Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 May 2009
Systemic theories of international politics are inadequate for explaining particular states' policies, and some neorealists reach for supplementary foreign-policy-level concepts. Yet these studies almost never provide the empirical evidence required by their motivational constructs. Available psychological studies rely too heavily on notions peculiar to the cold war—such as the image of the enemy. A new theory proposes four additional ideal-type images. Each image is likely to lead to a specified set of strategic behaviors. An application to dyadic relations across the Persian Gulf from 1977 through 1990 suggests that this theory can help account for otherwise puzzling behavior, and it illustrates a promising route toward a more sensitive interactionist international relations theory suited both to the former superpower relationship and to diverse others.
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