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Cambridge University Press

Reasoning of State: Realists, Romantics and Rationality in International Relations

Reasoning of State: Realists, Romantics and Rationality in International Relations

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Scholars and citizens tend to assume that rationality guides the decision-making of our leaders. Brian C. Rathbun suggests, however, that if we understand rationality to be a cognitive style premised on a commitment to objectivity and active deliberation, rational leaders are in fact the exception not the norm. Using a unique combination of methods including laboratory bargaining experiments, archival-based case studies, quantitative textual analysis and high-level interviews, Rathbun questions some of the basic assumptions about rationality and leadership, with profound implications for the field of international relations. Case studies of Bismarck and Richelieu show that the rationality of realists makes them rare. An examination of Churchill and Reagan, romantics in international politics who sought to overcome obstacles in their path through force of will and personal agency, show what less rationality looks like in foreign policy making.

Author: Brian C. Rathbun
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 04/04/2019
Pages: 350
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.10lbs
Size: 9.00h x 9.40w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9781108446181

About the Author
Rathbun, Brian C.: - Brian C. Rathbun is a Professor in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Partisan Interventions (2004), Trust in International Cooperation (2011) and Diplomacy's Value (2014), which won the best book award from the Diplomatic Studies Section of the International Studies Association. He has published articles in journals, such as International Organization, World Politics, International Security and International Studies Quarterly, among others.

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