The Reluctant Peacekeeper: Governmental Politics and Germany’s Participation in EUFOR RD Congo

Authors


  • Author’s notes: Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2010 conference of the ECPR Standing Group on International Relations and the 2011 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association. The author thanks Sebastian Harnisch, Charles F. Hermann, Kai Oppermann, and Steven B. Redd, as well as the reviewers and journal editors for their valuable comments.

Abstract

Brummer, Klaus. (2012) The Reluctant Peacekeeper: Governmental Politics and Germany’s Participation in EUFOR RD Congo. Foreign Policy Analysis, doi: 10.1111/j.1743-8594.2011.00174.x

This article addresses the ambiguity of the governmental politics model (GPM) concerning the selection of policy options by political actors. It argues that the GPM’s core proposition in this respect (“Where you stand depends on where you sit”) can be conceptualized by integrating its substantive claims into the two-stage process of the poliheuristic theory of decision making (PH). This is accomplished through the introduction of a “noncompensatory organizational loss aversion variable” in the first stage of PH, according to which decision makers reject all options that are unacceptable for their organization irrespective of their benefits in other decision-making dimensions. In the second stage, the decision makers scrutinize the remaining options more thoroughly with respect to several decision dimensions, including organizational interests. This article uses Germany’s decision to participate in EUFOR RD Congo, a military operation of the European Union in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to probe the plausibility of the revised GPM.

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