Keywords

Groupthink, Bush administration, Decision-making

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the George W. Bush administration became victims of groupthink when they made the policy decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Groupthink is a policy-making model which was first put forward by Irving Janis which attempts to explain how experienced and elite policy-makers can make decisions which lead to disastrous outcomes due to conditions which cause defective decision-making. Research was conducted through a qualitative, within case study which was made possible through the inherent process tracing method of the groupthink model. Mainly secondary sources which detailed the historical case of the decision to invade Iraq via journalists, outside researchers, and even the members of the administration were utilized in this investigation. The principle conclusion was that groupthink appeared to exist in the policy-making process of the Bush administration. This was reached after finding many of the antecedent conditions as well as the symptoms of groupthink in the Bush administration. Especially prominent were the occurrence of structural faults of the administration, mindguarding, self-censorship, and collective rationalizations. However, it is important to note that these results are sensitive to the discovery or release of new or contradictory evidence.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2009

Advisor

Houghton, David

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0002870

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0002870

Language

English

Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until February 2010; it will then be open access.

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