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Painful Choices by David A. Welch

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Chapter 2

A THEORY OF FOREIGN POLICY CHANGE

IF THE BEHAVIOR of states changes so often and so radically that events will constantly overtake our attempts to anticipate them, or if the behavior of states changes capriciously, then a theory of foreign policy change will be unworkable. We may be able to finesse the multiple inputs problem, but we cannot get by without having some timely handle on how states match means to ends. Put another way, we can tolerate indeterminacy in goals, but we cannot tolerate indeterminacy both in goals and in calculations. There must be reliable patterns in how states match means to ends for us to anticipate policy changes once we identify what it is that states seek in particular cases.1 If calculations are as idiosyncratic ...

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