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Understanding the Yalta Axioms and Riga Axioms through the Belief Systems of the Advocacy Coalition Framework


  • Su-Mi Lee

    1. University of Kentucky
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    • The author thanks Erik Davidshofer, two anonymous reviewers, Hank Jenkins-Smith, the FPA editor-in-chief, and the FPA editorial team for their extraordinarily helpful suggestions and critiques of earlier drafts.


This research employs stakeholder analysis based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to examine two coalitions of US foreign policy during the postwar and early Cold War periods. It defines the proponents of the Yalta axioms and the proponents of the Riga axioms as two purposive groups based on ideological positions. By identifying the stakeholders, their strategic bases, their belief systems (with respect to the Soviet Union), and their policies and resources, this research demonstrates how each coalition formed and competed with the other. More importantly, it offers a way to understand the seemingly inconsistent policy positions of Kennan and Bohlen that supported the Riga axioms at one time and opposed them at another time. By so doing, this research demonstrates the utility of the ACF in examining foreign policies.