All Options Are on the Table? Time Horizons and the Decision-Making Process in Conflict Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThis study explores how time horizons shape the decision-making process in international conflicts. I posit that leaders assess only a subset of the available policy options. The proposed decision-making model suggests that time horizons serve as a screening mechanism. Only policies that fit the actor's time horizon enter the choice set and can be eventually selected. Thus, variations in actors time horizons generate different choice sets in terms of size and composition. These different choice sets affect the identity of the selected policy. Using a two-phase experiment, I demonstrate that short time horizons reduce the choice set size and the type of options that are considered. The selection of the final policy is sensitive to the inherent trade-off in policy implications and to the composition of the choice set. These findings clarify the influence of time horizons on conflict choices within a two-phase decision process. It also explains why, facing international conflicts, political leaders are not likely to place all policy options on the table.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Dvir, R.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • August 2021