Early Humans and the Rise of Civilization
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Early Humans and the Rise of Civilization


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  • expression écrite - matière potentielle : jesus
  • expression écrite
Unit 1 Early Humans and the Rise of Civilization Geography Challenge 1 Early Humans 4 This activity challenges students to read and interpret a specialty map to learn about early hominids. Working in pairs, students answer questions while labeling and drawing on a world map. They discuss their answers with the class. Lesson 1: Investigating the Past 10 In this Experiential Exercise, students examine art and artifacts to learn how social scientists reconstruct the lives of early hominids.
  • historical timeline
  • early settlement
  • greeks to the modern world
  • specialty map
  • timeline of key dates from the unit
  • ancient egypt
  • geography
  • social studies
  • life



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Nombre de lectures 29
Langue English


Allison, G. & Zelikow, P. (1999).Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. nd 2 edition. Pearson Longman. Reviewed by Melissa Kornblau Abstract  InEssence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile CrisisAllison and Zelikow present three conceptual models which can be used to analyze policy actions. The Rational Actor, Organizational Behavior, and Governmental Politics Models are explained and then applied to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Each model illuminates different aspects of the key decisions made by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the crisis. The authors show that while a complete understanding of the situation as it happened at the time will never be possible, using these three conceptual lenses will help one come closer to a full awareness of all of the factors weighing on the decisions of the time. Essence of Decisionoffers policy students a comprehensive tool in analyzing both foreign and domestic policies. While each of the models presented contain elements considered before in the field of public policy, the authors delve more indepth into the implications of the ideas and present a new means of analysis by using the three models together. Examples given from the Cuban Missile Crisis are illuminating and thorough and the authors make a convincing argument that using different theoretical models will lead to a better understanding of any policy situation. Key Concepts The Rational Actor Model The basic conceptual model commonly used in foreign policy analysis today. Considers countries as unitary decisionmakers and theiractionsas purposive, rational, and valuemaximizing. The Organizational Behavior Model An alternative conceptual model which looks at foreign policy actions asoutputsof the many large organizations which combined constitute a government, each working according to their standard patterns of behavior. The Governmental Politics Model A third alternative conceptual model which conceives of foreign policy actions asresultantsof the politics, bargaining, ideasharing and power playing that goes on in the national government.
In “Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis”, Graham Allison and
Philip Zelikow look at the momentous Cuban Missile Crisis one of the great successes of
diplomacy during the Cold War through three “conceptual lenses”obliging the reader to move
beyond common methods of foreign policy analysis. The authors use the events of the thirteen
days of October, 1962 to demonstrate three models of policy analysis which look at policy
actions from different viewpoints. When used together, these models offer more insight and
potentially a more complete view of the action than any one could on its own. The book is
divided into six chapters, three devoted to an explanation of the different analytical models and
three applying the models to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The authors have at their disposal the
unclassified documents and tapes from the time which provide ample historical evidence, and the
result is one of the most thorough analyses of this crucial moment of the nuclear age and
concurrently a straightforward example of a new and important way to consider policy actions.
In Model I, the authors present the most commonly used method of analyzing foreign
policy actions. This method is entitled the Rational Actor Model. The Rational Actor Model
(RAM) is a way of understanding policy actions taken by countries by considering the country a
rational, unitary actor.As seen in “academic literature, policy papers, the press, and informal
conversations, most contemporary thought about… foreign policy, proceeds within this
conceptual model(Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 13). Analyzing an action undertaken by a
country towards another country, the RAM assumes actions are intended, strategic, and value
maximizing. An explanation of an action “consists of showing what goal the government was
pursing when it acted and how the action was a reasonable choice, given the nation’s objective”
(Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 15). This may sound like a reasonable way to go about analyzing
an action, and there is a reason for that: this is howpeople(as conceived by modern social
science, at least) go about making decisions. This anthropomorphizing of countries is often done
implicitly, without the analyst or citizen realizing they are doing it. One of the authors’ goals in
this book is to make people aware of the assumptions they are often subconsciously working off
of (when unintentionally using the RAM), and to highlight the effectsthis will have on one’s
analysis of a situation.
