Dr. Kirk Buckman
This mixed approach study seeks to identify the most likely crisis-related decision-making strategies that President Biden, Zelensky, and Putin adopted during the Russo-Ukrainian pre-war crisis. The dissertation tests rational choice, expected utility, poliheuristic, and prospect theory frameworks against five critical decisions. The findings indicate that a Prospect Theory-based framework provides the most accurate predictions of the four models. Further, the study’s incidental finding highlights the salience of politics in decision-making, concluding that a simple lexicographic decision rule grounded in political interests accurately predicts and explains each leader’s choices more reliably and parsimoniously than the other frameworks and just as elegantly.
Reisner, Daniel J., "The Russo-Ukrainian Pre-War Crisis: A Comparative Test of Rational Choice, Expected Utility, Poliheuristic, and Prospect Theories to Explain the War's Outbreak" (2023). Ph.D. Dissertations (Open Access). 7.
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