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TitleReasoning of state : Realists, romantics and rationality in international relations / Brian C. Rathbun
ImprintNew York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2019
Descript xi, 333 pages ; 23 cm


"Scholars and citizens tend to assume that rationality guides the decision making of our leaders. Brian 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 our 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"-- Provided by publisher


The psychology of rationality: Cognitive style in international relations -- The three R§s of international relations: Realism, romanticism and rationality -- Little Bismarcks: A laboratory experiment on variation in rational thinking and rational behavior -- The "Prince" among men: Bismarck§s realpolitik in Prussian politics -- Cold blood and iron: Bismarck, the struggle with Austria and German unification -- Blind faith: Richelieu, the devoted, and France in counter-reformation Europe -- "Blood, toil, tears and sweat": Churchill, romanticism and the rational appeasement debate -- "In defeat, defiance": Churchill in words (1935-39) and in deeds (1940) -- "Beginning the world all over again": resolving the paradox of Ronald Reagan -- Winning one as the Gipper?: Reagan§s administration and American engagement with the Soviet Union -- Conclusion : the irrationality of rational choice: Saving a paradigm from itself

Political realism International relations -- Decision making Richelieu Armand Jean du Plessis duc de 1585-1642 Bismarck Otto Fèurst von 1815-1898 Churchill Winston 1874-1965 Reagan Ronald France -- Foreign relations -- 1610-1643 Prussia (Germany) -- Foreign relations -- 1815-1870 Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- 1936-1945 United States -- Foreign relations -- 1981-1989

Political Science Library327.1019 R234RCHECK SHELVES

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