The main questions to be answered about the Cuban Missile Crisis are: Why did the
Soviet Union place offensive missiles (some nuclear) in Cuba? Why did the U.S. respond to this
action with a blockade around Cuba? And, why did the Soviet Union withdraw the missiles in
response? Looking at the situation through the RAM lens, Allison and Zelikow begin by
presenting four logical hypotheses to answer the first question (which were considered by
President Kennedy’s team at the time as they weretrying to understand the Sovietsactions). The
Soviets may have placed missiles in Cuba: 1) for Cuban defense, 2) because of Cold War politics
(i.e., a move to increase Soviet stature in a fight for global preeminence), 3) for Missile power
(an attempt to catchup to U.S. missile and nuclear capabilities), or 4) because of Berlin (as a
bargaining maneuver to help achieve the longdesired Soviet goal of removing western influence
in Berlin). Considering all of the information now available, the missile power and Berlin
hypotheses seem to be the most logical, however the authors point out quite effectively that
neither of these is ableto explain all of the Soviets’ actions at the time.This is one way the
authors show that not all state actions can be explained using rational analysis.
The U.S. blockade response is then considered, and this lends itself more neatly to a
rational analysis: out of all of the options considered by Kennedy’s team, a blockade had the best
chance of sending the desired message to Moscowwithoutprovoking a military response.
Finally, the Soviet decision to withdraw the missiles reflected their belief that an attack on Cuba
was imminent (and likely, as it was parttwo of the blockade plan), and this outcome, with its
potential for escalating to nuclear war, was not worth missile presence in Cuba to the Soviets.
That being said, the authors point out: “Careful examination of the panoply of Soviet actions,
however, raises many more questions than it answers” (Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 206).
 This is where Model II comes in. As a contrasting method of understanding foreign policy
actions, Allison and Zelikow present the Organizational Behavior methodology. In this model, it
is understood that countries and governments are not unitary actors, but “vast conglomerate(s) of
loosely allied organizations, each with a substantial life of its own” (Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p.
143). Therefore, government actions are not so much logical choices decided upon by one central
decision maker, but they are theoutputsof many organizations each working according to their
standard patterns of behavior. Considering some of the implications of this model shows at once
the significance of looking at governmental actions this way and the truth to this model. For one,
government actions are carried out by organizations, whether it is the Army, Navy, CIA, etc.
Two, options open to the government are limited by current organizational capacities and
abilities the President cannot order a spy plane to take covert pictures of Cuba if the plane or the
photographic equipment has not been developed yet. And, organizational actions are limited and
informed by standard operating procedures, culture, and what has been done before.
Some of the actions taken during the Cuban Missile Crisis which cannot be explained by
a rational analysis of the situation may be accounted for by organizational considerations. For
instance, the Soviets clearly knew that the U.S. had an effective “spy” tool in the U2 aircraft
which could (and did) detect the missile build up in Cuba. Knowing this, it would make sense for
the Soviets to attempt to camouflage their missile sites in Cuba. Instead, the missile sites were
left in plain view. It is known that the Soviets’ intentions were not to make their missile presence
in Cuba known until after it was afait accompli. So, why did they make no attempt to conceal
the weapons? The authors present this situation: the missile sites were being constructed by
regiments who did the exact same job in the Soviet Union. These troops, “had no routine for
camouflage, having never camouflaged construction activity in the Soviet Union” (Allison &
Zelikow, 1999, p. 213). Although camouflage was possible, the troops were faced with the
competing goals of concealing their activities and making the sites operational. Lacking effective
oversight in Cuba, the field personnel trained in missile deployment did what they knew how to
do best: deploy missiles. In this situation then, organizational behavior components are the
answer as to why otherwise rational actions were not taken. The authors look in depth at how
operational capacities and behaviors greatly affected U.S. decision making and outcomes as well.
Finally, in Model III, the authors present the Governmental Politics model. Most closely
resembling our study of policies as the result of politics, this model considers policy actions as
resultantsof a process where many players bring their personal desires, opinions and viewpoints
together and often decide upon a course of action different than any one of them would have
chosen on their own. “To explain why a particular formal governmental decision was made…it
is necessary to identify the games and players, to display the coalitions, bargains and
compromises, and to convey some feel for the confusion” (Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 257).
The politics played in foreign policy decision making is more limited in scope than domestic
policies, and mostly surrounds the small group of advisors cabinet members and organizational
heads which the president brings together to help make the decision (in the U.S.). The authors
discuss dynamics of group decision making and other factors at play when groups such as these
come together though, in my opinion, this is the thinnest and least illuminating model in the book
(though not to say less relevant). During the Cuban Missile Crisis all U.S. decisions were made
by the “ExCom”, Kennedy’s inner circle of advisors brought together specifically for this issue.
