The Study of Soviet Foreign Policy

A Review of Decision-Theory-Related Approaches

by Arnold L. Horelick, A. Ross Johnson, J. D. Steinbruner

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback95 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

Scholarly literature on decisionmaking and Soviet foreign policy is reviewed for utility to practicing foreign affairs analysts. The cybernetic paradigm can serve as an alternative to the established analytic paradigm in generating multiple perspectives on foreign policy decisionmaking. Knowledge of organizational and bureaucratic context and theories involving cognitive operations and motivational forces permit generation of additional perspectives. New directions in Sovietology have been little affected by decision theory. Expanded knowledge about the context of Soviet foreign policy decisionmaking in forms susceptible to disciplined inquiry will permit development of middle-range decision theories specific to the Soviet context. Future research should explore Soviet "interest groups," Soviet organizational behavior on its own terms, "operational code" and elite studies of top Soviet decisionmakers, a set of case studies of Soviet foreign policy decisions as a necessary base for generalization, and Soviet media as a vehicle of intra-elite political communication.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.