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Why Leaders Fight

$30.99 (P)

  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107655676

$ 30.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • The history of political events is made by people. It doesn't exist without us. From wars to elections to political protests, the choices we make, our actions, how we behave, dictate events. Not all individuals have the same impact on our world and our lives. Some peoples' choices alter the pathways that history takes. In particular, national chief executives play a large role in forging the destinies of the countries they lead. Why Leaders Fight is about those world leaders and how their beliefs, world views, and tolerance for risk and military conflict are shaped by their life experiences before they enter office – military, family, occupation, and more. Using in-depth research on important leaders and the largest set of data on leader backgrounds ever gathered, the authors of Why Leaders Fight show that – within the constraints of domestic political institutions and the international system – who ends up in office plays a critical role in determining when and why countries go to war.

    • Proposes a new theory about how leaders shape national decisions about war and peace that will help bridge the gap between academics interested in the international system and everyday citizens who see the importance of leaders in their daily lives
    • By focusing on how the life experiences of leaders shape how they make decisions about international conflict, the book will appeal to academics outside of political science, such as those in psychology, public policy and history
    • Using both in-depth case studies and rigorous data analysis, the book will appeal to readers who care about case studies and examples, and to those interested in intensive data analysis
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The authors deftly dissect a notoriously difficult problem at the intersection of political science, history and psychology: when do attributes of leaders shape decisions to use force? And they make a compelling case that, naysayers notwithstanding, personality matters."
    Philip E. Tetlock, Annenberg University Professor, University of Pennsylvania

    "Why Leaders Fight restores the role of leaders to its rightful place in explaining the factors lead to international conflict. By integrating insights from history with the tools of modern social science and international relations theory, the authors offer a more comprehensive and nuanced framework for understanding what causes nations to go to war - insights that will be valued by policymakers and scholars alike."
    James B. Steinberg, Dean, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University and former US Deputy Secretary of State

    "Scholars have struggled to study systematically what policymakers have long understood intuitively: that individuals matter in foreign policy. This landmark study bridges that gap, arguing that the life-experience leaders bring into office shape their behavior in predictable ways. The debates this book will generate will advance the field considerably and be fodder for conversations in the seminar room and the corridors of power."
    Peter Feaver, Duke University, North Carolina

    "With brand new data and innovative methods illuminated by compelling narratives of leaders in action, Why Leaders Fight helps transform the truism 'leadership matters' from slogan to science. When all the external and internal pressures are reckoned, there is still room for choice in the great matters of international politics. Horowitz, Stam and Ellis show how the life experiences of the individuals who make those choices appear to influence their judgment in systematic and consequential ways. Future scholars may well look back to this book as the beginning of the end of the idea that a social science of international politics could safely set aside the individual level of analysis."
    William C. Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

    '[The authors'] theoretical and empirical contribution to the study of leaders will be felt for years - and many more presidential election cycles - to come.' Elizabeth Saunders, H-Diplo

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107655676
    • length: 228 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 35 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. How leaders matter
    2. Systematically evaluating leader risk
    3. Leader risk across geography and time
    4. The experiences that matter I: military, rebel, age, and education
    5. The experiences that matter II: childhood, family, and gender
    6. 'L'état c'est moi', … or is it?

  • Resources for

    Why Leaders Fight

    Michael C. Horowitz, Allan C. Stam, Cali M. Ellis

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  • Authors

    Michael C. Horowitz, University of Pennsylvania
    Michael C. Horowitz is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of the award-winning book, The Diffusion of Military Power. He has published widely in academic journals and mainstream media outlets on topics including the role of leaders in international politics, military innovation and the future of war, and forecasting. Professor Horowitz has worked at the Department of Defense, is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He received a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Political Science from Emory University, Atlanta.

    Allan C. Stam, University of Virginia
    Allan C. Stam is Dean of Leadership and Public Policy at the Frank Batten School at the University of Virginia. His work on war outcomes, durations, and mediation has appeared in numerous political science journals. Several grants have supported his work, including four from the National Science Foundation. His books include Win, Lose, or Draw (1996), Democracies at War (2002), and The Behavioral Origins of War (2004). He is the recipient of the 2004 Karl Deutsch award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under the age of forty who has made the greatest contribution to the study of international politics.

    Cali M. Ellis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Cali M. Ellis previously worked at the RAND Corporation, the Homeland Security Directorate of the Michigan National Guard, and the Michigan Governor's Office. She is a member of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, and her awards include the National Science Foundation IDEAS-IGERT Graduate Fellowship, the APSA Janet Box-Steffensmeier Award, the ProQuest Dissertation Writing Award, and a Distinguished Service Medal from the Michigan National Guard. Ellis has a BA in economics from Bates College, Maine and an MPP from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and has published in International Interactions (2015), the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (2013), PS: Political Science and Politics (2012), and the Journal of Applied Security Research (2008).

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