You are on page 1of 24

Rationality in International Relations Author(s): Miles Kahler Source: International Organization, Vol. 52, No.

4, International Organization at Fifty: Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics (Autumn, 1998), pp. 919-941 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 19/04/2011 13:53
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

The MIT Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to International Organization.

Rationality International in Relations
Miles Kahler

The roleofreasonin international relations beencontested has sincetheeighteenth The of of raison and century. construction a sphere calculated state action, d'etat, an imageof thebalanceofpowersuggested Enlightenment an equilibrium compreas Even at thetime, the hensible human to reasonas a clockwork. however, obsessive of the illustrated andoften self-defeating war-making LouisXIV andFrederick Great of limits a in theirrationality collective of outcomes and thefailure self-imposed I During nineteenth in world d'e6tat. the industrial grounded raison century, advancing of to and capitalism promised overcome passionsin theinterest human progress, modem of political economy reinforced belief the that individual calculations interestcouldleadtobeneficial International socialoutcomes. politics, however, only was partially captured theforce reason. by of The questioning reasondeepened thetwentieth of in century modem as psycholthe and self.Democratic meant ogyundermined imageof a unified rational politics that phantom an elitist state-centered the of and rationality wouldremain elusive. of Disastrous international outcomes-the failure cooperation the1930s, monuin the mental carnageof two worldwars-producedpessimism regarding powerof the human reasonto comprehend realmofinternational the and competition to contain thepassions ideology nationalism. of and

and International Relations Reason,Rationality, American
As thestudy international World of relations tookshapein theUnitedStatesafter WarI, however, theseshocksto reasonin all of its guises-a modelof individual of an international and psychology, avenuefor comprehending reality, an instrument
The author wishes thank to Alexander Thompson theother and participants the in University Chicago of of on PIPES seminar, Arthur Stein, John McMillan, thespecialeditors thisissuefortheir and comments earlier drafts. 1. Kissinger 1994,66. 1998,pp. 919-941 52, International Organization 4, Autumn of ? 1998byThe 10 Foundation theMassachusetts and Institute Technology

as subject thesameregularities other to as spheres sociallife. Incorrectly labeledidealist. domestic international."3 was notalone amongrealists questioning this He in the dominant liberal embrace reason. that and self thesestrands. cataclysm World a in progressive hopesfor world whichrational and institutional planning role.By the1930s. of pioneers in thenewfield begunto adoptthemodelof natural had sciencefortheir research. assailedthecurrent He intellectual consensus "a repudiation politics. HansMorgenthau intellectual ammunition theEuropean from for cataclysm a realist on attack prevailing liberalideology. Although Freudian particularly werenotforeign to psychoanalysis. perspective was broadly felt A that liberal materialand istassumeda central place. theage sciences. an drawn from European socialtheory and philosophy theimageof a unified rational had been overturned. In Scientific Man Versus PowerPolitics. 3. thetimeof itsentry American belife. 2." as of a a offeringfalsehopeofmelioratingsocial worlddriven irrationality. Charles Merriam. of John Herzalso pointed an underlying to in irrationalitythe 2. international The roots realism in currents European of of lay that thought hadundermined the of Realisminjected awareness reign reason. conflict theprevailing with in consensus American relations. HaroldLasswell. Morgenthau 1946. tween realism rationalism politics more and in was confrontational complementhan tary. and of contradict assumption. declaredthat"our civilization assumes by Morgenthau the that social worldis susceptible rational to control conceived after modelof the thenatural whiletheexperiences. coreconcept realism.entirely not disappointed thepostwar management international of economic but relations. American social science. the of reason Political and persecution war also produced emigration European an of scholars whoserealist tenets werefar more the of pessimistic regarding abilities reasonto comprehend to curbtheviolent and of tendencies world Thosebeliefs werein sharp politics. Those designwouldplay a larger in hopes were.and Quincy Wright assumed human that reason couldilluminate international relations thesameway in it that had comprehended economy political the and behavior.2 At thesametime.the attack postwar launched realismagainstwhatit by regarded naiveliberalism a misconceived as and scientific positivist was enterprise At into intellectual therelationship deeper.920 International Organization progress-were onlyfaintly. early In of of formulations thesecurity a dilemma. . Two events shooktherationalist of thisliberal faith and nascent social scientific The of WarII produced enterprise. liketheliberal materialists. human reasonin thisview to continued offer possibility collective the of over that mastery theforces had preworld cipitated war. Thisaccount interwar of international in relations theUnited States drawn is from Kahler1997. international relations defined social scientific was in terms.71. the Theyembedded of in study world politics a broader from political analysis stretched individuals that tonational to those governmentstheinteraction among governments. theonsetof theCold Warundermined lingering hopesthat collective couldovercome force ideology. after published immediately World War drew II.

