybeen developing its capacity to respond more effectively and legitimately to critical foreign and domestic challenges (Lintonen 2002). Althoughthis criticismhas motivatedtheresearchers attemptto makemoreexplicit the criteriafor identifyingandselecting decisions occasions (Ster and Sundelius 2002). George andMcKeown 1985.subjectingit to sourcecriticism. The relatively secretive EU institutionsare not immune to process tracing. Kaarboand Beasley 1999). Interanalystreliability:Centralto the cognitive-institutional approach(like that of the decision unitframework discussedbelow) is the notionof dissectingpolicy making(especially. Reconstruction the problemframes. However.oral histories.credibility.interviews. In a similarway.Clearly. this research and training program also has its limitations and shortcomings: 1. DeRouen and Sprecher2004). Stem et al. The data-gathering and analysis activities taking place under the banner of cognitive institutionalism have thus yielded results directed toward both scientific and more practically oriented discourses. Althoughcrisis simulationsand scenarioexercises have frequentlybeen conductedfor the purposesof trainingpractitioners students(Ster andSundelius2002).

"Systematically studyingproblemrepresentationcan provide insights into foreign policy decision-makingthat would not necessarily be forthcomingwithout such systematic study. CI. CI's relatively contextual approach poses the questionof why decision makerscome to frameproblemsin a parin ticularfashion (cf.These stories imbue particularfacts with salience and meaning and propose causal relationships. their function is not limited to individuals. As we have seen.They make some optionsappearplausibleandattractive while hidingor tendingto discreditothers (cf.As such. 188) suggest that stories focus the cognitive efforts of policy-makinggroupsas well. which havegiven rise to a storymodel of decision making. the causal impactof problemrepresentation foreign policy behavior.THEORY 115 Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC consume amounts timeandresources-expenditures maynotappeal the of that to large On moreparsimoniously inclined. Furthermore. On one hand.and Gannon 1994). problem frames have a dual role. 341) circumspectlyclaims. on One innovativeline of researchin this traditiondraws inspirationfrom the jury studiesof PenningtonandHastie (1981.Yet. the otherhand.Taber as the main thrustof this eclectic body of work has been aboutexploring 1998. some would argue. 1988). a sustained researchprogramon the broad theme of foreign policy problem representation coalesced aroundthe work of has Donald SylvanandJamesVoss (1998). Stories highlightcertaindimensionsof problemswhile obscuringothers. becoming "acomposite of the group'scommon social and substantivemeanings that helps to delimit the group's problemspace" and thus . Although individualsare perceivedas thinkingin termsof stories.the two approaches and emphasizedifferent dimensions of problemframing.Perceptionsas to the natureof the problemstrongly influence the compositionof the decision unit andthe balanceof power among advocates withinit (Stern 1999.suchrichcase descriptions be can and addedto the growing "casebank" usedfor a variety research training CI and of 2002). proto-framesare critical determinants affectingresponsibilityallocation. Ostrom. Garrison2001. Sylvan and Haddad(1998. the framesmay be seen as both dependentvariablesproducedby endogenouspsycho-organizational processes and as independentvariablesthatstructure and guide choice. As Sylvan (1998b. Over the course of the past decade. Mintz and Redd 2003). Khong 1992)."Although some of this workexaminesproblemrepresentation a dependentvariable(Sylvan 1998a. The workof these scholarsandtheirmanycolleagues stronglysuggeststhatthe subjectivespecificationanddepictionof problemsis a fundamental aspect of foreign policy makingand one thatsets the stage (and.Sylvan andHaddad(1998) arguethatpeople thinkin termsof stories thatsimplify andfocus theirperceptionsof foreignpolicy problems. (StemandSundelius purposes PROBLEM REPRESENTATION The growingbodies of researchon problemrepresentation CI sharea focus on and the subjectivedimension of foreign policy makingand shine the analyticalspotlight on how problemsareinterpreted depicted.framesarisein the mindsandcommunications(some would say discourses)of institutionally embedded actors. 29-38). On the otherhand.GeorgeandSter 2002).largely stacksthe deck) for choice (Sylvan.

