By Jean A. Garrison
Given the high stakes, policy advocates employ various tactics to manipulate the advisory process and decision outcome. Three types of tactics are used: structural maneuvers, procedural maneuvers, and interpersonal maneuvers. Although these tools are important to the success of an advisor, the advisory process is a dynamic group process, and advisors must recognize that others have potential influence as well. The effectiveness of advisors therefore also depends on their power and authority, their manipulative skills, their interpersonal communication skills, and the relationships among members of the inner circle.
Using the internal policy debate over arms control to trace the influence advisors have on specific decisions, Garrison compares the power games in Nixon's hierarchical system to Carter's more open advisory system. The disparate advisory systems provided advisors with different opportunities to influence the president and overall policy making.
As a contribution to the decision-making literature in foreign policy, Games Advisors Play challenges static conceptions of the advisory process. Foreign-policy scholars, presidential scholars, and politicalpsychologists will find this an exciting and thought-provoking study.
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