Analysis Of Why Putin Took Crimea By Daniel Treisman

The individual level examines how a state’s leader’s personal attributes affects foreign policy and their decisions as opposed to systemic or domestic factors. In Daniel Treisman’s Why Putin Took Crimea, he argues from the individual level of analysis. While Treisman acknowledges a small level of systemic factors may have influenced Putin, he claims Putin’s annexation is best explained by his personal choices. Bova’s Great Man Theory supports Treisman’s analysis, as well as Margaret Hermann’s personality analysis chart. Treisman’s syntax and focus on Putin’s reasoning throughout the writing also demonstrates the individualist argument.

The great man theory of history explains that “the course of human history is determined not only by larger
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Her study concludes with four basic leadership styles, each determined by leader’s beliefs on control, power, complexity, self confidence, problem solving, trust, and bias (Bova 79). While Treisman doesn’t explicitly define which style he falls under, he uses Hermann’s idea that leadership style is personal and influential to make his argument. When he writes, “it suggest that Putin has become willing in recent years to take major strategic risk. . . by deploying special forces in Crimea without planning for the region's political future, Putin showed that he is not just an improviser but also a gambler” (Treisman 8), he argues Putin’s leadership style caused the annexation. Furthermore, he states that Crimea was annexed because of Putin’s leadership style change, again emphasizing the individual level. He also uses the same logic when writing that “Russia’s intervention in Crimea demonstrates the need to accurately identify Russia’s key strategic aspects, as seen by Putin” (Treisman 8). Again he proves to be arguing the individual level because he claims Russian interest cannot be understood unless Putin’s leadership style and goals are analyzed and …show more content…
Treisman’s deep focus on Vladimir Putin’s personal actions and personality inherently dismisses other levels of analysis, because if any other level was used, it would not be necessary to investigate Putin’s personality so deeply. Treisman does acknowledge that some systematic or state factors could have slight influence on Russian actions, but his writing explains the main cause of annexation was Vladimir Putin’s personality and operational code. As Bova writes in his great man theory, history could be incredibly different if different people had been in power, such as Gore over Bush or Le Penn over Macron. Treisman would likely believe that Russian action toward Crimea could have been very different had someone less influential and unpredictable than Putin been in power, thus making it critical to analyze the situation on the individual

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