Perception and misperception in international politics

This book is a must read for anyone that wants to understand how decisions in international politics are made. George was supposed to take care of Arthur. Drawing on this work, Jervis was able to examine the ways systematic and predictable biases in the human decision-making apparatus could influence leaders and enlighten our understanding of international relations. This is not to say that it is easy or the paths forward are clear.

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I thought it was only your husband you wanted to kill.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis

As with most of his observations, he is entirely correct with this one. Even tiny advantages can accumulate over long periods of time to shape human psychological mechanisms, having profound implications on traits as ubiquitous and important as out-group discrimination and warfare.

It suggests t This book is a must read for anyone that wants to understand how decisions in international politics are made. The strength of this is that we can rapidly make sense of complicated situations, but the downside is that we are very prone to misperception.

The first section provides a comprehensive and relatively concise introduction to the major topics and concepts in political psychology. I started out as a hawk, believing that the deterrence approach was appropriate to the conflict, but became less certain as a result of my research.

And the result is a fascinating approach to understanding the dynamics of international politics. Describes deterrence and spiral theory, points out the holes in each not that they are not useful, but that neither universally applies and posits that the real question in international relations is to figure out when it is appropriate to use which.

Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (XXI)

To understand successful and failed instances of deterrence or compellencewe need to comprehend not only the threatening and reassuring signals sent but how those signals are perceived by the target.

Jul 21, Nate Huston rated it it was amazing. How Statesmen Think provides a polittics edited compilation of previously published journal articles which all fall loosely under the umbrella of political psychology.

Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, and has been a member of the faculty since Adam Smith thought of himself as a natural philosopher before society gained enough wisdom to invent economists. Outlines Deterrence game of Chicken, overwhelming threat of force, negative view of enemy vs.

Thinking about how we think and how our adversaries think is very important. Lists with This Book. For instance, observers generally assume that the North Korean leaders are just doing more to aid regime survival, even as their policies—at least during the last five years—are having the foreseeable effect of reducing the odds of regime survival. There is some overlap between the material covered in Perception and Misperception and the essays in How Statesmen Think, and even among the twelve essays in the latter volume.

Author's thesis is that, while many treat misperceptions as random accidents, they can in fact often be predicted and avoided. We often talk about international politics as a game of poker; but a much better analogy is the Japanese short story and movie Rashomonwhich tells the same tale from the vantage point of four participants who see it in wildly different ways. Jervis leads his readers into a disturbing maze of mirrors, where people sometimes really do shoot at fractured reflections of reality.

In Septemberduring the ongoing Czech crisis, the British Foreign Office was debating how to assess the intentions of the German dictator, Adolf Hitler. Jervis proved that, once a leader believed something, that perception would influence the way the leader perceived all other relevant information.

This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. Jim Ellis rated it it was amazing Jan 24, This is understandable given the fact that the twelve essays were originally inetrnational as stand-alone pieces.

Much as I like work on mispercwption, which was the topic of my dissertation and the book that proceeded Perception and Misperception, [29] it makes heroic assumptions about how signals are perceived and acted upon. My second practical example also relates to habits of assessment.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics

He participated in the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a high-level research program on nuclear proliferation. She received her Ph. Instead, I imagine that a Jervis-like approach would invite a set of almost novelistic recreations of possible North Korean perceptions, perdeption processes, and outcomes—grounded in whatever evidence was available.

This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. Misperception as a term is problematic.

Instead the US, like most other nations, has believed that others will see that the desire for security underlies its actions.

Imagine such an assessment right now on the very important issue of possible North Korean intentions if the government was armed with certain nuclear capabilities.

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