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Systems Theory and Foreign Policy Restructuring: Distance Change in Latin America, 1953-1970

Thomas J. Volgy and Henry Kenski
International Studies Quarterly
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep., 1982), pp. 445-474
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
DOI: 10.2307/2600429
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2600429
Page Count: 30
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Systems Theory and Foreign Policy Restructuring: Distance Change in Latin America, 1953-1970
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Abstract

Although international politics is in the midst of major structural changes, neither decision makers nor scholars have shown an ability to deal with major change before a specific case emerges. Our study focuses on the value of systems theory in explaining and predicting the occurrence of major structural changes in foreign policy orientations between Latin America and the United States. By using distance change as our dependent variable, we wish not only to demonstrate the importance of system-level variables per se, but also to illustrate the impact of system-level considerations as contextual variables when examining other types of explanations for foreign policy reorientation.

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