Overconfidence and Risk Taking in Foreign Policy Decision Making

The Case of Turkey’s Syria Policy

  • Imran Demir

Table of contents

About this book


This book introduces a new perspective on risk seeking behaviour, developing a framework based on various cognitive theories, and applying it to the specific case-study of Turkey’s foreign policy toward Syria. The author examines why policy makers commit themselves to polices that they do not have the capacity to deliver, and develops an alternative theoretical model to prospect theory in explaining risk taking behaviour based on the concept of overconfidence. The volume suggests that overconfident individuals exhibit risk seeking behaviour that contradicts the risk averse behaviour of individuals in the domain of gain, as predicted by prospect theory. Using a set of testable hypothesis deduced from the model, it presents an empirical investigation of the causes behind Turkish decision makers’ unprecedented level of risk taking toward the uprising in Syria and the consequences of this policy.


Foreign Policy Decision making Overconfidence Risk Taking Turkish policy Conflict in Syria Cognitive theory Prospect theory Judgemental Heuristics Uprising in Syria Operationalization Turkey Middle East

Authors and affiliations

  • Imran Demir
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsMarmara University BeykozTurkey

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