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What is the essence of group decision-making? How does group dynamics affect policy outcomes? This chapter contributes to foreign policy analysis and national security decision-making by advancing a comparative group dynamic perspective. Specifically, we examine three models of group decision-making: Groupthink, Polythink, and Con-Div, and apply each model to the Kennedy administration’s decision to impose a naval blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We claim that applying different group decision-making models to real-world cases presents a new way of explaining governmental decisions. Based on our comparative analysis of the three models, we find that the Con-Div model performs best in explaining the naval blockade decision.
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