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British foreign policy and the hoare-laval plan: A critique of the theory and practice of crisis decision-making.

Talalay, MA; (1978) British foreign policy and the hoare-laval plan: A critique of the theory and practice of crisis decision-making. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the relationship between international crises and the process of foreign policy decision-making. It synthesizes from the existing literature a theory of crisis decision-making and then tests that theory against the detailed evidence of a case study. The thesis is divided into three major parts. The first establishes the theory and then uses it deductively to derive a number of empirically testable propositions relating crisis as the independent variable to various aspects of the decision-making process as dependent ones. The propositions add the crucial operational element to the theory: they provide the sole means of testing it against the evidence. The second part of the thesis consists of the case study: an account of British decision-making during the Italo-Ethiopian conflict of 1935, including its climax that December during the twelve days of the Hoare-Laval Crisis. This case study meets the two essential requirements for testing propositions and theory. First, it includes both crisis and non-crisis situations thereby enabling one to compare crisis and non-crisis decision-making processes. Second, it provides an example in which very great similarities existed between the crisis and non-crisis situations. Consequently, one can isolate and take into account those factors, other than the distinction between crisis and non-crisis which might have influenced the decision-making process and produced differences in behaviour. Finally in the third part of the thesis, the propositions are tested against the evidence provided by the case study. These raw findings are then analyzed in order to ascertain whether it is the crisis/non-crisis distinction or some other factor which best explains differences between crisis and non-crisis decision-making processes. Because of the deductive connection between propositions and theory, the results of this analysis can be used to evaluate the validity of the theory itself. The ultimate conclusion reached is that it is very doubtful whether any theory of crisis decision-making is, even in principle, possible.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:British foreign policy and the hoare-laval plan: A critique of the theory and practice of crisis decision-making.
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS. The original pages 350 to 362 and 373 to 393 have been excluded due to third party copyright.
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Political Science

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