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The Decision Calculus of Putin

How Do Leaders Make Decisions?

ISBN: 978-1-83867-812-8, eISBN: 978-1-83867-811-1

Publication date: 2 December 2019


This chapter attempts to uncover the decision code of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, based on 12 decisions he made concerning the Middle East during his third term as president, from 2012 until October 2015.

The study was carried out to understand Putin’s line of thought and decision-making, in light of Putin’s increasing importance throughout the last decade, globally and in the Middle East, in particular. After understanding the decision calculus of Putin, it might also be possible to predict his future decisions concerning the region.

Decision rules can be inferred by analyzing a set of decisions. Analysis of such decisions is made in this chapter using the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) method that uncovers historic decisions, and aims to peer into the mind of the decision-maker.

The results show the main decision rule for each of Putin’s decisions. The work proves that when it comes to foreign issues, the decision code which leads Putin in his decisions is rational. The results also reveal Putin’s strong desire to promote Russia and himself, while using holistic, maximizing, and compensatory processing, as long as his political survival is not compromised.



Glottman, H. (2019), "The Decision Calculus of Putin", How Do Leaders Make Decisions? (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 28B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 9-54.



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