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THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION'S IMAGE OF THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM: THE DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF A BELIEF SYSTEM FRAMEWORK

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posted on 2023-09-06, 02:55 authored by Jerel Adrian Rosati

It is often assumed that the beliefs of political leaders play a significant role in affecting international behavior. This has been a common theme concerning the Carter Administration's foreign policy. Three divergent schools of thought have emerged with regard to the foreign policy beliefs of the Carter Administration: some individuals argue that the Carter Administration never developed a world view, others argue that a world view was operative, and some argue that a world view existed and altered with time. Each orientation has important implications for understanding and evaluating the Carter Administration's foreign policy behavior. This study focuses on two research questions. At the theoretical level, an examination is made of the beliefs of political leaders and their impact on international behavior. At the empirical level, an attempt is made to determine the image of the international system held by the Carter Administration and its relationship to foreign policy behavior. A refined belief system approach is developed entitled an "actor's image of the international system." Although work on belief systems and international systems have proceeded on separate paths, the concept of international system is integrated within a belief system perspective and applied to the highest Carter Administration officials--the President, the NSC Assistant, and the Secretary of State. Two empirical studies were conducted based upon a qualitative and quantitative analysis of public statements and an events data set. It was found that the Carter Administration initially had a liberal internationalist image of a complex global community, that this image changed increasingly over time in accord with political realism to promote global security, and that individual differences in image emerged and occasionally became prevalent. It was also found that the Carter Administration's image of the international system was highly congruent to its major foreign policy behavior. The primary purpose of this research effort is to contribute to an understanding of international behavior by attempting to bridge the theoretical level of analysis gap. This is done by treating beliefs as a causal nexus, integrating it within a decision-making framework, and incorporating the role of personality, external events, and domestic forces.

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American University

Language

English

Notes

Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-06, Section: A, page: 2089.; Ph.D. American University 1982.; English

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:1964

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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