In This Review

Foreign Policy Motivation
Foreign Policy Motivation
By Richard W. Cottam
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977, 374 pp

For about 20 years, some academicians have argued that they were on the verge of a theoretical breakthrough in systematically relating international conflicts to the perceptions of the adversaries. Using as primary examples the conflict in Vietnam and an extended historical case study of British imperialism in Egypt, Cottam tells some interesting stories. While it is clear that motivational differences give rise to conflicts, it remains unclear under what conditions or how to separate perceptual differences from real conflicts of value and interest.