Although much of this line of researchhas been based on laboratoryexperiments using undergraduate subjects(Sylvan and Haddad1998). Knowledge theoperative and/or wayto 'weave' story bemajor may story and minants successful of (Charlick-Payley Sylvan attempts" foreign policyinfluence 2000.Charlick-Payley Sylvan (2000. part deterthe a "of 2. This body of researchhas produceda numberof key findings and claims that are worthyof furtherscientific and practicalexamination: as to narratives a mustattend "prevailing 1. newstorywill motivate patterns in era. experiences loss of its state's of in The new the storythat justifies change its status. 11-14). through group is in the new interactions. narratives may the This may help us to understand seemingly anomaloussuccess of leaders such as . Othersmade more far-reaching changes in the imperialstory.The hypothesisof the study(Charlick-Payley Sylvan2000: 707) was that the officers formulate new will a whena military empire.thestory than becomes primary the for (rather newinformation) decisions. One factionclung to the old imperialnarrative. suggeststhatskill in the manipulation be a criticalfactorin competitivepolitical andpolicy-makingsettings. 725). 1996. 702-6) conducteda comparative and narrative contentanalysisof the storiestold by militaryofficersin France(1945-1962) and the Soviet Union/Russia (1980-1996) about the imperativesand. 725). as it develops a members' and. subsequently. therehave been attemptsto make use of quasi-experimental designs drawingon empiricalmaterialfrom natural settings. relations thepost-imperial civil military They found thatin both countries. Charlick-Payleyand Sylvan(2000. For example. information understood a waythatwill accommodate story. turn The latterpoint.Weldes 1998).721-24) foundthatthe frameshifts andsplitshelpedto explainnew (and generally more conflictual)patternsof civil militaryrelationsafterimperialdecline. source Aftersometime. 2000.116 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION in on imposinga kindof structure policy problemsthatareill structured theirrawform (Voss 1998.imperialdecline resultedin both significantnarrathe tive shifts andbifurcationbecause the officer corps interpreted new developments in differentways.whichresonateswith the so-calledargumentative in policy analyof sis (FischerandForester1993. and the decline of empires. As Charlick-Payleyand Sylvan (2000.arguingthatelements of the old mission (which included preparing"colonies"for a more autonomousfuture)had been fulfilled or had become anachronisticand that the withdrawals were a sensible response to resource constraintsand environmentalchanges. arguingthatpolitical elites had abandonedand betrayeda vital and viable nationalmission. 699) put it: Thestorybecomes guideforinferencing. Students foreignpolicydecisionmaking of and of et crucial of thecognition leaders" Charlick-Payley Sylvan (Sylvan al.

Tetlock 1985). THE DECISION UNITS FRAMEWORK Anothersustainedbody of integrative foreignpolicy decision-makingresearchthat clearly complementsPH is the decision units (DU) project(Hermann..iiasa. Much of the researchto date has focused on artificiallaboratorysettings and subject populationwhich differ in importantrespects from top-level decision makersin realworld settings. The Projecton International Negotiation(PIN) is a good exampleof a researcheffortthathas successfully used such political anthropologicalmethodsto good effect. It is bothan advantageanda disadvantage the communityof researchers that workingon problemrepresentation conceptualizedecision making in significantlydifferentterms and work accordingto a variety of metatheoreticalprescriptions(Sylvan 1998b. Charlick-Payleyand Sylvan 2000) focus on discoursein public arenas. Still others(Taber1998. .others (e..which (as they acknowledge)makesit difficultto disentanglesincerereflectionfrom"strategic" justification (cf. Hermannand Hermann1989. The decision unitsprojectfocuses on specifying the conditionsunder which alternative decision unit configurations are likely to be involved in committing the resourcesof the governmentor rulingbody.interviews. one can point to some limitations and tensions: 1. groups.and Hagan 1987. Some use positivisticcriteria in designing and implementingresearch. More work makinguse of (historical)processtracingmethods. to the extent thatfuturecircumstancespermit. Hermann 2001). It may well be the case thatsuch methodscould be field tested in alternative settings(nongovernmental organizations [NGOs]. Khong 1992.where access may be more forthcomingthan in the foreign policy-makinginstitutionsof greatpowers. Reflecting more criticallyon this body of work. which have yet to be fully addressed.would improveour In knowledge of problemrepresentation "backstage. Rubino-Hallman1998) use discourse analysis conducted according to "postpositivist"epistemological would be useful to explore the possibility of using anthropologically inspireddirectobservationmethodsto monitorand analyze the stories (and other forms of problemrepresentation) employedby policy makers.g. Young 1998) explore the potentialof artificialintelligence and automatedcontent analysis as heuristicsand researchfacilitators.andso forth. This raises some importantexternalvalidity issues.and Hermann1989. Stewart.The framework acts as a theoryselector that synthesizes the nearly 50 years of research in foreign policy analysis that has explored the effects of leaders.such as archivalmaterials.acat/Research/PIN. 341). 2. Many of the studies that do use empiricaldata gatheredfrom real-worldsettings (e. and coalitions on the policy-making process. Some focus on information processing (e. 11. local politics..Hermann.g. 3. whereasothersemphasizestories(Sylvan andhis associates). For a descriptionof the projectand its numerouspublications. such as Sweden or the Netherlands). 333335.Although this diversity is certainly a potential source of creative inspirationand one that has alreadyresultedin the developmentandapplicationof a wide rangeof investigativetechniquesto the empirical domain under study. Voss and his associates). it also raises issues of interparadigmatic communicationand commensurability.see the home page of the International Institutefor Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): http://www.Hermann." fact. whose alleged deficiencies in other areas were compensatedby his masteryof political narrative (Hargrove1998). or even in the nationalbureaucracies smaller counof tries.g. which researchers workingin this area are workingto address.POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 117 Stern CONTEXTUALIZING Ronald Reagan.

