"War and Reason" by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

War and Reason Domestic and International Imperatives Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, David Lalman

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
23 Feb 1994
ISBN:
9780300059229
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
336 pages: 241 x 159mm

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.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of political science at the University of Rochester, is the author of The War Trap and coauthor of Forecasting Political Events: The Future of Hong Kong. David Lalman is assistant professor of political science at the University of Maryland. 

Using a combination of game theory, statistical analysis, and detailed case histories, two leading theorists of international relations here analyze the strategies designed to avoid international conflict. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and David Lalman evaluate the conditions that promote negotiation, the status quo, capitulation, acquiescence, and war in a book that is "a must-read for anyone concerned with foreign policy decision-making."?Bruce Russett, Yale University


"This book represents a rare achievement: it sheds real light on a number of the most important questions in international relations, it combines formal, historical, and empirical data analysis in a fashion that is almost unique, and the quality of the narrative is superb."?George W. Downs, Princeton University


"War and Reason is an innovative and far-ranging work that redefines the state of the art and extends our knowledge about interstate conflict and cooperation. It is the most significant application to date of game-theory to the question of war and peace."?Frank C. Zagare, International Relations


"A stunning success. [This book] combines a rigorous, formal approach with quantitative analysis and case studies. The result is a significant advance in the understanding of war and international relations in general. . . . This book is essential reading."?Patrick James, Canadian Journal of Political Science


"War and Reason is an important book. It is a solid piece of social science analysis, a true contribution to what is probably the most rigorous and careful literature in the study of international relations. . . . Students of international security will be referring to it for years to come. In sum, the book is important not because it is the last word on the causes of war, but because it is the first word in what will undoubtedly be a long and fruitful discourse on the causes of international conflict."?Michael Gilligan, Journal of International Affairs