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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He actively discourages a priori intenrational on theoretical preconceptions. Review by James B. The work is unassailably important. George was supposed to take care of Arthur.

To take one example, Jervis notes how often people want to oversell policies they like and seek to sublimate negative aspects of them in an attempt to avoid value trade-offs.

By contrast, an appreciation of the costs of the policy will make the decision-maker more sensitive to new evidence that other policies would be more effective than the one he has adopted. Of course I did not invent this concept, whose lineage goes back to Thucydides, but it was not highly salient when I wrote the first edition of Perception and Misperception.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis

In a contemporary application of Jervis’s ideas, some argue that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in in part because he misread the signals of American leaders with regard to the independence of Kuwait. These forces are reciprocal and integrated. Although earlier work had been done applying psychological concepts to political phenomena, most notably the work of Harold Lasswell in the s, none of that work really seeped into the subfield of international relations. Why the SA-2s were then not actually used when the U-2s first flew is another story, one that also can call on psychological theory.


Jervis is co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, a series published by Cornell University Press, and the member of numerous editorial review boards for scholarly journals.

Refresh and try again. Finally, he tests his ideas through a number of important events in international relations from nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history. iin

The other two are Joseph Nye and Kenneth Waltz. Jun 05, Glyn Phillips rated it it was amazing.

Jul 01, Mike rated it liked it Shelves: My second practical example also relates to habits of assessment. Definitely a bit redundant and wordy at times, but its substantive content is important enough that I’m still giving it five stars. He has actually worked as a historian, in his book Why Intelligence Fails, which did a very good job of unpacking and diagnosing assessments of Iran before the revolution and of Iraq before the U.

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. BrewerNorman Miller Snippet view – Human nature may be constant, but one of its constants lies in its sheer variance across individuals.

It would be difficult to overstate the extent to which Perception and Misperception has served as a foundational work in the field of international politics or the extent to which it has influenced the thinking of generations of students, scholars, and one hopes political leaders.

It is a terror for exactly the same reasons. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Perhaps this is splitting hairs, but I would argue that one perceptikn accomplish the latter, assuming a non-economic model of rationality. Jul 23, Mark Jacobsen rated it liked it.


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.

Quotes from Perception and Mi No doubt Perception and Misperception will retain its status as a foundational work for many years to come. In that realm, however, he has not yet had enough impact. We also discussed how the security dilemma can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. He is using the history to extract, catalogue, and label possibilities. These essays are rich with insights about international conflict that can be readily employed to assess current events.

Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (XXI)

Jervis is not saying that these behaviors are probable, just that they are quite possible, possibilities that therefore should be taken into account. Lloyd rated it really liked it Recommends it for: They are cautionary reminders about possible misperceptions.

The plot is convoluted even by film noir standards. His latest book is How Statesmen Think: Certainly, the individual is vital but their level of importance remains unknown. It suggests t This book is a must read for anyone that wants to understand jeris decisions in international politics are made.