Stephanson 1989.thesmaller roleof foreign policydecisions a relatively to nolms when compared domestic politics.6 counter thisforceful tempoto represented neoclassical Running but insertion American in international relations more were counrary European powerful to tendencies reinforced rationalist relations: that tervailing approaches international of economic the maximization construct to a analysis exploited assumption utility of socialsciences. theother On hand. The contenders limited have their to principal disputation therelative powerofrational for andnonrational modelsas behavioral foundations international relations. theintrusionofemotion-laden issuesofidentity that modelsmust subbe suggest rationalist or modified abandoned. largercontroversies surrounding or whether a scienceofinternational relations serving a progressive as constructing meansforameliorating international the realm-weresetaside. wereintellectual allies. the On one hand. international relations realism and absorbed what Dorothy Ross has of best calledthe"individualistic ahistorical and premises liberal exceptionalism. stantially reason's powers and possibilitiesOther. life. Rationality Contemporary and International Relations Sincethedomestication realism. Herz 1951.cognitive inadequacy.473. deterrence theory. 6.4 engaged thepractice ofdiplomacy. Episteof issuescontinue divide socialsciences.5 in Realistskepticism the toward powerofreason. barriers a the to consistent of interests and pursuit national imposed domestic by politics.Rationality International in Relations 921 interdependence human of beingsand thesimultaneous "necessity distrusting for thosesamefellow Realists in andpossibly destroying" beings.rational individualist and modelsseem to fitthefrequent of delegation authoritative to smallelite. Moreimportant.180-81.butdomestic the deployed politics demanded publicattachment liberal a to for aspirations international improvement. controversies of the in surrounding rationality postwarAmerican international relations have been muchmorenarrowly defined. interaction research program was theenvy theother that strategic and beganto yieldto thepowerof gametheory itsintemational relations offshoot." in economics. thehigh and costsofcognitive in failure international interaction. as George such Kennan.skeptical claimsfor of of a scientific study politics. grounded European intellectual in home.16. accountwill excludethosewho seek to "dethrone" reason(usingJonElster'sterm)and radically undermine the in most international relations scholars research enterprise which participate.Although somerethe centchallenges rationalist to call enexplanations intoquestion social scientific this and terprise its philosophical underpinnings. 5. . was soonpurged itsnewAmerican American policymakers have may realist tenets their in contest with SovietUnion. most those to the but considered mological 4. Ross 1991.

