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Rationality and the Analysis of International Conflict : Cambridge Studies in International Relations (Paperback) - Michael Nicholson

Rationality and the Analysis of International Conflict

Cambridge Studies in International Relations (Paperback)

By: Michael Nicholson, Steve Smith (Editor), Thomas Biersteker (Editor), Chris Brown (Editor), Phil Cerny (Editor)

Paperback Published: 1st June 1992
ISBN: 9780521398107
Number Of Pages: 280

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This book is both an exposition and a defence of a social scientific approach to conflict in international relations. Professor Nicholson addresses two central questions. To what extent can we usefully discuss behaviour in violent or potentially violent international conflict as rational? How do we formulate and test theories in international relations so that we can rationally believe in them? After outlining social scientific approaches to international relations, the author describes the problems of rational decision making in conflict situations. He shows how rationality is in many strategic situations hard to define and often leads to paradoxes such as the prisoners' dilemma. Psychological stress can further result in the distortion of decision processes in times of crisis. Professor Nicholson pays particular attention to such distortions and also analyses how unconscious motivation relates to the rational choice framework. In the following part, the author explores rational beliefs about the international system. He examines theories of arms races, alliances and the international problems of ecology. Here he is critical of the classical school of international relations for a lack of rigour in dealing with the problems of evidence and belief. Finally, he discusses the philosophy of science, policy and ethics. With its emphasis on social scientific approaches, theory building and testing--and above all its clarity and accessibility--Rationality and the analysis of international conflict provides students with a key to understanding the complex field of conflict analysis. This book will therefore be core reading for courses on international relations, and it will also be read bystudents and specialists of political science and economics.

Industry Reviews

'The work explores, from a philosophical basis, the various aspects of rationality, as well as its inherent dilemmas, as applied to the study of the arms race as well as to that of alliances, in most cases ending up with persuasively common sense-like suggestions ... the work is not overburdened with mathematical formulae, but for the most part written in a fluent style, appealing to the layman as well as the specialist.' Nod and Conversion

Introduction: rationality and the analysis of conflict
Concepts of conflict
Social science and the study of conflict
Rational Behaviour
Rationality and Conflict
Conflict and the paradoxes of rationality
The zero-sum game: solutions and interpretations
Emotion and rationality
International crises: the warping of rationality
Rational behaviour and rational choice: an assessment
Rational Belief: Some Topics in Conflict Analysis
The statistical analysis of warlike phenomena
Arms and arms races
Ecology and the free-rider
The theory of alliances
The critics
Social science and values
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521398107
ISBN-10: 052139810X
Series: Cambridge Studies in International Relations (Paperback)
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 1st June 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.76 x 15.14  x 1.98
Weight (kg): 0.35

Earn 119 Qantas Points
on this Book