Press Freedom and Global Politics

By Douglas A. Van Belle | Go to book overview

2
Rational Foreign Policy Choice

Ultimately this is a study of foreign policy decision making. 1 The institutionalization of press freedoms within a state creates a foreign policy decision-making context that systematically limits policy options, generates political imperatives, and provides specific benefits to a leader. This shapes some aspects of foreign policy decisions in a consistent and empirically identifiable manner, most notably by limiting international conflict.

This chapter presents the aspects of the domestic political imperatives model ( Van Belle, 1993) that are used here to derive hypotheses concerning the impact press freedom will have on the choices made by foreign policy decision makers, and how that will influence international conflict. The discussion begins with the fundamental assumption that leaders pursue their own, personal, best interests. When combined with the argument that domestic politics provide the primary threats and benefits to the leader's self-interest, it leads to the conclusion that there is a domestic primacy in the calculus of the leader's personal best interests. This means that foreign policy choices are driven by a domestic political imperative. It is this imperative to deal with the demands of the domestic political arena that provides the insights necessary for understanding how press freedom can shape international politics through foreign policies.

This chapter serves two very important purposes. The first is simply the presentation of the theoretical underpinnings of this project. Many

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Press Freedom and Global Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Press Freedom and Global Politics 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Rational Foreign Policy Choice 9
  • Notes 24
  • 3 - The Press and Foreign Policy 25
  • Notes 44
  • 4 - Press Freedom and Militarized Disputes 47
  • Notes 73
  • 5 - Press Freedom and Lethal International Conflicts 77
  • Notes 93
  • 6 - A Monadic Effect for Press Freedom in Lethal International Conflicts 95
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - Press Freedom and Cooperation 105
  • Notes 127
  • 8 Conclusions 129
  • Appendix Measuring Global Press Freedom 137
  • Notes 148
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 167
  • About the Author 171
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