Reasoning of State - pr_36316

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.

Product code: 9781108446181

ISBN 9781108446181
No. Of Pages 350
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H228xW152xS18
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Cambridge Studies in International Relations
International relations scholars typically assume the rationality of foreign policy makers when in fact leaders systematically vary in the rationality of their thinking. Through case studies of leaders like Churchill and Reagan, Rathbun shows that the imposed standard of rationality, based in objectivity and deliberation, was often absent.