"Seek first to understand"

Extracted thoughts from Tim Olivers paper (LSE) "Theory and Brexit: - can theoretical approaches help us understand Brexit?" whose thinking is acknowledged

COGNITIVISM

Cognitivist approaches look more at the mindsets – the psychology – of the individual decision makers as well as those who might " influence" those EU decision makers - by example the influence of powerful national EU politicians

The beliefs and personalities of each EU decision maker means that they will react differently to the same situation. This means that if we want to understand the EU approach to Brexit then we need to look into the minds of the key individuals involved to understand how their perceptions were shaped, have continued to evolve, morph and re-appear.

We MUST know and exhaustively understand the approach of their side. BEFORE WE CONSTRUCT OUR CASE

Looking at the world through the eyes of such decision makers is a necessary condition

What might Merkel think? Juncker?Barnier?Macron etc etc.. allows us to understand what mental shortcuts they take in terms of analogies.

It also allows us to take into account the bigger political calculations weighing on their minds such as forthcoming elections or political legacy.


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