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Rationalitetens gränser: utrikespolitiskt beslutsfattande i Georgien och det rysk-georgiska femdagarskriget

Johansson, Rasmus LU (2012) STVK01 20121
Department of Political Science
Abstract
The brief 2008 war between Russia and Georgia constituted a major military and political defeat for the Georgians and the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The conflict rendered much of Georgia’s military capability obliterated and Georgian dreams of regaining control over the two breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia shattered, and severely damaged relations between Russia and Georgia’s main ally the United States and the Western world in general. Surprisingly, the Georgians themselves initiated the war by attempting to gain military control over South Ossetia, although they had received repeated warnings that Russia would intervene and that the US would not stand them by if they did just so. This thesis asks the... (More)
The brief 2008 war between Russia and Georgia constituted a major military and political defeat for the Georgians and the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The conflict rendered much of Georgia’s military capability obliterated and Georgian dreams of regaining control over the two breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia shattered, and severely damaged relations between Russia and Georgia’s main ally the United States and the Western world in general. Surprisingly, the Georgians themselves initiated the war by attempting to gain military control over South Ossetia, although they had received repeated warnings that Russia would intervene and that the US would not stand them by if they did just so. This thesis asks the question why the Georgian decision makers chose the military option in South Ossetia and thereby acted in defiance of the prevailing rational assumptions of foreign policy decision making.

By using a combination of theories of cognitive processes and group dynamics in decision making, this study concludes that Saakashvili and his team of decision makers had an erroneous perception of reality and of the intentions of the US and Russia, fueled by the occurrence of the groupthink syndrome. Although there are still blank spaces concerning our understanding of the inner dynamics of the Georgian decision making unit, this study traces several symptoms and structural antecedents of the groupthink syndrome surrounding the Georgian decision to attempt to impose governmental control over South Ossetia by means of military force. (Less)
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author
Johansson, Rasmus LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVK01 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
groupthink, Russia, Georgia, foreign policy decision making, cognitive consistency/dissonance, historical analogies, utrikespolitiskt beslutsfattande, Georgien, Ryssland, kognitiv konsistens/dissonans, historiska analogier
language
Swedish
id
2543128
date added to LUP
2012-06-27 10:46:52
date last changed
2012-06-27 10:46:52
@misc{2543128,
  abstract     = {The brief 2008 war between Russia and Georgia constituted a major military and political defeat for the Georgians and the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The conflict rendered much of Georgia’s military capability obliterated and Georgian dreams of regaining control over the two breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia shattered, and severely damaged relations between Russia and Georgia’s main ally the United States and the Western world in general. Surprisingly, the Georgians themselves initiated the war by attempting to gain military control over South Ossetia, although they had received repeated warnings that Russia would intervene and that the US would not stand them by if they did just so. This thesis asks the question why the Georgian decision makers chose the military option in South Ossetia and thereby acted in defiance of the prevailing rational assumptions of foreign policy decision making.

By using a combination of theories of cognitive processes and group dynamics in decision making, this study concludes that Saakashvili and his team of decision makers had an erroneous perception of reality and of the intentions of the US and Russia, fueled by the occurrence of the groupthink syndrome. Although there are still blank spaces concerning our understanding of the inner dynamics of the Georgian decision making unit, this study traces several symptoms and structural antecedents of the groupthink syndrome surrounding the Georgian decision to attempt to impose governmental control over South Ossetia by means of military force.},
  author       = {Johansson, Rasmus},
  keyword      = {groupthink,Russia,Georgia,foreign policy decision making,cognitive consistency/dissonance,historical analogies,utrikespolitiskt beslutsfattande,Georgien,Ryssland,kognitiv konsistens/dissonans,historiska analogier},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Rationalitetens gränser: utrikespolitiskt beslutsfattande i Georgien och det rysk-georgiska femdagarskriget},
  year         = {2012},
}