State leaders’ decision-making calculus is often attributed to external factors. The political arena, international community pressure and a country’s military stance all take centre stage in the analysis of national security decisions. Little weight is given to personal aspects of a leader’s psyche in explaining these decisions; this is true to the bulk of the research regarding this topic. This study theorizes and tests a positive link between Israeli leaders’ combat military experience and their propensity to enter into ‘peacemaking’ decisions namely, peace talks, cease fires and unilateral withdrawals. This research uses a new database comprising all peacemaking decision points in Israel’s history, looking at the pressure put on a leader from outside factors and his military experience to explain the decision taken. It finds a strong significant link between combat experience and the tendency to enter in a peacemaking decision with little regard to ideological affiliation, shedding a new light on Israeli politicians from both sides of the aisle.
Robinstain, S. (2019), "The Influence of Military Background on Israeli Leaders’ National Security Decision-making", How Do Leaders Make Decisions? (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 28A), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 155-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1572-832320190000028009Download as .RIS
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