Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
In Uncertain TimesAmerican Foreign Policy after the Berlin Wall and 9/11$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449093

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449093.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Assumptions Did It

The Assumptions Did It

Chapter:
(p.131) 8 The Assumptions Did It
Source:
In Uncertain Times
Author(s):

Bruce Cumings

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449093.003.0008

This chapter examines how sudden events tend to fit into existing assumptions of both policymakers and scholars, and how their reactions become skewed to such events that result in biased foreign policy decisions. It also considers theories about anticipating and predicting future events by focusing on World War II, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, and post-Cold War North Korea. It explains how these cases spawned new policies and why U.S. officials persisted in exaggerating the danger of the North Korean threat while stressing the vulnerability of the regime. It argues that these policymakers cannot avoid speaking in metaphors that are grounded in unconscious illusions and guided by emotions that are out of touch with reality.

Keywords:   foreign policy, World War II, Berlin Wall, Soviet Union, 9/11, North Korea

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.