Rolling the Iron Dice: Historical Analogies and Decisions to Use Military Force in Regional Contingencies

Synopsis

Does history provide lessons for foreign policy makers today? Macdonald combines cognitive psychology theories about analogical reasoning, international relations theories about military intervention, and original archival research to analyze the role of historical information in foreign policy decision making. He looks at the role of historical analogies in Anglo-American decision making during foreign policy crises involving the possible use of force in regional contingencies during a crucial period in the 1950s when the West faced an emerging Soviet threat. This study analyzes the influence of situational and individual variables in a comparison of more than ten leaders from two nations facing four different crises.

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