ABSTRACT

Analysts have vacillated between two major explanations of foreign policy behavior. Theorists of international politics have generally adopted a macroanalytic approach, in which the internal dynamics of a state’s behavior—including such factors as the particular political structure of the polity, the perspectives and personalities of the decision makers, and the articulated attitudes and demands of the citizenry—are “black boxed” in the name of analytic parsimony. These scholars anthropomorphize the state, treating it as a unitary, rational decision maker whose behavior is explained largely as a response (1) to the anarchic quality of politics in an international arena devoid of international government, (2) to changes in the structure of the international system, or (3) to calculated moves by rival states.