G.the DU projectmakesuse of both quantitative qualitative methodologies (cf.identificationwith the group for single group. and presence of establishedrules for coalitions).groups. and (6) the frameworkcan be used to examine not only single point decisions but also patternsof participation.(3) defines the key factorsthatset into motionalternative decision processes in each of these types of decision units. culturalconstraintsand.reconsideration. The DU project demonstrates a sincere commitment to cross-national comparative research designedto compensatefor whatthe projectleadersperceiveto be a U. Conceptualizationand operationliteratures alizationare explicit.(4) decision units tended to either or reinforcedomestic.the DU projecthas drawnon multiplemodes andmethodsof analysis in its study of foreign policy decision making. amof the importance the constraintson choices.(5) it is possible. Hermann2001). to contributions the stateof our Althoughthe DU projectalso has made important decision making. Hermann2001).When and focus to quickly systematically on whatappears be themostrelevant . and the processes that are likely to result for each of these key contingencies. project itscontingency an to his use selector enables analyst leverage orhereffortsand Making of thetheory model.S. In designing and conductingthe empiricalresearch. To its credit.118 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION The DU framework views policy makersas respondingto foreignpolicy problems (1) andoccasions for decision. specify which types of decision units will engage in which of using these types of behaviorand when.Brady. The research focuses on elaboratinghow the theory selector works by describingthe key contingency variablefor each type of decision unit(sensitivityto thepoliticalcontextfor predominantleader. or they discountedsuch constraints plify of and reinforcedthe unit's own interpretations what was occurring. rigorous.key lessons learnedfrom to the decision unitsframework 65 cases from31 countriesareas follows: (1) applying the natureand composition of the decision unit often changed across the course of a kind of case. (3) 83%of the time.andcoalitions. George 1979. some criticalobservationsare knowledge regardingforeign policy in order: is of units 1. Brecher 1999) and reveals a shift of emphasis from extensive congruence-basedprocedurestowardintensive process-tracingresearchprocedures (cf. 49). Hermann2001. (2) there was no one type of decision unit associatedwith a particular or type of domestic political system. and (4) links these alternativedecision processes to particularforeign policy outcomes. (2) focuses on threetypes of authoritative decision unitsleaders. G.and policy change over time (M. the theories that are exemplified by changes in these key contingencies. Botha strength a weakness thedecision and approach. Callahan. international.generic (M.-centricbias permeatingmuch of the literature(M.and Hermann1982. In vivid contrastto its and the precursor. to the framework. therewas subgovernment stantialcongruencebetween what happenedin the historicalcase andthe outcome of the applicationof the decision units framework. as a consequence. CREON. of Accordingto the leadingpractitioners this perspective.and groundedin the vast multidisciplinary G. Khong 1992). expertiseon the foreignpolicy-makingprocesshasbeen complementedby areaexpertise on the specific contexts in which foreign policy makingtakesplace.

Hermann2001. Hermann1963. 5. Hermann2001. 4.the decision unittakeson the characteristics a single groupthatis interactive and collective in its decisionmaking"(M. Parkerand Stem 2002). G. Hermann2001.the leaderviews the advisers as membersof a decisionof makingteam. it proved difficult to determinewhetherChamberlain actedas a predominant leaderor a leadingmemberof an internally"loyal"single group in the Munichcrisis. 2001. used effectively. given a high degree of scholarlydissent on the natureof the process taking place within the British inner cabinet (Beasley et al.modem social andinstitutionaltheory suggests thatmuch of the "action"determiningforeign policy outcomes takes place in the interfacesbetweenindividualand group. and framed. however. Despite considerableeffortto identifyso-called controlvariables(which indicatewhich variantof the threemodels is indicated)andan elaboratedecision tree-basedoperationbetween a numberof the diagalization. Kowert2002). and Sundelius 1997.Forexample.the decision unitis a preto dominantleader. Some of the key variablesthat shift the analyst'sattentionfrom one type of unit to anotherare relativelyempiricallyintractable. From a source-criticalperspective. M. the differencebetween a predominantleaderunit (with advisoryconsultation)and an autonomousgroup may ultimately rest on the leader's subjectiveperceptionof what is happening:"As long as the leaderretainsthe authority makethe choice he or she prefers. fact. The decision units projecttends to focus our attentionsquarelyon the leader.Yet.the single group.groupand has provendifficultto specify the boundaries nostic categories. they emphasize the subjective nature of foreign policy decision making and the need to cope with the informational . Cognitive institutionalism and problem representation direct our attention to the manner in which problems are discovered.andpolitical leadershipfactorsnot likely to be adequatelycaptured any one of by the three decision unit models (cf. 63-64). perceived.Anselect out a varietyof nestedcontextualdynamics alysts may be inducedto prematurely thatmay. 63). Haney 1997.Ster. is clear thatboth interviewsand variousforms of documentaryevidence may not fully capturethe leader'sview of the mode of decision makingon any given occasion.a preliminary analysisof the failureof the U.this procedure does pose risks. Preston2000.However. is the result of this contextualized overview of the poliheuristic theory and some of its peers? These bodies of research tend to emphasize and illuminate different aspects of the policy-making process.Furthermore.For example.or interactiveautonomouscoalitions. this strategycan providea modicumof parsimonyto the complex task of tracingforeignpolicy decision making. 63) as a clue is useful but patternsof leader-adviser and under neglects the variabilityof leader-adviserdynamics within administrations varyingdegrees of generic and issue-specific stress (C. both leadersand advisersmay have incentives to misrepresent theirrespectiveroles in andconceptionsof the decision-makingprocess (George 1980). a crucialrole in determining outcomes. The suggestion that the analyst should look to previously established interaction(M. Neither leadersnor advisersmay be fully conscious of these distinctionsand are likely to differ in their perceptionsand recollections of the mode of decision making. 228. Lebow and Stein 1994. Kowert2002). institutional. PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER What. Stem 1999.and organization and the wider policy-making(sub)system(George 1980. Like the poliheuristic theory. governmentto respondvigilantlyto the threatposed by Al Qaedapriorto 911 was found to be the resultof interlockingpsychological. cf. For example.S. then. 't Hart.Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 119 2. G.If.

