Peace Psychology, War Prevention: Coping with Psychological Elements

Psychological insights into the study of foreign policy have largely been ignored during past years and only recently have they been gaining importance. This cold and avoidant attitude could have been due to various reasons such as: scepticism regarding the relevance of psychological theories and/or evidence; the feeling that it would not lead to a much more substantial understanding of foreign policy; the problem of linking beliefs to foreign policy actions; and, obviously, various methodological problems. In fact, it has been argued by different parties that the relevant literature in psychology has emerged from the artificial setting of a laboratory using subjects who, in some respects, are quite unlike foreign policy officials (Geva & Skorick, 2003). There has been a belief that approaches centring on cognitions and perceptions (not to talk about emotions) of even the highest-ranking leaders are unlikely to extend our understanding of foreign policy in any significant way. Bureaucratic politics model literature emphasises the notion that intragovernmental dispute arises from parochial interests and not from genuine intellectual differences (Oppenheim, 1984).


Foreign Policy Cognitive Distortion Communication Failure Dysfunctional Belief International Crisis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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