Tic Tac ToeDonald Trump’s presidency will be an ideal case study for a question that is as old as the discipline of international relations: do individuals matter? Structural realism has long held that variation among individual policymakers has little impact on the behavior of states compared to structural features of the international system, such as the distribution of power.[1] Almost all other research programs, including classical and neoclassical realism and constructivism, by contrast, hold that policymakers’ beliefs exert a significant and independent influence.[2] Trump’s election is almost tailor-made as a test case for these longstanding academic disputes between partisans of Kenneth Waltz’s first and third “images.”[3]

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