The formercalls ourattentionto the problemof fidelitybetween strategiclevel choice and operational-levelaction. the relationshipbetween problem framing and choice is complex. Peterson 1996).the question of who chooses precedes and affects choice processes and outcomes."thushelping to determinethe compositionof andpecking orderwithindecision units. Of the four bodies of work examinedin this study. only cognitive institutionalismhas emphasizedthe importanceof implementation. In addition.and Sapin's(1963. like those working with prospect theory (Levy 1997. In starkcontrastto realist renderings. 82-83). In fact. Ster and Sundelius2002. "Wheredo frames come from?" Problem representationscholars. 1997). PH assertsthe primacyof domesticpolitics but tends to overstatethe case in its heavy . Vigilantimplementation serve to detect and corcan rectflaws in the notionof the two-stage process. once they have coalesced. strategically Both PH and DU view foreign policy makingas a multilevelgame centeredon the decision-makingprocess (cf. This enables a subsequent in choice processresembling"maximizing" considerationof a limitednumberof sur(MintzandGeva 1997. Yet it is important on implementation in mind thatboth "top-down" "bottom-up" and perspectives keep areneeded.120 JOURNAL CONFLICT OF RESOLUTION has complexity of the problemsand contexts understudy.Cognitiveinstitutionalism devoted attentionto examining framingas a dependentvariableand poses the question.Bruck. The latter emphasizes the autonomy and informationaladvantages that sometimes enable implementersto improve on the can productsof top-level decisions. Khong 1992). 2003) footsteps and correctingchronic neglect of this fundamentalprior question. CI and DU focus moreheavily on this aspect. cognitive institutionalistsand problem representation scholarshave tendedto gloss over the mechanics of choice. Neither PH nor PR tells us much aboutthe formationof the decision unit. So-called "stagemodels"of the policy-makingprocesses generally include treatment of implementationas a key factor that affects policy outputs and outcomes (Allison 1971. deliberationswithin decision units tend to drive framingand reframingprocesses (Ster 1999.A particularly promisingcandidatefor furand therempiricalexamination. this conceptualizationhelps to bridge the gap between cognitive and to rationalisticapproaches decision makingin a constructivefashion (cf. in Viewing themselves. McDermott 1998). This theoreticalaccountof the deciviving alternatives psychological conceptionsof sion-makingprocess is compatiblewith state-of-the-art the decision-makingprocess and has been supportedempirically(Mintz et al.betterspecified andmorerigorousrenderingsof choice andtypologies of outcomes areto be found in the poliheuristicanddecisionunitprojects. whereassloppy implementation turneven a sound decision into a fiasco (Sabatier1993. Clearly. have tended to treat framingas an independentvariablethat affects policy dispositionsand choices. Clearly. George 1980. in part. Accordingto this conception.In both laboratory naturalsettings. Bovens and 't Hart 1996). 75).decision problemsare quickly simplified and many alternativeseliminatedin the first a correctiveto a choice-centricmainstream economics and political science. results from many of the CI case studies clearly demonstratethat to implementationis a crucialfactorthataffects policy outcomes. Lepgoldand Lamborn2001). Proto-framesare crucialin determiningwhich officials and agencies "own the problem. Yet.following in Snyder.

C. Crises: In worldpolitics theoryand reality. Billings.. Aronson. A. edited by G. subfields.D.Journal of ConflictResolution33 (2): 187-209. Brandstrom. 1971. Theforeign policy system of Israel.1999. 't Hart.New York:ColumbiaUniverBaldwin. studies in the 20th centuryandbeyond:Flaweddichotomies. R.1998. New Brunswick. F Hermann. debate.NJ: LaurenceErlbaum. M..cumu. 82 Management. Bendor. Voss. B..NJ: Transaction.. Allison..Public Administration (forthcoming). Brecher.andA..DU highlightsthe contingentnatureof domestic (and. Kegley.UK: CambridgeUniversityPress. 3d ed. REFERENCES Abelson. Zelikow. Transformational leadership:Industrial. People and processes in foreign policymaking. and P. The thirdwave of foreignpolicy decision-makingresearchthatbeganin the 1990s is still going strong. Bobrow.New York:Pergamon. International lation.Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC THEORY 121 emphasis on the applicationof the noncompensatoryprincipleto this dimension. From"normal A. In Problem representationin foreign policy decision making. F Hermann. . Decision makinganddecision theory. Allison. tive politicizationof policy failures. Bass. G. . American Political Science Review 86:301-22.Mahwah. Different have been accumulatingimportant groupsof researchers pieces of the foreign policy The best way to maintainthe momentumthathas been built decision-makingpuzzle. What do foreign policy makersdo when they make a foreign policy decision? The implicationsfor the comparative studyof foreignpolicy. New York:RandomHouse. T. for thatmatter. 1993. Althoughour subfield has alreadybenefitedgreatlyfrom such professionalcross-pollination.Furtherprogresswill requireintensifiedcommunicationacross disciplines. Kaarbo.231-309. Lindzeyand E.and M. Cambridge. In contrast. Boston: Allen & Unwin.synthesis. Rethinking Allison's models. up is to put the pieces on the table togetherand see what emerges. Problemidentificationin sequentialpolicy decision making:The reof representation problems. R. helpingus to understand why some leaders(andgroups)allow themselves to be paralyzedby domestic political constraints. Beasley. R. Anderson. and T. W. T.whereasothersignore or transcend them (Bass 1997). 1999. edited by D. F.the complementaritiesand synergies among the various schools of foreign policy decision makinghave yet to be fully exploited. Levi. 1996. and P. 1985. 1992. F Bynander. 1974. P.CT: Yale Boston: Little. andS. Understanding policyfiascoes. New Haven. 1987.M.military. Bovens. 't Hart. Stories rememberedand forgotten. edited by C. and J.285-308. Hammond.InNew directionsin the studyofforeignpolicy.C. Essence of decision: Explainingthe Cubanmissile crisis. InternationalStudies Quarterly43 (2): 213-64.P. Brown. J. J. Essence of decision: Explainingthe Cubanmissile crisis. andC. New York:Longman.2003.Government and Opposition38 (3): 279-305.In Handbookofsocial psychology. 1989. Neorealismand neoliberalism:Thecontemporary sity Press. M. Rosenau.InternationalStudies Review3 (2): 217-50. G. incidents"to politicalcrises:Understanding selecthe Brandstrom. N. and foreign policy decision-makingresearch sects. Kuipers.Governingby looking back: HistoricalAnalogies and Crisis A..and educationalimpact. Hermann2001. B.and P. 1993.D.. Sylvan and J. Hermann. 2d ed..convincinglyarguingthatindividualand collective characteristics of the decision unit can either serve to amplify or to mute the impactof external constraints. 1997.

