• decision-making;
  • domestic politics;
  • foreign policy;
  • political context

One of the most pressing concerns in the study of international relations today is to develop a systematic account of the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy. This paper argues that domestic politics frequently influences foreign policy through a process of decision-making that grows out of the decision-maker's awareness of the requirements for effective action in the political context. It is therefore necessary to develop a theory that can explain how the political context's characteristic features affect decision-makers’ thinking. In attempting to combine insights culled from the literature on political decision-making with psychological theories of decision-making processes, this paper offers a first step toward such a theory.