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Decision Making Models

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1 Decision Making Models
Lsn 5

2 Agenda Rational actor Bureaucratic process Organizational process
Small group Elitist Pluralist Social constructivism Prospect Poliheuristic Case Study: Cuban Missile Crisis

3 Decision-making Why understanding decision-making is difficult…
No single decision-making process exists Decisions are seldom final and tend to lack concrete beginning and ending points There is an imperfect link between the policy process and the policy outcome Thus any decision-making model is likely to oversimplify the problem Still models offer analytical tools which can be combined to provide useful insights

4 Rational Actor Model Foreign policy is viewed as a calculated response to the actions of another actor That causes a calculated response from the first actor which leads to reevaluation and readjustment by the second actor Throughout this process, the state is seen as unitary and rational Domestic politics, governmental organization, and personalities are discounted

5 Rational Actor Model Goals are clearly stated and ranked in order of preference All options are considered The consequences of each option are assessed A value-maximizing code is made A very useful tool during the Cold War

6 Rational Actor Model Factor Total COA 1 COA 2 COA 3 COA 4 COA 5

7 Rational Actor Model Cost Major Social Life Close to home Total USM
U of M State JCJC PRCC

8 Rational Actor Model In the rational actor model, decisions are based on the pursuit of national interests at reasonable costs or risks It’s attractiveness is that it places few informational demands on the observer It’s criticism is based on the same fact and the realization that decision-making is much more complicated than just weighing external factors Domestic, personality, and organizational influences all have an impact

9 Rational Actor Model The model assumes “important events have important consequences” Downplays the role of chance, accident, and coincidence Clausewitz’s “fog of war” In reality goals are seldom clearly stated and rank ordered, and options are often not fully evaluated

10 Rational Actor Model Nonrational factors Threat perception
Determining threat capabilities and intents Dangers of “worst-case analysis” and “wishful thinking” Specific and cumulative historical experiences Xenophobia Personal present circumstances “Where you stand depends on where you sit” Groupthink

11 Bureaucratic Politics Model
Bureaucratic politics is the “process by which people inside government bargain with one another on complex public policy questions” This model sees decisions as being the product of conflict-resolution rather than problem solving

12 Bureaucratic Politics Model
Power is shared The individuals who share power disagree on what should be done because they are located at different places in the government and see different aspects of the problem The Secretary of State may view a problem primarily from the diplomatic perspective while the Secretary of Defense has a different view because his troops may be used while the President must also concern himself with domestic fallout

13 Bureaucratic Politics Model
Rarely do problems enter or leave the policy process in a clearly definable manner They get entangled with other issues Not everyone participates in every problem

14 Bureaucratic Politics Model
Therefore some underlying concept of national interest is not how decisions are made How the problem first surfaces and how it interacts with other issues greatly determines how the decision will be made

15 Organizational Politics Model
Because time is short to do a lot of bargaining, many decisions are based on existing organizational standard operating procedures (SOPs) Governments are complex entities consisting of large organizations among which responsibilities for particular areas are divided

16 Organizational Politics Model
Governments are not monolithic They are merely constellations of loosely allied organizations on top of which the government leaders sit The constellation acts only as component organizations perform routines In order to coordinate the behaviors of large numbers of individuals performing these routines, SOPs are used

17 Organizational Politics Model
Therefore decisions within the organization are largely determined by routines established by SOPs before the particular instance or problem even occurs To ensure predictable performance, the “standards” are often limited, unduly formalized, and sluggish They may also be inappropriate

18 Organizational Politics Model
The inflexible and blunt nature of these routines and procedures reinforces the tendency to accept change only around the margins If the problem is non-standard and an existing SOP is not available, the organization is forced to undergo the painful search for a new SOP

19 Small Group Model Many decisions are made by neither an individual or a large organization Advantages over the bureaucratic model might include Fewer opinions to reconcile and therefore fewer significant conflicts A free and open exchange because there will be no organizational interests to protect Swift and decisive action Possible innovation and experimentation The possibility of maintaining secrecy

20 Small Group Model Types of small groups
Informal group that meets regularly but lacks a formal institution base An ad hoc group created to respond to a specific problem A permanent group with an institutional base created to perform a series of specified functions

21 Small Group Model Dangers of the small group model
Groupthink: the “deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment” that increases the likelihood of the group’s making a potentially defective decision Tips to avoid groupthink Encourage impartial and wide-ranging discussions of alternatives Establish multiple groups for the same task Appoint a “devil’s advocate” Schedule a “second chance” meeting to reconsider decisions one final time

