President Trump’s Operational Code A Political Psychological Approach to Foreign Policy Decision-Making

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to investigate if there is a correlation between Donald Trump’s political beliefs and his foreign policy behaviour towards North Korea during 2016-2019. By applying the theoretical framework Operational Code redesigned by Alexander George, Trump’s political beliefs are visible through ten questions. These political beliefs which are divided into philosophical and instrumental beliefs, composes a leader’s operational code. The operationalization of Trump’s political beliefs is done through a content analysis of various public speeches. The data has been quantified through the coding program of Profiler Plus 7.3.17 which is available upon request at Social Science Automation, Inc. To interpret the quantified data, the Verbs In Context System coding scheme developed by Mark Schafer, Michael D. Young and Stephen G. Walker has been used. The results proved no change in Trump’s philosophical beliefs but a few were detected regarding his instrumental beliefs. The changes found did not necessarily correlate with his foreign policy behaviour, making the overall correlation between Trump’s operational code and his behaviour towards North Korea poor. However, the study opens up for further research regarding decision-making at the individual level and the importance of leaders in foreign policy.

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