Whynations act.43-68. L. 1964. George. George. L.Beverly Hills.J.UK: Blackwell.P. and M. Political Psychology4:531-61. Cooperationand Bynander. Carlsnaes. Taylor.and C.R. Boulder. and K. New York:McGraw-Hill.2001. D. Press. and J. M. 1997. . International Security25 (Spring): 107-46. Handbookof Social Psychology.eds. 2000.21-58.. Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress. focusedcomparison. the Reactionsto transactions transgress spheresof justhat Fiske. Roosevelt and the Munichcrisis: A study of political decision-making.. and E. S. andP. The Political System. ed. andD. Byman. A. 2d ed. Behavioraldecision makingandjudgment. Dawes. Garrison.2002. Easton. of ConflictResolution 13:75-101. andLinzey eds. The argumentative Duke UniversityPress. B.. 2001.Princeton.vol. . The 1982 Harsfjarden Conflict33 (4): 367-407. 1999.PresidentialStudies Quarterly32 (3): 484-508.122 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION for Journal Brecher.CT:JAI. G.. East. Stages in groupdecision making:The decompositionof historical narratives. and S.M.Tetlock. L.. Charlick-Payley.New York:Guilford. L.S.London:Sage. New York: McGraw-Hill. E. Fiske. Beverly Hills.Pittsburgh: Universityof Pittsburgh N. Salmore. Fromgroupthink contextualprocess analysis. Social cognition. andJ. andC. CA: Sage.Fiske. Threat Aldershot. In Beyondgroupthink.A.B. edited by O. Handbookof internationalrelations. Case studies and theories of organizational Advancesin information processing in organizations. Ideology andforeign policy.. Berbaum. Harnessingconflict in foreign policymaking:Fromdevil's to multiple advocacy. Initialcrisisreactionandpoliheuristic DeRouen.. UK: Ashgate.4th ed.1983. and G. Pollack. and T. 2004. Sylvan. CA: Sage.1991. . politics: Newperspectiveson security..1980.In The George. Steinburg. Chaiken. A framework researchon foreignpolicy behavior..1993. and Y Trope. Sundelius. 1986. Coulamand R. 1999. 2. in his . to . Brady. Hermann. F. T.K. 2000. turn in policy analysis and planning..35-54.NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress. 1. theory. R..S. decisionmaking.M. Eriksson. McKeown.andthe strugglefor the armscontrol agenda. Wilkenfeld. Oxford. Burnstein. Wilsonand ColonelHouse:A personalitystudy.497-548. Sprecher. New approachesin history. 1985. Let us now praisegreatmen:Bringingthe statesmanbackin. Lindzey.Political Psychology 22:775-807. A studyof crisis.2001. A.W.andcrisis management. Greenwich. Cottam. Foreignpolicy motivation. 1977. College Station:Texas A&M UniversityPress. Crawfoord. Smith. Dual process theories in social psychology. A. and J. Tabootrade-offs: tice. Brecher. 1969.CO: Westview. Stein. S. Forester. Stern.Journalof ConflictResolution 48 (1):56-68. The passion of worldpolitics: Propositionson emotion. Framingforeignpolicy alternatives the innercircle: PresidentCarter.2002. L. Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress.NC: Fischer. Games advisersplay. edited by P. L. 1997. 1953.and B.F. vol.and M.In George. Presidentialdecisionmakinginforeign policy: Theeffectiveuse of informationand advice. Lauren. Fiske. M. L.International Security24 (4): 116-56..1992.J. Hermann.1978. submarinehunt:A decision-makinganalysis.theoryand policy. F.A. J. advisers. 1997.Case studiesandtheorydevelopment: methodof structured. 1997. Durham.andJ.. editedby R.New York: George. Callahan.1982.In Gilbert. InternationalStudies Quarterly 36:245-70. 1998.E. . Gilbert. Political Psychology 18 (2): 255-97. Farnham. D. The use andevolutionof storiesas a mode of problemrepresentation: Soviet and Frenchofficers face the loss of empire. edited by P. 1979.. New York:Free Press. 1998. 't Hart. Woodrow Dover..New York:Knopf.risk. The agency-structure problemin foreign policy analysis..Political Psychology 21 (4): 697-728. Stern. Describingforeignpolicy behavior. A..