22 Elite Model Vitally concerned with the identities of those who make foreign policy and the underlying dynamics of national power, social myth, and class interests

23 Elite Model Foreign policy is made as a response to demands generated by the economic and political system Not all demands receive equal attention and those that receive the most attention serve the interests of only a small sector of society Special interests are transformed into national interests John Conyers and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus had a significant impact on President Clinton’s decision to intervene in Haiti

24 Elite Model Those outside of the elite are relatively powerless
Public reactions are often “orchestrated” by the elite rather than being expressions of independent thinking Stresses the ties that bind policy makers together rather than the issues that separate them

25 Pluralism Model Power is fragmented and diffused
Many groups in society have power to participate in policy making No one group is powerful enough to dictate policy An equilibrium among groups is the natural state of affairs Policy is the product of bargaining between groups and reflects the interest of the dominant group(s) The government acts as an umpire, supervising the competition and sometimes compelling a settlement.

26 Pluralism Model Power resources are not evenly distributed throughout society and merely possessing the attributes of power does not necessarily equate to actually possessing power itself Power resources may be substituted for one another Numbers can offset wealth Leadership can offset numbers Commitment can overcome poor leadership etc

27 Social Constructivism
Seeks to understand how it was possible to imagine certain courses of action and relationships as being possible in the first place What social practices enabled people to act, frame policies as they did, and wield power as they did How did Manuel Noriega become redefined from an anticommunist ally to a drug dealer, thus making the invasion of Panama possible?

28 Prospect Individuals do not weigh all outcomes and select the strategy that will offer the highest expected utility Instead they tend to value what they have more than what they do not have Leads them to value the status quo and be risk adverse with respect to gains and risk accepting when it comes to losses Take more risks to defend the state’s international position than to enhance it After a loss, take excessive risks to recover their position

29 Poliheuristic Policy makers adopt more than one decision rule in making foreign policy decisions Begin with an “avoid a major loss principle” that stresses the importance of domestic considerations in surveying initial options Then evaluate the remaining options in terms of what offers the best net gain in terms of values they hold to be most important

30 Integration As an analytical tool, models can be combined by:
Shifting from model to model as the focus of the analysis changes Pluralist and bureaucratic models help explain why policy makers act as they do once they are “in place,” but tell us little about how they got there Elitist and rational actor would offer better insights on how the actors arrived at the values they bring to bear in addressing a problem

31 Integration (cont) As an analytical tool, models can be combined by:
Recognizing that some models are more appropriate for analyzing some problems or issue areas than others The more open the policy process and the longer the agenda is on the policy agenda, the more useful will be the bureaucratic and pluralistic models The more closed the process and quicker the response, the more useful will be the rational actor, elite, and small group models

32 Integration (cont) As an analytical tool, models can be combined by:
Shifting from one model to another as the policy develops over time Rational actor to analyze US entry into Vietnam Bureaucratic to analyze key decisions during the course of the war Pluralist to analyze the decision to withdraw Picking the model based on the values that guide one’s analysis Be careful about assumptions though

33 Case Study Cuban Missile Crisis

34 A Cuban crowd listens to Castro after his takeover
Fidel Castro In 1959 Fidel Castro was able to mobilize the disaffected rural peasants in Cuba and topple Fulgencio Batista’s US-supported and anticommunist regime Castro assumed dictatorial powers and announced his goal was to create a society based on Marxist principles A Cuban crowd listens to Castro after his takeover

35 Bay of Pigs The US could not accept the presence of a revolutionary Marxist government so close to its borders and President Eisenhower authorized planning for a force of anti-Castro Cubans to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro When Kennedy became president he authorized the invasion but stipulated that the US not be involved in the landing itself

36 Castro helping to repel the invasion
Bay of Pigs The invasion took place at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961 and proved to be a disaster Instead of rallying to the invaders, the local population supported the Castro government The failure embarrassed the US and weakened President Kennedy in the eyes of the Soviet Union However, it strengthened Kennedy’s personal resolve to act more vigorously in any future crisis Castro helping to repel the invasion

37 Cuban Missile Crisis Castro feared the US would try again to overthrow him and he called for additional support from the Soviet Union Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev responded by sending medium-range bombers and missiles to Cuba to help defend Castro and threaten the US In Oct 1962, US spy planes discovered missile sites under construction in Cuba Map used to brief the range of missiles and bombers being deployed to Cuba.

