Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Rethinking Allison's Models

  • Jonathan Bendor (a1) and Thomas H. Hammond (a2)
Abstract

The ideas in Graham Allison's Essence of Decision (1971) have had an enormous impact on the study and teaching of bureaucracy and foreign policy making. While Allison's work has received considerable critical attention, there has been surprisingly little examination of the content and internal logic of his models. We subject each of Allison's three models to a systematic critical analysis. Our conclusion is that the models require substantial reformulation.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Allison, Graham. 1969. “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” American Political Science Review 63:689718.
Allison, Graham. 1971. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Boston: Little, Brown.
Allison, Graham, and Halperin, Morton. 1972. “Bureaucratic Politics: A Paradigm and Some Policy Implications.” In Theory and Policy in International Relations, ed. Tanter, Raymond and Ullman, Richard. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Allyn, Bruce J., Blight, James G., and Welch, David A.. 1989/1990. “Essence of Revision: Moscow, Havana, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” International Security 14:136172.
Art, Robert. 1973. “Bureaucratic Politics and American Foreign Policy: A Critique.” Policy Sciences 4:467–90.
Ball, Desmond. 1974. “The Blind Men and the Elephant: A Critique of Bureaucratic Politics Theory.” Australian Outlook 28:7192.
Bendor, Jonathan. 1985. Parallel Systems: Redundancy in Government. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Bendor, Jonathan. 1987. “In Good Times and Bad: Reciprocity in an Uncertain World.” American Journal of Political Science 31:531–58.
Bendor, Jonathan, and Hammond, Thomas H.. 1989. “Rethinking Allison's Models.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta.
Bendor, Jonathan, Taylor, Serge, and Van Gaalen, Roland. 1987. “Stacking the Deck: Bureaucratic Missions and Policy Design.” American Political Science Review 81:873–96.
Blight, James, Nye, Joseph Jr.,, and Welch, David. 1987. “The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited.” Foreign Affairs 66:170–88.
Blight, James, and Welch, David. 1989. On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Hill & Wang.
Bobrow, Davis. 1972. International Relations. New York: Foreign Policy Association.
Bouchard, Joseph F. 1991. Command in Crisis: Four Case Studies. New York: Columbia University Press.
Brugioni, Dino A. 1991. Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Random House.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce. 1981. The War Trap. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce. 1985. “The War Trap Revisited: A Revised Expected Utility Model.” American Political Science Review 79:156–77.
Caldwell, Dan. 1977. “Bureaucratic Foreign Policy-Making.” American Behavioral Scientist 21:87110.
Carroll, Lewis. 1893. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. London: Macmillan.
Cornford, J. P. 1974. Review of Essence of Decision by Graham Allison. British Journal of Political Science 4:231–43.
Cyert, Richard, and March, James. 1963. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Dahl, Robert A., and Lindblom, Charles E.. 1953. Politics, Economics, and Welfare. New York: Harper & Row.
Downs, Anthony. 1967. Inside Bureaucracy. Boston: Little, Brown.
Freedman, Lawrence. 1976. “Logic, Politics, and Foreign Policy Processes: A Critique of the Bureaucratic Politics Model.” International Affairs 52:434–49.
Gallucci, Robert L. 1975. Neither Peace nor Honor: The Politics of American Military Policy in Viet-Nam. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Garthoff, Raymond. 1988. “Cuban Missile Crisis: The Soviet Story.” Foreign Policy 72:6180.
Garthoff, Raymond L. 1989. Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rev. ed. Washington: Brookings Institution.
George, Alexander. 1980. Presidential Decisionmaking in Foreign Policy. Boulder: Westview Press.
Grofman, Bernard, Owen, Guillermo, and Feld, Scott. 1983. “Thirteen Theorems in Search of the Truth.” Theory and Decision 15:261–78.
Gulick, Luther. 1937. “Notes on the Theory of Organization.” In Papers on the Science of Administration, ed. Gulick, Luther and Urwick, Lyndall. New York: Columbia University.
Halperin, Morton H. 1974. Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy. Washington: Brookings Institution.
Hammond, Thomas H. 1986. “Agenda Control, Organizational Structure, and Bureaucratic Politics.” American Journal of Political Science 30:380420.
Hammond, Thomas H. N.d. “Toward a General Theory of Hierarchy: Books, Bureaucrats, Basketball Tournaments, and the Administrative Structure of the Nation-State.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Forthcoming.
Hammond, Thomas H., and Thomas, Paul A.. 1989. “The Impossibility of a Neutral Hierarchy.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 5:155–84.
Hampson, Fen. 1984/1985. “The Divided Decision-Maker: American Domestic Politics and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” International Security 9:130–65.
Hogarth, Robin. 1987. Judgment and Choice. 2d ed. New York: Wiley.
Holsti, Ole. 1972. Review of Essence of Decision by Graham Allison. Western Political Quarterly 25:136–40.
Huntington, Samuel. 1961. The Common Defense. New York: Columbia University Press.
Jefferies, Chris. 1977. “Defense Decisionmaking in the Organizational-Bureaucratic Context.” In American Defense Policy, 4th ed., ed. Endicott, John and Stafford, Roy Jr., Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Jervis, Robert. 1976. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Keohane, Robert. 1984. After Hegemony. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kohl, Wilfrid. 1975. “The Nixon-Kissinger Foreign Policy System and U.S.-European Relations.” World Politics 28:143.
