Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Rationality and the Analysis of International Conflict / Edition 1

Rationality and the Analysis of International Conflict / Edition 1


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In this book, Michael Nicholson outlines social scientific approaches to international relations and then 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, and 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 rigor in dealing with the problems of evidence and belief. Finally, Michael Nicholson discusses the philosophy of science, policy, and ethics. This book is both an exposition and a defense of a social scientific approach to international relations. With its emphasis on social scientific approaches, theory building and testing—and above all its clarity and accessibility—it provides students with a key to understanding the complex field of conflict analysis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521398107
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/13/2002
Series: Cambridge Studies in International Relations Series , #19
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction: rationality and the analysis of conflict; Part I. Conflict: 1. Concepts of conflict; 2. Social science and the study of conflict; Part II. Rational Behaviour: 3. Rationality and Conflict; 4. Conflict and the paradoxes of rationality; 5. The zero-sum game: solutions and interpretations; 6. Emotion and rationality; 7. International crises: the warping of rationality; Rational behaviour and rational choice: an assessment; Part III. Rational Belief: Some Topics in Conflict Analysis: 8. The statistical analysis of warlike phenomena; 9. Arms and arms races; 10. Ecology and the free-rider; 11. The theory of alliances; Part IV. Conclusion: 12. The critics; 13. Social science and values; References; Index.

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