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The Logic of Positive Engagement$
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Miroslav Nincic

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450068

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450068.001.0001

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A Parallel Bias

A Parallel Bias

(p.32) 2 A Parallel Bias
The Logic of Positive Engagement

Miroslav Nincic

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the tendency of both the policymaking and the academic communities to neglect the role that positive inducements can play in altering the behavior of adversaries. It also indicates some ways in which this omission could be remedied. Bias within the policymaking community is rooted in the early postwar years; it can be traced to the budding conviction that toughness toward adversaries is preferable to conciliatory policies, a conviction based on widely held assumptions regarding the virtues of punishment. That academic communities have contributed so little to the understanding of positive engagement can be attributed to the stranglehold that political realism had for decades over our thinking and also to its major challenger, neoliberalism, which has an ontological position favoring structural explanation—whereas understanding a new foreign policy strategy requires a focus on agency.

Keywords:   foreign policy, foreign relations, negative pressures, bias, political system, policymaking, academic communities, neoliberalism

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