William george, operational code, foreign policy, decision making, state crisis behavior, political science, political psychology
Does the operational code of a state's leadership have an effect on its behavior during foreign policy crises? Specifically, do states with more conflictual operational codes opt for a more conflictual response to crises, or do systemic and structural variables intervene to limit their significance? While the study of individual level psychology in international relations has been gaining momentum, the causal links between beliefs and behavior have yet to be solidified. This study used ordered logistic regression across three models to determine the effect of the operational code on state crisis behavior while controlling for key domestic and crisis dimension variables. Predicted probabilities were also used to better demonstrate the variables' substantive effects. The 50 cases used in this research are drawn from the International Crisis Behavior Dataset composed by Brecher and Wilkenfeld, and they focus on the United States as the major crisis actor. Operational code data were derived from computer-based content analysis using the Verbs In Context System (Walker, Schafer, and Young 1998). The theoretical goal of this paper was to explain variance in state crisis behavior through variations in the operational codes of US Presidents. The results demonstrate that the operational codes of leaders do affect state crisis behavior. Specifically, the operational code indices P1 and I1 show that a leader with a more conflictual view of the nature of the political universe and a conflictual direction of strategy is more likely to employ escalatory crisis behavior.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Political Science; International Studies Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
George, William, "Explaining State Crisis Behavior Using the Operational Code" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4536.