The authors discuss the members, their ideas, the centrality of Cuban issuesto Kennedy’s
presidency, and generally try to show the overall political atmosphere behind the U.S. decisions.
Knowledge of the Soviet team is not as thorough, but the authors attempt a similar political
analysis of their decisions. What is known is that Khrushchev played a dominant decision
making role, his team did not have much foreign policy experience, he often worked off of
incorrect information making up and then changing his mind, “his judgments bereft of any
attribute of highquality deliberations” (Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 382)or analysis.
We have seen all of these ideas before, in one form or another. They have not always
been presented as decision making models, and we have not generally been encouraged to
employ more than one analytical framework to an issue at the same time, although Theodoulou
and Kofinisnote in their discussion of diverse models of the policy process that “there is
analytical value gained from applying differingtheories to the same phenomena”(2004, p. 81).
Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisisdeparts from most of the teachings in
our class in one final way as well: it deals with foreign policy, though its messages are
generalizable to all policy actions.
First of all, rational analysis is commonly mentioned in public policy. As we have
learned, the rational framework is the most commonly used method in deciding between policy
choices in the adoption and evaluation stages of the policy cycle.Allison and Zelikow’s
Rational Actor Model, instead of pertaining to how a choice is made between policies, is asking
the question can we understand a move made by a country in the foreign policy arena as a
rational choice? Although its outlook is slightly different, many of the criticisms we have heard
regarding the rational framework of analysis arerelevant to the author’s question as well.For
instance,the idea of “bounded rationality”or March’s “limited rationality” is clearly at play in
foreign policy decision making. Even if there were a central decisionmaker for a country, say
the President, who has supreme choice over all possible courses of action, his (or her) rational
decisionmaking making process is going to be hindered by the fact that he (as in the case of the
Cuban Missile Crisis) has no idea whatthe other guyis thinking.All of the ExCom’s failed
attempts at understanding why Khrushchev took certain actions show this plainly. Because the
foreign policy arena often deals with adversarial opponents who keep their true intentions hidden
as a means of getting what they want, limited rationality may be even more at play here than in
domestic decision making.However, Lindblom’snotion that in reality analysis is limited and
important outcomes are neglected is not seen in this case as a cautious Kennedy at each step of
the crisis implores his team to“probe deeper implications of each option…and to stretch their
imagination”(Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 357) as the weight of averting nuclear war falls upon
The Organizational Behavior lens which Allison and Zelikow present in Model II
provides an interesting opportunity to look at the role organizations play in policymaking in
different ways than any we have explored so far. In our discussions of the policy cycle, we
acknowledge that the bureaucracy plays its primary role in the implementation phase and lesser
roles in the formulation and evaluation phases. I believe in Model II, Allison and Zelikow are
presenting a way of looking at policy decisions as completely controlled by the bureaucracy,
although it may not be the bureaucracy which is making the decision. To explain, first of all you
must consider that in this situation, as in many foreign policy situations, the bureaucracies
carrying out the policies are branches of the military and intelligence agencies. To understand the
way they control the decisionmaking process, consider the deliberations of the ExCom as
producing possible alternatives, but “The organizations answered the question: What
specifically,couldbe done?”(Allison & Zelikow, 1999, p. 225). The range of actions open to the
President was 100% limited by what the branches of the military could do. And what they could
do was the sum of all choices and decisions made throughout the history of the organization,
which were greatly informed bythe agency’s culture,priorities, standard operating procedures,
etc. So, while our readings look at policy implementation as “Execution of policy solutions”
(Theodoulou and Kofinis 2004, p. 166), and even consider implementation as shaping policy
afterpolicies have been decided upon,Essence of Decisionshows organizational/bureaucratic
capacities as the fundamental roots of policy.
Model II also shows impressive examples of how organizational routines and behavior
affect the implementation of policies often inadvertently. As in the case of the lack of
camouflage for the Soviet missiles, standard operating procedures may often overrule policy
intentions. The authors show Kennedy scrambling to get in control of many previously scheduled
activities, such as test flights over Soviet air space which, had they occurred after the crisis
started, might have started a nuclear war by being interpreted by the Soviets as something other
than a test flight. The is a good example of how rational decisions are never the whole story
behind what is happening in a situation, and looking through other lenses may be necessary to
gain a more thorough understanding of whatishappening.
