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The Cybernetic Theory of Decision : New Dimensions of Political Analysis - John D. Steinbruner

The Cybernetic Theory of Decision

New Dimensions of Political Analysis

Paperback Published: 25th August 2002
ISBN: 9780691094878
Number Of Pages: 392

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In this classic work, John Steinbruner argues that the time is ripe for exploration of a new theoretical perspective on the decision-making process in government. He suggests that the cybernetic theory of decision as developed in such diverse fields as information theory, mathematical logic, and behavioral psychology generates a systematic but non-rational analysis that seems to explain quite naturally decisions that are puzzling when viewed from the rational perspective. When combined with the basic understanding of human mental operations developed in cognitive psychology, the cybernetic theory of decision presents a striking picture of how decision makers deal with the intense uncertainty and fundamental value conflicts that arise in bureaucratic politics. To illustrate the advantages of using cybernetic theory, Steinbruner analyzes the issue of sharing nuclear weapons among the NATO allies.

Industry Reviews

"A stimulating and challenging work, almost two books in one, which applies cybernetics and psychology to the politics of the multilateral nuclear force and the nuclear sharing issue in the period of 1956-1964. Steinbruner's important and creative study successfully adds a new dimension to our understanding of decision-making."--Foreign Affairs "Likely to prove one of those few path-breaking efforts of conceptual synthesis which will be influencing our thinking about government and policy-making for many years to come."--I. M. Destler, Arms Control Today

List of Figuresp. ix
Preface to the Second Paperback Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xxi
Introductionp. 3
Paradigms of the Decision Process
The Analytic Paradigmp. 25
The Cybernetic Paradigmp. 47
Cognitive Processesp. 88
Politics and Policyp. 140
The Politics of Nuclear Sharing 1956-1964
Strains in the Alliance: Genesis of a Two-Value Problemp. 153
The Development of Nuclear Sharing Proposals: 1956-1960p. 173
The Rise of the Multilateral Force: 1961-1963p. 199
Asendancy and Sudden Death of the Multilateral Force: 1963-1964p. 327
Epilogue: Conclusions and Implicationsp. 327
Bibliographyp. 343
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691094878
ISBN-10: 069109487X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 25th August 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.56
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised