The Foreign Policy Systems of North and South Korea

By Byung Chul Koh | Go to book overview

7
DECISION MAKING: STRUCTURES AND ROUTINES

Ideally, foreign policy analysis must encompass a thoroughgoing description and explanation of the structure and processes of decision making, illuminating, at a bare minimum, who makes what decision, how, and why. In reality, such a task remains singularly elusive. For the data requirements are truly formidable. In the words of the pioneering proponents of the decision-making framework, Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin:

About the decision-makers in any decisional system concerned with any particular problem we want to know: what are the characteristics and relationships of the spheres of competence? what are the motivational influences at work? what is the nature of the communication network? what is the nature, amount and distribution of information? and, finally, what is the reciprocal impact of these on each other? Answers to these questions should provide a basis for adequately describing and explaining state action.1

Due to practical constraints on data gathering, the decision- making framework first proposed by Snyder and his colleagues a quarter century ago has thus far generated but one empirical application,2 and it is plain that the framework is largely inapplicable,

____________________
1
Richard C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck, B. Sapin (eds.), Foreign Policy Decision- Making ( New York: Free Press, 1962), p. 174.
2
Richard C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck, and B. Sapin, Decision-Making as an Approach to the Study of International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University, Organiza-

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