Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Michele Angrist




foreign policy, politics, leadership, dictatorships


The consideration of regime type as a sort of contextual lens through which to understand the decision environment, international, domestic, and psychological factors involved in the foreign policy crisis decision-making process is an extremely complicated progression. During the Gulf crisis, the influence of regime type held different meanings for a democracy and a non-democracy in the Middle East. For this reason, foreign policy crisis behavior in non-democracies should not be dismissed as it so often is in existing literature concerning this topic. While my conclusions have suggested that psychological factors, such as leaders’ personality and leadership style, played a greater role in a dictatorship than in a democracy, this certainly does not mean that it is true for all dictatorships or untrue for all democracies. If anything, this study has demonstrated that there are layers upon layers of information and influential factors that go into the foreign policy crisis decision-making process, and none of these answers are clear cut or easy to understand.