38 Kennedy’s Response Kennedy responded decisively, demanding that the Soviets remove the missiles and bombers or face their destruction by air strikes or invasion He also imposed a naval “quarantine” of Cuba

39 Quarantine The US destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy stops, boards, and inspects a dry-cargo ship of Lebanese registry under Soviet charter to Cuba on Oct 26, 1962

40 US Victory On Oct 28, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles
“Eyeball to eyeball, they blinked first.” Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State It was a major Cold War victory for the US and a major loss of face for the Soviet Union and Khrushchev 1962 British cartoon showing Kennedy and Khrushchev arm wrestling on top of nuclear weapons

41 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
The Rational Actor Model Kennedy considered six options Do nothing Diplomatic pressures A secret approach to Castro Invasion Surgical air strike Blockade

42 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
After considering the pros and cons of each action, Kennedy chose the blockade because it had the comparative advantages of: Being a middle course between inaction and attack– aggressive enough to communicate firmness of intention, but not so precipitous as a strike It placed the burden of choice as to the next step squarely on Khrushchev

43 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
No possible military confrontation could be more acceptable to the US than a naval confrontation in the Caribbean By flexing its conventional muscle, the US could exploit the threat of subsequent non-nuclear steps in each of which the US would have significant superiority

44 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
The Organizational Process Model Many describe the Soviet placement of missiles on Cuba as an “intelligence failure” for the US The available intelligence was the product of established routines and procedures of the organizations that constitute the US intelligence community

45 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
On Sept 19 the US Intelligence Board (USIB) concluded that the Soviet Union would not introduce offensive missiles to Cuba In fact, on Sept 12 a CIA agent had observed the rear profile of a strategic missile, but transmission time to Washington of such information routinely took 9 to 12 days and was not available for the USIB to consider Decreasing the transmission time would impose severe cost in terms of danger to subagents, agents, and communication networks

46 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
On Oct 4, the decision was made to conduct a special flight over west Cuba The USAF and the CIA squabbled over who should perform the flight The USAF argued that the increased danger of the U-2 being shot down necessitated a uniformed rather than a CIA pilot The CIA countered that as an intelligence flight, the operation lay within its jurisdiction and its U-2s had been modified in ways the USAF’s planes had not been in order to decrease their likelihood of being shot down

47 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
The State Dept joined the argument suggesting less risky alternatives such as drones After 10 days it was finally decided that USAF pilots would be trained to fly the CIA planes and conduct the mission

48 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
The Organizational Process Model also impacted the discussion of options The Navy saw issue as implementing the blockade without meddling and interference from political leaders The President wanted to manage the pace of operations in order to give the Soviets time to see, think, and blink

49 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
Trying to slow the Navy down in response to President Kennedy’s concerns, Secretary of Defense McNamara asked Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George Anderson a series of “what if?’ questions Anderson picked up the Manual of Navy Regulations, waved it in McNamara’s face, and shouted, “It’s all in there.” McNamara replied, “I don’t give a damn what John Paul Jones would have done; I want to know what you are going to do, now.” The argument concluded with Anderson saying, “Now, Mr. Secretary, if you and your Deputy will go back to your office the Navy will run the blockade.”

50 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
The Elite Model Cuba was Kennedy’s “political Achilles heel” The Bay of Pigs had left Kennedy looking weak Khrushchev had directly challenged Kennedy where he knew the President was most vulnerable after assuring him he wouldn’t “He can’t do that to me!” Republican Congressional leaders had already announced that Cuba would be “the dominant issue of the 1962 campaign” All these factors made the “do nothing” option personally unpalatable for Kennedy

51 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
Small Group Model President Kennedy convened the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOM) to advise him on the Cuban Missile Crisis The EXCOMM was formally established by National Security Action Memorandum 196 on Oct 22, 1962

52 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
National Security Council Members John Kennedy President Lyndon Johnson, Vice President Dean Rusk, Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense Robert Kennedy, Attorney General McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor John McCone, Director of Central Intelligence Maxwell Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

53 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
Other members George Ball, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Llewellyn Thompson, Ambassadior to the Soviet Union Roswell Gilpatric, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ted Sorensen, Special Counsel to the President

54 Cuban Missile Crisis Decision Making
Robert Kennedy recalled, “The fourteen people involved were very significant… If six of them had been President of the US, I think that the world might have been blown up.”

55 Next Traditional Actors and Other Actors

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