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IR Lecture Notes 8

IR Lecture Notes 8 - IR Lecture Notes 88 February 2007...

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IR Lecture Notes 8—8 February 2007 Foreign Policy Decision Making: Organization, Bureaucracies, and Individuals I. Loose ends on constructivism a) Crticism: if anarchy is really what states make of it, why not simply reconstruct it in a more peaceful way? i) It’s not so simple, hard to deconstruct something socially entrenched b) Criticism: Isn’t there some material structure that they have to acknowledge i) They recognize that there are material factors out there that act as constrains on what states can do. But given those constraints, is there a way that these material facts can be socially reconstructed to be seen as beneficial. II. These theories look within a state for the clues behind the formation of foreign policy a) They seek to explain why actors may not act in a rational way b) These theories are hard to classify as first/second/third images, so don’t’ worry about this III. Organizational Pathologies a) Organizations have their own responsibilities, cultures b) At some level all of these have the same basic goal and motivation: to ensure its survival/maintain its health (funding, etc.) i) Organizations organize themselves in ways that reduce uncertainty and thus ensure that they can maintain that health and size ii) Uncertainty means that they can be undermined iii) Thus organizations are resistant to change, which can introduce uncertainty and thus threat c) Standard Operating Procedures: used to reduce uncertainty, it’s a procedure for dealing with given situations with no variation i) Motivated by promotion or protection of organization and reduction of uncertainty ii) Advantages: in large org. it can be beneficial so things are standard iii) Disadvantages: hard to break once they’re entrenched, hard to create alternative ways of thinking d) Organizational Culture: beliefs about nature of their organization passed on, so entrenched ways of thinking about an organization i) This protects the organization “only people in the organization know how we work”, inoculates yourself against outside criticism e) These lead to pathologies within organizations to strengthen themselves, inoculate themselves against criticism, and protect their procedures and thus health i) This can lead states to pursue policies that are in there interests of the organizations that make up the state rather than the state as a whole f) Pathologies: i) Non-evaluation : inability to evaluate themselves, tendency for individuals to become yes-men and resist evaluation because they evaluated themselves it might invite change and challenge their existence (1) Effectiveness of policy is not evaluated, or is evaluated by those who carried out the policy
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(2) Acute problem in FP and defense, as they are often closely guarded groups that claim they have access to sensitive info that cannot be seen ii) Non-strategy : they never tell people what they really intend to do in the
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IR Lecture Notes 8 - IR Lecture Notes 88 February 2007...

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