A Hierarchy of Needs in International Relations
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Characterizing U.S.-Russian relations as a new Cold War is nostalgic for many, but it does not accurately describe Russias motivation behind its current behavior. Abraham Maslow, a prominent behavioral psychologist, investigated the motivation behind human behavior and concluded that human motivation centers on satisfying five basic needs. It is plausible to modify his hierarchy of basic human needs and develop a similar hierarchy of basic state needs. A single case study examining Soviet regression from a strong state identity and the Russian Federations attempts to reestablish it demonstrates the utility of the hierarchy. Understanding where a state falls in its pursuit of a strong state identity gives intelligence analysts who provide assessments to U.S. policy makers a framework to assess, categorize, and predict general trends in state behavior. Consequently, it becomes more accurate to describe current Russian behavior as attempts to satisfy its prepotent needs for external security while also attempting to satisfy to a lesser extent its needs for prestige and domestic security. This comprehensive explanation of the motivation behind Russias behavior allows U.S. policy makers to craft policy that either helps or impedes Russia in its pursuit of a strong state identity.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence