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date: 23 May 2017

Analogies and Metaphors and Foreign Policy Decision-Making

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Please check back later for the full article.

Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) has welcomed analogical reasoning into its canon while remaining relatively indifferent toward metaphor. But foreign policy decision-making requires transferring meaning from one representation to another, and analogy and metaphor are both essential to this transference. Metaphor and analogy, therefore, are equally important in explaining foreign policy decision-making. The subfield’s benign neglect of metaphor is not due to its insignificance. Instead, it reflects disciplinary, methodological, and epistemological divides among metaphor analysts themselves. By defining and comparing metaphor and analogy, analyzing their socio-cognitive functions in decision-making, and charting the evolution of analogy and metaphor research in foreign policy decision-making, it is possible to suggest the utility of a constructivist-cognitive synthesis for future work in this area.