Krasner, Steven. 1972. “Are Bureaucracies Important? (Or Allison Wonderland).” Foreign Policy 7:159–79.
Kurth, James. 1971. “The Widening Gyre: The Logic of American Weapons Procurement.” Public Policy 19:373404.
Landau, Martin. 1969. “Redundancy, Rationality, and the Problem of Duplication and Overlap.” Public Administration Review 29:346–58.
Landau, Martin. 1972. Political Science and Political Theory. New York: Macmillan.
Levy, Jack. 1986. “Organizational Routines and the Causes of War.” International Studies Quarterly 30:193222.
Long, Norton. 1954. “Public Policy and Administration: The Goals of Rationality and Responsibility.” Public Administration Review 14:2231.
Luce, R. Duncan, and Raiffa, Howard. 1957. Games and Decisions. New York: Wiley.
Lukas, Anthony. 1987. “Class Reunion: Kennedy's Men Relive the Cuban Missile Crisis.” New York Times Magazine, 30 August.
March, James G., and Shapira, Zur. 1982. “Behavioral Decision Theory and Organizational Decision Theory.” In Decision Making: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry, ed. Ungson, Gerardo and Braunstein, Daniel. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
March, James G., and Simon, Herbert A.. 1958. Organizations. New York: Wiley.
Morrow, James. 1989. “Capabilities, Uncertainty, and Resolve: A Limited Information Model of Crisis Bargaining.” American Journal of Political Science 33:941–72.
Nisbett, Richard and Ross, Lee. 1980. Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Perlmutter, Amos. 1974. “The Presidential Political Center and Foreign Policy: A Critique of the Revisionist and Bureaucratic-Political Orientations.” World Politics 27:87106.
Posen, Barry. 1984. The Sources of Military Doctrine. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Peterson, Paul E. 1976. School Politics, Chicago Style. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Powell, Robert. 1990. Nuclear Deterrence Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rourke, Francis. 1969. Bureaucracy, Politics, and Public Policy. Boston: Little, Brown.
Rourke, Francis. 1972. Review of Essence of Decision by Graham Allison. Administrative Science Quarterly 71:431–33.
Sapolsky, Harvey. 1972. The Polaris System Development: Bureaucratic and Programmatic Success in Government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Schelling, Thomas. 1960. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Schilling, Warner. 1962. “The Politics of National Defense: Fiscal 1950.” In Strategy, Politics, and Defense Budgets, ed. Schilling, Warner, Hammond, Paul, and Snyder, Glenn. New York: Columbia University Press.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr., 1965. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
Scott, W. Richard. 1981. Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. 2d ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Simon, Herbert A. 1947. Administrative Behavior. New York: Macmillan.
Simon, Herbert A. 1957. Models of Man: Social and Rational. New York: Wiley.
Simon, Herbert A. 1973. “Applying Information Technology to Organization Design.” Public Administration Review 33:268–78.
Simon, Herbert A., Smithburg, Donald, and Thompson, Victor. 1950. Public Administration. New York: Knopf.
Snyder, Glenn H., and Diesing, Paul. 1977. Conflict among Nations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Sorensen, Theodore C. 1965. Kennedy. New York: Harper & Row.
Steinbruner, John. 1974. The Cybernetic Theory of Decision. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Taylor, Frederick W. [1911] 1947. The Principles of Scientific Management. Reprint. New York: Harper & Row.
Taylor, Serge. 1984. Making Bureaucracies Think: The Environmental Impact Statement Strategy of Administrative Reform. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Thompson, James C. 1980. Rolling Thunder: Understanding Policy and Program failure. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Thompson, James D., and Tuden, Arthur. 1959. “Strategies, Structures, and Processes of Organizational Decision.” In Comparative Studies in Administration, ed. Thompson, James D. et al. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Trachtenberg, Marc. 1985. “The Influence of Nuclear Weapons in the Cuban Missile Crisis.” International Security 10:137203.
Tsebelis, George. 1989. “The Abuse of Probability in Political Analysis: The Robinson Crusoe Fallacy.” American Political Science Review 83:7791.
Tullock, Gordon. 1965. The Politics of Bureaucracy. Washington: Public Affairs Press.
Wagner, R. Harrison. 1974. “Dissolving the State: Three Recent Perspectives on International Relations.” International Organization 28:435–66.
Wagner, R. Harrison. 1989. “Uncertainty, Rational Learning, and Bargaining in the Cuban Missile Crisis.” In Models of Strategic Choice in Politics, ed. Ordeshook, Peter. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Welch, David A., and Blight, James G.. 1987/1988. “The Eleventh Hour of the Cuban Missile Crisis: An Introduction to the ExComm Transcripts.” International Security 12:592.
Williamson, Samuel. 1979. “Theories of Organizational Process and Foreign Policy Outcomes.” In Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy, ed. Lauren, Paul. New York: Free Press.
Yanarella, Ernest. 1975. “‘Reconstructed Logic’ and ‘Logic-in-Use’ in Decision-Making Analysis: Graham Allison.” Polity 8:156–72.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed