Prospect Theory and Democracy in Haiti

I. The Introduction:
On September 30, 1991 a military coup in Haiti overthrew the newly elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The United States had just agreed to a policy of upholding democracy when the military junta and General Raoul Cedras overthrew Aristide. The U.S. was unable to accept the new heads of power and both the Bush and Clinton Administrations attempted to force these illegitimate leaders out of office so that Aristide could be reinstalled (Robyn, 1). Several attempts were made by both administrations before finally succeeding in an agreement to get Cedras out of power and Aristide back in.
This is the second Case Study on the United States reaction to the 1994 crisis in Haiti. This paper will use the Prospect Theory to examine how the United States decision to invade Haiti in 1994 and restore democracy among the Haitians. It will define Prospect Theory, make two possible hypotheses concerning the United States and their position on invading Haiti, and then it will further examine these two hypotheses and determine whether or not the Prospect Theory is an accurate theory where this case is concerned.
II. The Theory:
Prospect Theory was originally developed as an alternative to the Rational Choice Theory. Rational Choice Theory uses the expected utility in linear equations to make decisions based on what would provide them with the most satisfaction no matter how little that satisfaction might be. Prospect Theory argues that the choice has to provide a large amount of satisfaction for an actor to select the new decision. The theory further analyzes risky decisions based on the gains and losses. “In its original form, it is concerned with behavior of decision makers who face a choice between two alternatives” (Goldberg and VonNitzsch, 12).
There are two ways to look at a decision based on the Prospect Theory and that is by using a domain of gain or a domain of loss. A domain of gain is when an actor is risk adverse. It is unlikely that...