US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

3.45 (11 ratings by Goodreads)

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Why did a handful of Iranian students seize the American embassy in Tehran in November 1979? Why did most members of the US government initially believe that the incident would be over quickly? Why did the Carter administration then decide to launch a rescue mission, and why did it fail so spectacularly? US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis examines these puzzles and others, using an analogical reasoning approach to decision-making, a theoretical perspective which highlights the role played by historical analogies in the genesis of foreign policy decisions. Using interviews with key decision-makers on both sides, Houghton provides an analysis of one of the United States' greatest foreign policy disasters, the events of which continue to poison relations between the two states. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of foreign policy analysis and international relations.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 400g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 Maps; 1 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521805090
  • 9780521805094
  • 1,967,367

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Jimmy Carter and the tragedy of foreign policy; 2. Locating the argument: a review of the existing literature; 3. The origins of the crisis; 4. The waiting game; 5. Days of decision: the hostage rescue mission; 6. Hostages to history; 7. Some alternative explanations: non-analogical accounts of the Iran decision-making; 8. Conclusions; Appendix I. Dramatis personae; Appendix II. The major historical analogies used; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

"Houghton has produced an excellent, in-depth study of the Iranian hostage crisis, making outstanding use of new material about policy/decision makers' perceptions...A superb book." CHOICE "...the book provides a clear account of the analogical reasoning model and uses available sources well to provide an interesting description of the deliberations in the Carter administration surrounding the Iranian hostage crisis." Political Science Quarterly "Well-organized and well-written, Houghton provides a clear and persuasive understanding of the Iran hostage crisis and the important role of cognitive-analogical reasoning." International Politics "...Houghton has written an intersting and thought-provoking book on an important subject that raises a number of compelling questions for future research." American Political Science Review
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Rating details

11 ratings
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