Crucial decisions: Leadershipin policymakingand crisis management.C.NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress. R. N. Janis.dilemmas. ContemIn Jones.J. Lundgren. . New York: Cambridge UniversityPress. G. Cambridge. choice.R.compromises. 1961.P.. Administrative Hermann. Hermann.. 2001. Khong. 1987. Boston: Little.160-95.andJ. 1997. Agendas. 1987. Constraints. 1992. and decision making. I. Washington. Boston: Allen & Unwin. P.UK: CambridgeUniversityPress.New York:Palgrave. 1985. F. (Mershon)International today.. 2001.S. Stockholm:CRISMART/SwedishNational Defense College. 1974. F.M. M.. C. The multiplerealities of internationalmediation.D. Are bureaucracies important(or Allison's Wonderland)? ForeignPolicy 7:159-79. Y. Lorch.MA: MIT Press. 2001. G. 1995. I. Hargrove. 2002. How decision units shape foreign policy: A theoreticalframework. Weall lost the cold war. Klein. Hermann. Janis.J. N.editedby R. 1998. Lebow. Journal of Conflict Resolution 48 (1): 14-37. and C.Boulder.andtomorrow.POLIHEURISTIC Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING THEORY 123 Goertz. Victimisof groupthink:A psychological study of policy decisions and fiascoes. G. and J.P. Houghton.N. A.Lawrence:University Press of Kansas. ManagingcriIn Grinvall. J. N.C.andJ.1989. Foreignpolicy decision making(revisited). Rosenau.J. 1998. F. DC: CQ Press.Washington. Haney.. G. A practicalguide to the comparative chology. Kleiboer. Carter. 1984. Kegley. 1989. C. C. Political Psychology20 (2): 369. Hermann. . . 1977. Mann. andL. Science Quarterly8:61-82. TestBan Treaty: The politics of ratification. Brown. and L. Review39:209-38. IL: Irwin. Contextsof internationalpolitics. Hermann. 155-74.New York:Free Press.Princeton. Theoriginsof containment: psychologicalexplanation.Princeton. alternativesand public policies. Larsson. Kennedy. 1994. W. editedby C. and J. Profiles in courage. Analogies at war.. Beasley. C. case study methodin political psyKaarbo. Hagan.D. Betweenpeace and war: Thenatureof internationalcrises. Rosenaueds. Decision making:A psychological analysis of conflict. Some consequencesof crisis which limit the viabilityof organizations. 1994. 1969.M. Homewood. Kingdon. Boston: HoughtonMifflin.M.. and R. S. New York:Harper& Row..Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress.V. Organizingforforeign policy crises: Presidents. 1981. How decision units shapeforeignpolicy behavior. Baltimore:JohnHopkinsUniversity Press.M.International Studies Review3 (2): 47-81.IL: CharlesC Thomas. 1972. Thepresidentas leader:Appealingto the betterangels of our nature. Boin. Boston: Allen & Unwin. Comfort. Lebow. 2001. New York:Free Press. opportunities. and commitment. Stein.2003. crisis management. Groupthink deadlock?New York:State Universityof New YorkPress.DC: Brookings Institution. F.In New directionsin the studyofforeignpolicy. Sourcesofpower: How people makedecisions. C. Studies Hudson. New directionsin the studyofforeign policy. and Lawrence. W.2003. G. Kegley. Hermann. Krasner. Princeton NJ: University Press. A Larson.foreignpolicy: Fromterrorism trade. Rejectionof the Comprehensive to porarycases in U. Madcow disease:The role of expertsandEuropean sis: Threats. F. 2002. 1972.J. F. 1999. or Kowert.InternationalStudies Quarterly33 (3): 361-87. Foreignpolicy analysis:Yesterday. Organization environment: and Managingdifferentiation integration. F. Hermann. Who makes foreign policy decisions and how? An empirical inquiry. Hermann. C.NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress.advisersand themanagement decision of making. and L.Princeton. Cambridge. Bureaucratic politics andforeign policy. Springfield.P. 1963.M.S. The 14 against Austria.edited by U. 2004. USforeignpolicy and theIranhostagecrisis.CO: Lynn Rienner. Halperin. Rosenthal. W. E. 309-38. and J.