of accounts is here instrumental the Still. seldomadvanceda coherent have program thefield. permitting explanatory powerrather thantheoretical polemicto decidethecontest.9 for of be Another intellectual tournamentthis kind might preempted demonstrating by modelsand thevalueofa competitive exchange between thoseendorsing rationalist for their rather an all-or-nothing than contest or critics. Previous great debates. 9. this 8. . a methfrom to such too-easy aggregation individual collectivity. of reasonand rationality are defined inbroadly terms. already discerned fieldsof research: willingness either side to emphasize a particular by problemfocused research.andRuggie. Zalewski. accepting narrower In the terms controversy. feasible outcome.8 proponents rational the to choicemodelsas imperialistic Nevertheless.andFriedman and 1996.922 Intemational Organization here. Whether field has reached agreement themeaning "understanding"an issuetoo largeto conon of is sider in here.Rationalist to their treatments already have beenchallenged extend scope and refine of their modeling. thosewho are skeptical suchaccounts of (from number a have been pressedto reinforce rigorof their perspectives) the arguments to and define in domains which rational choiceandtheproposed alternatives themost carry explanatory weight.myownbelief that is broadcanons evidence argument thesocial of and sciences widely are shared.itwouldbe premature argue convergence rational be One can in principal competitors.7 On thenarrower of and modelsprovide a ground whether rationality rationalist basis forconstructing reconstructing) field international of (or the relations. 1996. see and Booth. alan legedaffinity between rational choicemodelsand traditional state-centric viewsof international politicsas well as a long-standing embrace gametheory until of has conflict recently insulated international relations from increasingly an acrimonious between of choice and their critics other in social sciences. pragmatically deploy their theories in order understand substance international the to the of relations. Fora different oftheimportance epistemological of view concerns. Rationaland nonrational accounts share One considered greater at is methodological shortcomings. length later. of leveledby either side also demonstrates that Carefulscrutiny thecriticisms of differences between rational nonrational often revolve around and questions definition. see indiversityslippery for who a to unwillingness confront empirical 7. Kahler1997. problem. however. See Green Shapiro1994. current tendency setup rational targets yetanother risks fruitless time-consuming and "great debate"ininternational or relations. issue. Smith. to the Twoadditional equally and important observations serve obscure linesinthe sand thatare often drawnon either side. from rational choicetosocialconstructivist. Confronting shared couldalso contribute intellectual to between rational odological problems exchange andnonrational modesofexplanation. producing victory defeat one side. variety rationalist a target critics. Giventhewaves of "bashing"thattoo often occuron either to for between choiceandits side. whether maxi-(realism versus idealism) miniresearch (neorealism versus neoliberalism).

usually a subjective ranking thefeasible then. thecomparison linkage choice. itsrelationthe has theorizing been uneasy. choicetheory appealsto three rational which (are of The first is set. rationalist models often thecenter at is of Sincethe"thickness" individualism rationalist and of choicecan serveas a Elster'sdefinition rational ofdisputes overtheir usefulness.2. theother on For rational shortcomings. thoseemploying represent monolithic a that of the variety undermines allegations somecritics they John Ferethe between what revolve around distinction intellectual both its classical.4. to) oftheoutcomes which to they (areexpected lead. Arrow 1994. Elster1986a. . Criticisms of To assumption accounts. latter simple as assumptions-such thoseconManyoftheseauxiliary and preferences beliefs.such choiceframes.'2 element thefeasible plymeansto choosethehighest-ranked or as Whether "thin"definition remains sucha relatively empty inaccurate. of As useful benchmark.'0 criticisms of the of goals-lie atthecoreofmany cerning possibility other-regarding choice.Relations 923 in Rationality International hand. of is importance. reasonable a will individualist need approaches accounts suggest. Realismhas often searchprograms international of and state but beenpaired with assumption a rational unitary actor. rational the that definitional misunderstanding exaggerates linesofdisAnother important and of individualism rational is conflation methodological agreement thecommon of in As the given roots both economics. Ferejo'nn 1991. ofrationalist constructivist and "I socialcontent.. supplant modify. Psychological assaults form itsneorealist structural and and maximizing 10. some of the policy explanation foreign critics allege. 12. economic believed satisfy to) rationally of The secondis (a setofrational beliefs about)thecausalstructure thesituation. nalist intellectual for side a Defining benchmark thenonrational of thiscontemporary The of is than the contest evenmorecontentious establishing meaning rationality.physical. third which what determines courseofaction from ranking a of derived alternatives. powership withrationalist on variants.or provides basis fora far-reaching in over of outcomes beencentral controversies thepower ratiohas andinternational models international in relations. The is willlead to what outcomes. rationalist accounts another question central as of modelshaveconfronted persistent four sources criticism thereRationalist of relations evolvedafter1945.To actrationally. 14-18. and accounts anddo incorporate can notimply rationality.thesetofall courses action constraints. 4. and various logical. in either altercritics rational of choicemodels international relations propose diverse in for on nativenonrational explanations behavior thepartof agents international for of account the or the relations call intoquestion scopeandaccuracy a rationalist or in Whether thesealternatives behavior question. an explanation behavior.e.2. element thefeasible i. in distinct elements thechoicesituation. complement. simin set. Sen 1995. theformer's john terms"thin"and "thick"rational agent regarding the addsauxiliary assumptions instrumental rationality. 11.

