// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2014. No 1(46). P. 21-36
This article analyzes experts’ cognitive mechanisms that cause distortions in the conceptual model of foreign policy situations. The cognitive traps such as cognitive dissonance and the defense mechanisms of denial and rationalization are studied using the example of the Russian foreign policy and military experts’ conceptual model of the 2008 conflict in and around South Ossetia. The article specifically studies the impact of these cognitive traps on the perception of Georgia and South Ossetia, the adversary identification, the assessment of the support to conflict participants by other countries, and the results for all parties involved.
international conflict, expertise, cognitive dissonance, defense mechanisms of denial and rationalization, misperception, conflict in South Ossetia
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