Sorenson. Morgan.H.and L. Lexington. and A. London:Pinter. Hastie.. Mintz. Porfiriev. andE. G. Lintonen. 1986. Geva. Lawrence:UniversityPress of Kansas. Thepolitics of problemdefinition:Reshapingthe policy agenda.2000.New York:Palgrave. Neustadt. Mintz.. Integratingcognitive and rationaltheories offoreign policy making.. debate. eds. Carnes.A.Synthese 135 (2): 193-213. Lamborn. The effect of dynamicand staticchoice sets on political decision making:An analysis utilizing the decision boardplatform. 1999. Jurordecision makingmodels: The generalization gap. Boulder.In Decision-makingon war andpeace.. andA. gic choice. S. Presidentialpower and the modernpresidents. Journal of ConflictResolution37:484-503. 1988.New York:Free Press. Crisis managementin Russia. Maoz. 1948. H. relations.D. Svedin. New York:ColumbiaUniversityPress. Mintz. 1994. Thepresidentand his inner circle.R. 2001. Peace and Conflict Studies. and L. Psychology.K.N. K. E. andE. Peterson. The poliheuristictheory of decision of foreign policy decisionmaking. 1997. 1993. 2003. Explanation-based judgement. J. N. and R.. andG. The Koreandecision.and A. Mintzberg. 33-50. L.foreignpolicy. Paige. 1997.R. September11 andthe originsof the strategicsurprise. Dead center: Clinton-Gore MacGregor leadershipand theperils of moderation. Framingeffects in international decision processes. D. The influenceof adviserson foreignpolicy decision making. 2003.124 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION 2001. Crisis bargaining and the state: The domesticpolitics of internationalconflict.G. diss. eds. and R. 1998. A. Olsson. Locatingbridges:Connectingresearchagendason cognitionandstrateLepgold. G. 1981.B. Thinkingin time: Theuses of historyfor decision makers.. Z. .. Theoret. 1993. 1990. The decision to attackIraq:A non-compensatory approach foreignpolicy decision making. Ph. Cobb. E.CO: Lynne Rienner. Hastie. Institutionaltheory in political science: The new institutionalism. Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress. S. Svedin. 1990. S. edited Levy. New York:Scribner's. 1996.R.Journalof ConflictResolution 46 (3): 335-64. A.N. Redd.. C. UppsalaUniversity. Prospecttheoryandcognitive-rational by N. AmericanPolitical Science Review 91 (September):533-66. 1968. Finlandand the crisis managementin the EU yearbookof Finnishforeign policy. The structureof unstructured Administrative Sciences Quarterly21:246-75. 2002.Risk-taking international foreign policy. Redd.. Politics among nations: The strugglefor power and peace. relationstheory. J. A. Peters. Rochefort. Mintz. Psychological Bulletin 89 (2): 246-87. Burs. and S. 2002. och i kriser" Lindgren. MA: LexingtonBooks. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. "Vad styr lederen? Om beslutsfattare policyfiirdndring sdkerhetspolitiska [Whatguides the leader?On decisionmakersand policy change in securitypolicy crises].D. Geva.. Neustadt.2002.editedby N. 1976. decision making:Effects of memorystructure on Pennington...London:Sage.J. 81102. PoliticalPsychology23 Parker. Boulder. New York:Knopf.B.. Stern. Stockholm:CRISMART/National Defense College of Sweden. and N.T. Preston. Aucklandunplugged:Managingcritical infrastructure failure. Geva and A. in politics: ProspecttheoryinAmerican McDermott.CO: LynneRienner. Pennington.2003.Political Psychology 14(3): Ripley. InternationalStudiesReview3 (3): 3-29. Images of organization. 2000. Stern. May. to Mintz. Helsinki: Finnish Instituteof International Affairs.. National Choices and InternationalProcesses. The EU and the dioxin crisis. Morgenthau. 1997. New York:Free Press.R. andR. Redd.In Decision makingon war andpeace: The cognitiverationaldebate. D. B. 2003.New York:Free Press. Stockholm:Swedish NationalDefense College. (2): 601-30. Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress. Raisanghani. and international 403-16. . 2002. 1986. Mintz. Newlove.Journalof ExperimentalPsychology 14 (3): 521-33. Geva andA.

. Krishantering svenska:teori ochpraktik[Crisismanagepa ment the Swedish way: Theory and practice].. Stern. Foreignpolicy decision making. J. 1997. Crusadersand pragmatists:Movers of modernAmerican foreign policy. and D. Hermann. London:Sage. 333-42.editedby D.1997.risk. . A decisionmaking approachto integration. In Problem representationin foreign policy decision making. and P. Sylvan and J.D. Carlsnaesand S. Stockholm: Swedish Agency for Civil EmergencyPlanning. Leighton. E.New York:Palgrave.Journal of Contingenciesand Crisis Management5 (1): 32-48.and B. . Stern. International Studies Quarterly36:213-39. 1992. Smith. D. Ster. P.andD.Reflecting on the studyof problemrepresentation: How arewe studyingit andwhat arewe in learning?In Problemrepresentation foreign policy decision making.Administrative J. Voss. Sylvan and J. and stories.individin uals. reader. Princeton.edited by D. 1998.eds. Crisis managementin Estonia: Theoryand practice. Sweden'stwin monetary crises of 1992:Rigidityandlearningin crisis decisionmaking. 't Hart.and crisis management...StockholmStudiesin Politics 66. Stem.Stockholm:Nerenius & Sant6rusforlag.In Threatpolitics: New perspectiveson security. Princeton.R.UK: Ashgate. Journalof Contingenciesand Crisis Management5 (2): 69-86.D.edited by M. Sundelius.Bynander. andD. 187-212. E. 1985. Sundelius. The cybernetic theory of decision: New dimensions of political analysis.eds.D.1989.. Problem representationin foreign policy decision making. in S.E. in Sylvan. New York:Harvester London:Allen & Unwin. F. andF.2002. to research.. A Stern. 