Kenneth Payne

in The Psychology of Strategy

Published in print May 2015 | ISBN: 9780190227234
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190492120 | DOI:

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Strategy is an inherently psychological activity. War strategists often reach their decisions on the basis of unconscious reasoning; they are profoundly influenced by the desire for status or esteem; and they are subject to a range of emotions. All of this shapes their decision-making. Strategists aim for victory, but victory itself is a subjective phenomenon, often shaped by the social identity of the group making strategy. Reputation and honour are thus important goals of strategy. Carl von Clausewitz recognized many of these themes in his writing, and the Vietnam War provides examples of them in practice.

Keywords: social identity; emotions; unconscious; reasoning; status; Clausewitz; strategy; Vietnam War; war

Chapter.  9777 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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