taming but realismand renderingscientific alsobeentheprogram structural it has of realism neorealism).Elster notes the of choiceinfavor that accounts purestructuralist deny importance rational of of structural constraints. Reason and Neorealism An elective between international relations rationalist and modelshas often affinity beenbasedon theassumptions realism. states. 14.165. (or Kenneth the Waltz'sneorealism of represented finaldomestication realismby American social science.whether bureaucratic organizations. interest groups. or Finally.15 by tighter looserstructural 13. Normacritical stance toward Morgenthau's tiveprescriptions calculation prudence of that and understood rasuggested realism in behavior far from universal international tional as politics. a final of choiceparadigm farmore is within rational a uncerincorporation realism tain. identity. microfoundations rationalism already has beendescribed.contemporary to criticisms share individualthe istpremises rational of choicemodels dispute claims but its regarding informationthe processing powers agents. hisemphahis and but analogies in sis on structure seemstoplaceneorealism a different methodological camp. by study the of and rendered less it international relations obscured earlier history realism himsubversive rational of choicemodels. The relationship classical of American study international to modelsof state behavior moretenuous is thanlatter-day realists realism rational The domestication realism theAmerican of of care to admit.924 International Organization rational choicecanbe traced Freud. Keohane1986b. however. or This secondvariant be accommocan constraints. 15.modified A version structuralism-which approach may in Waltz'sposition-assumes and and uniformitypreferences motivations attributes in to in differences behavior differences theopportunity which couldbe defined set. Waltzdrew between enterprise microeconomics.1986. Waltz1979. rationality theindividualism beliefsis questhe and of tioned theories stress by that culture. cal realism Waltz'sstluctural and are variant.113-14. Morgenthau from of selfadopted rational reconstruction theviewpoint actors a meansofcomas prehending foreign policy. Elster1984. of which claimed dominant has a placeinthe of relations since 1945. of Bothrationalist psychological and modelsshare third a hurdle explaining in international outcomes: constructing a plausible modelofaction forentities beyond individual the level.13 Waltzself-consciously aimedto produce social sciena tific version realism removed of from anti-scientific modelofpowerpolitics far the endorsed theyounger Whether Waltz'sneorealism represented also by Morgenthau. Thismarriage realist of tenets rationalist and models took of place mostclearlyin theevolution deterrence theory. . norms independent and as sources of action.In Politics Among Nations. Robert Keohaneattributed 0. a rationality to Although assumption bothclassi14 the ofboth unclear.

164-65. Waltz1979. congruence The loom between rationalist a modelandthe and of decision makers psychological information-processing limitations individual that has preoccupied scholars. Georgeplumbed puzzling of of a that and recurrent leadership style Woodrow Wilson. the of structural constraints international of competition selection. style gave evidence a 19 conflict which somehow to self-defeat. George George1964. he three assumptions define "hardcore"of a realist key that the research includesWaltzwithin rationalist the campas well. Giventheapparent irrationality destructiveness and the of that pervades international politics thiscentury-wars appearto have served no state'sinterests. In to realWaltzargues that selection carries most theexplanatory of weight structural in leadism.16 treatment both and is sicalandstructural realism.awarding a position "central it of importance". building variables explaining significant of in role defeat theTreaty of tiveto culminate Wilson'scentral in theunnecessary 16. Psychology Rationality: and IndividualReason and Its Limitations outThe inability neorealism demonstrate of to consistent behavioral systemic or of comesfrom structural the constraints it emphasizes-distribution poweror that To moot. Waltz that have agents fails demonstrate structures suchconsistent predictable and effects. rationality and to seemssuperfluous. seemstovary Waltz'sownposition structure afon thisquestion."George led and man"besetbygreat inner one of attached weight Georgeconfronted criticism psychological approaches-the in In their narrato personality outcomes. in subanother that Psychoanalysis. a classic study the of and the Alexander Juliette origins psychobiography. . the capabilities-may render issueofitsdecision-making the assumptions that are less other constraints awarded explanatory however. Keohaneargues therationality that assumption one of Relations 925 Rationality International relieson datedwithin rational a choiceframework. whether but structural realism along choiceunder structural constraintstwoother or adaptive mechanisms-selection Darwinian linesandsocialization-isuncertain." The realmof reasonwithin neorealism ambiguous. its whoseuse woulddestroy user-the hymilitary technology from obstruction human the of has that resulted reasoning pothesis theseoutcomes often seemed powerful. 18. Keohane1986b.330-31. 17. Waltz1986.xix.17 his response Keohane. Theory International In of Politics. stipulates political he that ers cannotmake "the nicelycalculated sugdecisionsthattheword 'rationality' 18 remains Undertight gests. degree structural weight. and 19. European import was grounded theirrational to bestructure thehuman of has decision-making psyche. Waltzargues that fects behavior In his of clasthrough socialization competition. beenemployed examine In at to haviorthatappeared violatethecanonsof rationality. however. issuesofrationality larger.74.