2000.E. L. Voss.. Aldershot. Steinbrunner. B. 261-78. Sundelius.THEORY 125 Stern/ CONTEXTUALIZING POLIHEURISTIC StudiesReview2 Rosati. H.1999. Stem.New York:Free Press.2002. Hansen. Stockholm:National Defense College of Sweden. Political Psychology23 (3): 585-600.edited by D. edited by W. Introduction. 1979. Snyder.L. Verbeek. The cybernetictheoryof decision.. analysis. Foreignpolicy decision making(revisited). AmericanPolitical Science Review83 (1): 35-59. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. Managingasymmetricalcrisis: Sweden.Top-downandbottom-up approaches implementation Wheatsheaf. 1997.P. Sundelius. Modellingthe 1973 Soviet decision to support Egypt. 2002. 1998. In Sylvan. . 1999. Crisis managementEurope:An integrated regionalresearchand trainingprogram. and effects in organizational behavior: multilevel A Staw.1998. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. Smith. 1974. When gendergoes to combat:The impactof representations collective decision making. Foreignpolicy implementation. in An comSuedfeld. Rubino-Hallman. Erikssoned.International Studies Perspectives3:71-88. Crisis managementin a transitionalsociety: TheLatvianexperience.2002. Sylvan andJ. Earlycommunications the waragainstterrorism: integrative plexity analysis. Newlove.E. Reasoningandproblemrepresentation foreignpolicy: Groups. Crisisdecisionmaking: cognitive-institutional approach. E. and U137.Government and Opposition37 (4): 524-50. B. Framingthe Palme assassination. C. 1981. New York: Norton.NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress. 1993.NJ: PrincetonUniversityPress. Voss.Threat-rigidity Science Quarterly26 (4): 501-24.(Mershon)InternationalStudiesReview42:205-55.J.164-88.edited by J. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. 266-93. In Problemrepresentation foreign policy decision making.J. Nohrstedt..P. and D. . 2001.B. 1998b. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. 1995.In Thepolicyprocess:A Sabatier. Hill. Crisis managementin transitional democracies:The Baltic experience. Bruck.. Haddad. and M. 2001. andB. Stoessinger.eds. S. Sandelands. Stem. . G. Crisis and learning:A conceptualbalancesheet. Hansen. 1998a. Clarke.International (3): 45-75.C. Voss. Dutton. A . M. 1963. The powerof humancognitionin the studyof worldpolitics. Whitherthe studyof governmental politics in foreignpolicymaking? symposium.In Europeanforeign policy. E. Stockholm:StockholmUniversity.B.eds. Hermann. and B. 3-7.edited by D.2002. the USSR.. and Stewart. Nohrstedt. Sylvan and J. Sapin..

CT:JAI.In Problemrepresentation inforeign policy decision making. Studies assessment.Baltimore:Johns HopkinsUniversityPress. 1990.Internapolitics paradigms: tional Security 17 (2): 112-46. Sylvan and J.. Paperpresentedat the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International BC. processing.1996.P. 1995. 7. Haddad. In Researchin orgaTetlock.J..CA: StanfordUniversityPress.New Brunswick. Greenwich. Problemrepresentation foreign policy decision Young.andD.London: policymakingby international Routledge. Voss. .June.D. 213-48. of C.B. Theworld in theirminds:Information eign policy decisionmaking.New York: CambridgeUniversityPress..The interpretation foreignpolicy events:A cognitiveprocesstheory. Psychodynamic processes and framing effects in foreign policy decision-making: WoodrowWilson's operationalcode.edited by D. Diascro. Reinalda. 29-52. Vasquez. Stanford. 1998. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress. Sylvan and J.J.andK.Ann Arbor:Universityof MichiganPress. Sundelius. Risk taking and decisionmaking:Foreign military interventiondecisions.Case-based. 1998.Bureaucratic politics:A criticalconstructivist Review42:216-25. Political groupdynamicsandforeign 't Hart. Beyondgroupthink: policymaking. Verbeek.In Problemrepresentation foreign policy decision making. S. Stories.model-based. styles of reaSylvan. Gannon.andexplanation-based soning in foreign policy.1998. Voss.Ostrom. 1997.. Problemrepresentation foreign policy decision making. andB. Society of Political Psychology. 1998. andB.NJ:RutgersUniversityPress. Voss. Political Psychology 16 (4): 697-717.andBayesiancalculations:Studyingproblem in representation foreign policy.P.1994. Walker. eds. On the representation problems:An informationprocessing approachto foreign policy in decisionmaking. E.editedby D.CA: StanfordUniversityPress.126 JOURNALOF CONFLICT RESOLUTION Sylvan. Staw. I. of Voss. Voss.M.D. M. Taber. Y.P. and J. J. D.eds. 1998. Groupthink government. Thepowerofpowerpolitics: A critique.eds. New York:CambridgeUniversityPress.editedby D. 1985. in In problemrepresentation. in Sylvan.(Mershon)International Weldes. The organizational bureaucratic Retrospectandprospect. T.. edited by K. in 't Hart.Stanford.ledgers.vol. New York:Cambridge UniversityPress.D. Representing making. . 1994. 1983. The neglectedsocial contextof judgmentandchoice. Cummingsand B. 1998. M. 1998. 1992. cognition.297-332.andperceptioninforVertzberger. and Welch.Autonomous organizations. Ster. Sylvan andJ. A. Accountability: nizational behavior. Vancouver. 8-28. InternationalStudies Quarterly38 (1): 61-90. L.