The Emotional Calculus of Foreign Policy Decisions: Getting Emotions Out of the Closet Chapter uri icon


  • For the past five decades, students of foreign policy analysis and foreign policy decision making have labored to develop theories that explain international behavior. Focusing on the individual as the unit of analysis, these studies have proceeded under the assumption that the political decision maker is the driving force behind the perception, interpretation, evaluation, and response to international political events (Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin 2002). However, within this growing field of inquiry, little empirical research has contributed to a scientific understanding of how emotions influence foreign policy decision making. This is surprising not only given our intuitive understanding that emotions are an important part of the human experience, but also given a history of research devoted to understanding the impact of emotions on social behavior. It has only been within the past decade that any serious attempt has been made to understand how emotions such as anger, hate, compassion, and fear impact politics. To date, no program of scientific inquiry has sought to empirically investigate the effect of emotions on foreign policy perceptions, interpretations, and choices.

author list (cited authors)

  • Geva, N., & Skorick, J. M.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Geva, Nehemia||Skorick, J Mark

editor list (cited editors)

  • Redlawsk, D. P.

Book Title

  • Feeling Politics

publication date

  • January 2006