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For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the "national interest"-or even their subjects-unless they have to. This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.
Game theory is a fancy label for a simple idea: People compete, and they always do what they think is in their own best interest. A master practitioner whose forecasts have an amazing 90 percent accuracy rate, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses game theory and its insights into human behavior to predict and even engineer political, financial, and personal events. In this revelatory book, he shares his methods. Bueno de Mesquita games a range of high-stakes negotiations and conflicts, from the North Korean disarmament talks to the Middle East peace process; provides successful strategies to combat both global warming and terror; and shows how game theory can help you in your own life, whether you want to succeed in a lawsuit, elect the CEO of your company, or simply buy a car. Savvy and shockingly effective, The Predictioneer's Game will change how you understand the world and manage your future. Life's game, and how you play is whether you win or lose. Book jacket.
International relations through the ages
The Strategy of Campaigningexplores the political careers of Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin, two of the most galvanizing and often controversial political figures of our time. Both men overcame defeat early in their political careers and rose to the highest elected offices in their respective countries. The authors demonstrate how and why Reagan and Yeltsin succeeded in their political aspirations, despite-or perhaps because of-their apparent "policy extremism": that is, their advocacy of policy positions far from the mainstream. The book analyzes the viability of policy extremism as a political strategy that enables candidates to forge new coalitions and outflank conventional political allegiances. Kiron K. Skinner is Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Carnegie Mellon University, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the National Security Education Board. Serhiy Kudelia is Lecturer of Politics at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine and advisor to Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Condoleezza Rice is on a leave of absence from Stanford University, where she was a Professor of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is currently serving as U. S. Secretary of State.
In this landmark work, two leading theorists of international relations analyze the strategies designed to avoid international conflict. Using a combination of game theory, statistical analysis, and detailed case histories, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and David Lalman evaluate the conditions that promote negotiation, the status quo, capitulation, acquiescence, and war. The authors assess two competing theories on the role that domestic politics plays in foreign policy choices: one states that national decision makers are constrained only by the exigencies of the international system, and the other views leaders as additionally constrained by domestic political considerations. Finding the second theory to be more consistent with historical events, they use it to examine enduring puzzles such as why democracies do not appear to fight one another, whether balance of power or power preponderance promotes peaceful resolution of disputes, and what conditions are necessary and sufficient for nations to cooperate with one another. They conclude by speculating about the implications of their theory for foreign policy strategies in the post-Cold War world.
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