Leadership style and foreign policy

The role of Vladimir Putin’s dual-framing style in the 2022 invasion of Ukraine

  • Rinata Terkulova Sakarya University
Keywords: Russian foreign policy, leadership trait analysis, Ukrainian crisis 2022, political psychology, Putin


This article aims to demonstrate the potential of measuring decision-making in foreign policy from a distance by examining the leadership traits of political figures. The methodology employed is the leadership trait analysis proposed by Margaret Hermann and implemented through ProfilerPlus software to analyse Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade in Ukraine in 2022. In this study, Putin’s leadership is systematically analysed using one of the most comprehensive methods of assessing leadership styles, namely, leadership trait analysis. The study compares the results of Putin’s conceptual complexity score, derived from his responses to direct questions during various interviews with both domestic and international media, with a reference group of 214 world leaders identified by Hermann. The findings suggest that Putin’s leadership exhibits lower cognitive complexity. This reduced conceptual complexity appears to have influenced his foreign policy behaviour during the Ukrainian crisis. The study demonstrates that Putin’s foreign policy choices in 2022 were significantly influenced by this individual trait, which is associated with his constricted black-and-white worldview. Consequently, the study emphasises the significance of Putin’s personal characteristics in shaping foreign policy and provides a systematic assessment of how measuring from a distance can elucidate the behaviour of high-level political leaders.


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How to Cite
Terkulova, R. (2023). Leadership style and foreign policy: The role of Vladimir Putin’s dual-framing style in the 2022 invasion of Ukraine . Psychotherapy & Politics International, 21(3 & 4), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.24135/ppi.v21i3and4.09