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Does Cognitive Leadership Matter?: An Analysis of Tony Blair’s Decision on the Iraq War
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

By using a qualitative content analysis and cognitive mapping, the purpose of the thesis is to investigate the decision-making of political leaders in extraordinary situations. The thesis focuses on the case of Tony Blair and his decision to invade Iraq in 2003. The cognitive map of political elites by Robert Axelrod is used to form a cognitive map to illustrate and represent the beliefs of Blair. The research question is what formed Blair’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003? Three time periods are analyzed: before, during and after the war. The results show that intervention should be accepted and no intervention should be rejected. This is with regard to the British utility. The motives for the intervention was Blair’s belief in spreading democratic values and rights. Something which would generate stability and progress for Britain, as well as, for other countries. To end human suffering, WMD trade and terrorism were also among the motives for the intervention. To strengthen the strategic relationship with Russia through intervention was important and the relationship with the U.S. even more. No intervention would increase the ineffective containment and strengthen the regime of Hussein. No intervention would also increase WMD (trade, development and use), terrorism, destruction and people suffering and dying on a mass-scale. Altogether this would negatively impact the British utility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 79
Keywords [en]
British utility, coding, cognition, cognitive mapping, content analysis, decision-making, foreign policy analysis, interviews, Iraq intervention, political leaders, speeches, statements, Tony Blair
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-84677OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-84677DiVA, id: diva2:1321067
Subject / course
Social Sciences
Educational program
Political Science, Master Programme, 120 credits
Presentation
2019-06-07, 20:08 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-10 Created: 2019-06-06 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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