The Governmental Politics model is, in my opinion, the one most affected by the fact that
the book is looking at foreign policy. Although the authors are trying to explain a process of
politics and bargaining which we know to be a reality in policymaking and especially adoption,
foreign policy is the area in which this happens theleast. As described in Wildavsky’s “The Two
Presidencies”,an article deeply rooted in Cold War sentiment and often using Kennedy and the
Cuban Missile Crisis as examples, the president rarely faces opposition to policies on foreign
affairs and “their formal powers to commit resources …are vast” (Wildavsky, 1966, p.240).Due
to the secret nature of many foreign policy decisions and the supreme importance of the
decisions they are trying to make, the public and Congress, even if they are aware of the
situation, generally defer any decisionmaking powers to the president. Thus, as we see in
Essence of Decision, the president is almost making his decision in a vacuum. Congress plays no
role in the situation whatever, and the public is unaware of what is going on until the White
House makes a statement. It is noted a couple of times in the book how different the situation
would have been had ithappened in today’s world of almost immediate publicknowledge
forcing decisions to be made in hours instead of days. As it was, the president only had to
contend with the competing ideas of his team of experts. Although they did bring political and
organizational considerations in as the heads of major agencies, the military, etc. which each had
their own goals in this situation, for the most part the politics Kennedy had to play were limited
compared to domestic policy situations. As Wildavsky says, the president can almost always get
support for his foreign policies, “his problem is to find a viable policy” (1966, p. 237).So, if the
Governmental Politics model looks weak in the book compared to the others, it is not because
this is not a major factor and an informative lens to look at policy decisions through, it is simply
because this case offers a less rich example on this front than a domestic or maybe even foreign
policy decision made today would provide. It makes a strong case, however, forMills’power
elite. With essentially no say from the populous, this small group of Kennedys, McNamaras and
Johnsons are making decisions that could mean life or death for hundreds of millions of people.
Thankfully, in this case, the experienced and knowledgeable group came to the right decision.
So, are these ideas generalizable beyond the realm of foreign policy? The authors
certainly think so. In a section on“Broader Implications” in the introduction the authors make
some interesting points about what they believe anybody could take away from this book. First
of all, they are attempting to show that knowledge, in any area, is essentially theorybased. If you
change the theoretical model you are looking at a situation through, your perception of the
situation will change. In addition, they point out that any knowledge of policy is necessarily a
simplification so if simplifications are to be used, competing simplifications are vital. I think
these are both very astute observations and can be used in many areas of ones life. On a less
theoretical note, I also believe (as do the authors), that the three conceptual models shown here
can be used to help better understand policies of any level. Looking at an action government
takes or even an action government does not take, like universal health care for instance, through
a rational/logical, an organizational behavior/capacity, and a political lens, seems necessary to
fully understand the move. I believe we are used to taking a more full approach to understanding
domestic and local policy decisions because we are more aware of the factors going into the
decisions. This book gives us detailed instructions on how to do this: specifically, use the three
models it describes. I think our understanding of policies will be greatly enhanced doing this.
Where I think this application will be really interesting to use is in considering actions of foreign
countries which seem at first inexplicable to us. The authors centered their book around a foreign
policy action for a reason: this is the arena in which we are most likely to simplify and look for a
rational reason behind an action. Applying Models II and III to these actions, in addition to the
rational framework we are usually using, might provide some interesting and even contradictory
insight to what we thought we believed. The result might be better foreign relations all around.
Bibliography Allison, G. & Zelikow, P. (1999).Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis.2nd edition. Pearson Longman. Lindblom,C. (1959). The Science of “Muddling Through”.In S.Z. Theodoulou, & M.A. Cahn (Eds.),Public policy: The Essential Readings.(pp. 113127). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Mills, C.W. (1956). The Power Elite. In S.Z. Theodoulou, & M.A. Cahn (Eds.),Public policy: The Essential Readings.(pp. 237250). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Theodoulou, S & Kofinis, C. (2004)The Art of the Game: Understanding American Public Policy Making: California, Wadsworth. Wildavsky, A. (1966). The Two Presidencies. In S.Z. Theodoulou, & M.A. Cahn (Eds.),Public policy: The Essential Readings.(pp. 237250). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Yu, K. (2007). Review of March, James (1994). A Primer on Decision Making.The Free Press. Retrieved October 31, 2007 from San Francisco State’s ilearn website for PA 715.
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