Maintaining the Inflated Self-Image:

Leader Narcissism and Foreign Policy Decision-Making


My book project pushes the question "how do leaders matter?" forward by asking "what do leaders want?" and investigating variation in leader goals. Instead of assuming that all leaders emphasize state interests or political capital above all else, I argue that variation in what leaders want and how much they value different goals is determined largely by personality. I use grandiose narcissism to study variation in what leaders want, and how that variation in leader goals impacts foreign policy decision-making. More specifically, I argue that grandiose narcissists focus on deciding and acting in ways which shore up and promote their inflated self-views. I use mixed-methods to test my hypotheses.


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