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Presidents, Secretaries of State, and Crises in U.S. Foreign Relations: A Model and Predictive Analysis

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This book presents a new approach to analyzing the impact of individuals on U.S. foreign policy and reports the results of this analysis for all post-World War II presidents and secretaries of state, including President Carter and Secretary of State Vance. Its compelling but fundamentally simple theme suggests that it may be unnecessary to adopt traditional models of This book presents a new approach to analyzing the impact of individuals on U.S. foreign policy and reports the results of this analysis for all post-World War II presidents and secretaries of state, including President Carter and Secretary of State Vance. Its compelling but fundamentally simple theme suggests that it may be unnecessary to adopt traditional models of psychology in order to predict the behavior of foreign-policy decision makers. Earlier studies based on these models are either too judgmental to be predictively useful or too abstract to be relevant to the policy process itself. In contrast, the underlying assumption here is that the information necessary to make accurate predictions is more easily obtainable and understandable than once thought. The methods employed to test Dr. Falkowski's predictive model are easy to understand and to replicate. The results indicate a strong relationship between variations in the memories of leaders and their abilities to adopt flexible courses of action when faced with crisis situations. This relationship exists for all presidents and secretaries of state studied, suggesting that it is possible to predict the behavior of new or potential leaders before they are faced with crisis decisions. The implications of these results are far-reaching and might be directly applicable to the selection of new leaders.


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This book presents a new approach to analyzing the impact of individuals on U.S. foreign policy and reports the results of this analysis for all post-World War II presidents and secretaries of state, including President Carter and Secretary of State Vance. Its compelling but fundamentally simple theme suggests that it may be unnecessary to adopt traditional models of This book presents a new approach to analyzing the impact of individuals on U.S. foreign policy and reports the results of this analysis for all post-World War II presidents and secretaries of state, including President Carter and Secretary of State Vance. Its compelling but fundamentally simple theme suggests that it may be unnecessary to adopt traditional models of psychology in order to predict the behavior of foreign-policy decision makers. Earlier studies based on these models are either too judgmental to be predictively useful or too abstract to be relevant to the policy process itself. In contrast, the underlying assumption here is that the information necessary to make accurate predictions is more easily obtainable and understandable than once thought. The methods employed to test Dr. Falkowski's predictive model are easy to understand and to replicate. The results indicate a strong relationship between variations in the memories of leaders and their abilities to adopt flexible courses of action when faced with crisis situations. This relationship exists for all presidents and secretaries of state studied, suggesting that it is possible to predict the behavior of new or potential leaders before they are faced with crisis decisions. The implications of these results are far-reaching and might be directly applicable to the selection of new leaders.

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