Perception and Misperception in International Politics. By ROBERT. JERVIS. ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Pp. xi, $ cloth, $ . Jervis, R. (). Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton, Princeton. University Press. I. Chapter 1: Perception and the Level of Analysis. This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. The New.

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Definitely a bit redundant and wordy at times, but its A brilliant work that draws attention to the psychological factors influencing foreign policy decision-making and international relations. First, consider the character of government assessments and the problem of rationality.

Jul 12, Mark Uberuaga rated it liked it Shelves: Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty Cambridge: Finally, he tests his ideas through a number of important events in international relations from nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history. Those variants may exist within a series of structural constraints delimited by biological reality, but that is no different than states existing in an anarchic world, and that reality did not stop Realists from developing a parsimonious theory to characterize state behavior.

The other two are Joseph Nye and Kenneth Waltz. He also closes the book by noting how decision-makers might enhance the quality of those decisions and reduce the effects of misperception. The Untold Account of the Communist Threat. She received her Ph. For me, the most existentially troubling aspect of the work on the profound influence of unconscious biases of whatever sort on human decision-making lies in a question that Jervis raises in passing but does not address systematically; this conundrum surrounds the extent to which any of us can exert any real free will independent of forces that are beyond our control, and more often than not are driven by chance, such as when and where and to whom one is born.

Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: You must also try to estimate how the other will respond if he has intentions and perceptions that are different from those that you think he probably has. It seems fitting that these two books were published in the same year that Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, which, like the works of Jervis and Tversky and Kahneman, treats economic actors as full humans, rather than robotic utility maximizers.


Definitely a bit redundant and wordy at times, but its substantive content is important enough that I’m still giving it five stars. 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.

Instead coordinated actions, plans, and conspiracies are seen. But it is kept in a case off to the side.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis

Michael Trujillo rated it liked it May 21, I am especially glad that he selected people with experience in the policy world as well as those who have made their careers as research scholars; while my primary target is the academic community, the work has misperceprion implications.

Decisive to McCone was intelligence that the Soviets were installing their latest surface-to-air missile systems in Cuba. Spiral Model Security Dilemma, slow steps up spiral, positive view of enemy Cognitive Consistency — tendency to view new information according to believed framework, expectations based Percepton Dissonance — acknowledged evidence that does not meet framework, a conflict o Change behavior or anr Change belief Perception of centralization, rational actor model 1 Wishful Thinking — desires based, little proof Jervis makes arguments primarily from IR relations and psychology some history, some social science, some poly-sci Favors a interdisciplinary approach with free but not casual thought.

As Jervis notes in his pplitics of how liberals and conservatives differ in their acceptance of genetic determinism, by highlighting distinctions in their relative responses to arguments that attribute intelligence and homosexuality to such forces, few want to believe that biology drives destiny across all domains.

There is always tension between these two equally important missions in poliics diplomacy, and that tension is captured by the concept of the security dilemma: Halifax thereupon informed Chamberlain that Britain had to be prepared to go to war against Germany. This is true, unless, of course, one considers intelligent and historically rooted skepticism about clear theoretical interbational themselves to be a strong theoretical position.


Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Wnd 05, Aya Nader rated it really liked it. Theoretically, most of this work grew out of the fascination with Freudian psychoanalysis which permeated the intellectual environment of the social sciences at the time. Taken together, these two works provide a fascinating and substantive journey through the sophisticated, subtle and nuanced mind of one of the most important scholars in the history of international relations.

As such, in these books Jervis seems interested in explaining how leaders actually behaved, rather than how they should have behaved according to a pure, context-free theoretical logic. It’s all about poltics and acknowledging your own biases in order to accurately perceive the other actor’s intent and anticipate his own misperceptions of you.

Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (XXI)

Dan rated it really liked it Jul 17, If Jervis prefers to identify himself as a political scientist, fair enough. With System Effects, Jervis established himself as a social scientist as well as an expert in international politics.

Hostage Crisis in Iran: This second edition of Perception and Misperception includes a new page preface in which Jervis reflects on the original text and on developments in the field of political psychology.

Even so, this chapter is one of those where, the more you think about it, the internationnal destabilizing it is. Relevant work in biology, neuroscience, and genetics has been especially fruitful in the past decade but has received little attention from political scientists and is barely acknowledged by historians.

Steinberg, University Professor of Social Science, International Affairs and Law, Syracuse University F ew would question the extraordinary contribution Robert Jervis has made to both the study and to the practice of international relations.

Emotion and biology are intricately intertwined, just as both processes can exist in the conscious as well as unconscious realms.