Arab Perceptions of Global Arms Control Approaches
Scholars of international politics have long recognized that human behaviour is largely shaped by how reality is perceived and evaluated, and that comprehending decision-makers’ cognition of reality is crucial for understanding their behaviour (Jervis 1976). In fact, the cognitive approach to international politics is based on these premises. The difference between various cognitive schools lies in their identification of the locus of the most crucial cognitive variables, such as perceptions, beliefs, images, and values. In the meantime, they all share the assumption that national leaders make decisions within the constraints of ‘bounded rationality’. These constraints are related to the external situation as well as the capacities of the decision-maker. In this respect, one can distinguish between (i) external boundaries, which include missing, erroneous, or unknowable information about external crises, and (ii) internal boundaries to rational decision-making, which are the result of policymakers’ limited information processing capacity when studying exceptionally complex issues. Instead of searching all information for the best outcome, policymakers usually select an alternative that is acceptable and compatible with their existing views.
KeywordsMiddle East United Arab Emirate Nuclear Weapon Arab Country Arab World
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