of he however.He also pointed theproblem aggregation anyindividualist for to of modelof choice:bothrational psychological and modelsslippedtoo easilyfrom individual attributionsthose organizations bureaucracies. on are Responding suchclaims. 22. discerned keyassumptions thisdideverseliterature: international politicsimposesheavyinformation-processing in camandson policymakers. overtook as chalCognitive psychology rapidly psychoanalytic theory the principal lenger rational to modelsofbehavior.926 International Organization Versailles. 21. proliferation studies foreign The of of policy influenced cognitive by psychology blurred alternative also the research program.149-50. This benchmark was in whatever limitations particular its to essential. psychological explanations from that statements important generalizations weretoobroadin scopetocontingent that wouldclarify when"nonlogical" on influences decision making wouldbe significant. is in decisions the One widespread discovered psychologists foreign bias by policy of reliance cognitive on structures (givena variety labels-cognitivemaps.or schemas) deeply by 20. GeorgeandGeorge demonstrate Wilson's that behavior critical an was to important historical outcome. and 1986. demonstrating his behavior a complicated In that in strategic setting theresult nonrational was of influences which was unaware.then longer-term that had set. two PhilipTetlock and CharlesMcGuire.20 Verba pointed twoimportant to shortcomings in many psychological accounts werecritical rationalist that of models. significant two assertions must confirmed:counterfactual be a proposition that more"reasonable" a coursewouldhaveresulted a different in outcome the and more difficult contention hisbehavior nonrational. Tetlock McGuire. policymakers-"limited to pacityinformation processors"-employ"simplifying strategies" comprehend of behavior and their environment. in Jr. to Sidney Verba framed telling a response defense in of rational decision-making models.notwhen that was if measured by short-term political ends. Verba1961.116. noted He unresolvedissuesofdata:whether findings experimental clinical from and could settings be transferredthefardifferent of to environment foreign policyand domestic politics. advanced cost-benefit variables: psychological add psychological complexity whenityielded only greater Evenmore needed move to explanatory power. order permit "systematic consideration deviations of from rationality. pointed that many psychological explanations critiques incorporated.Thesearediffiby goals he culttests thosewhoargue nonrational for that influences behavior strong. important. rational or a benchmark.22 strategies violate Those definitions rational may choiceas a norm individual for decision call into the question use ofrational making. Ibid. thefaceof thosedemands. ."'21 Each of theissuesraisedby Verba morethan three decadesago remains significant evaluating psychological in the research agenda.. implicitly explicitly. Verba out or Finally. to of and Verba also clarified methodological that the tests should applied nonrational be to He a criterion theinclusion for of psychological explanations.operato tional influenced pastexperience often and resistant codes.

23 The discovery "theory-driven" of behavior.In barest individuals outline. and preference of of variesaccording theframing prospects clearviolation thecriteto ordering (a rionof invariance rational in these in choice).andMcDermott 1992. Yuen forexample. See PaulyandStein1993. See Quattrone Tversky and 1988.26 thede23. 24.and others who arguefordamaging cognitive rigidity forced admit. conventional of meansof explaining choiceunder conditions risk. particularly use of informationthe shortcuts heuristics. and Tetlock Relations 927 Rationality International more recent that data might modify overturn or those structures. experimental evidence.itbecomes a irrational when only perseverance denial and 24 dominate and that in than tautological a openness flexibility.Farnham 1992. Khong.individuals risk-averse respect gains than net are with from that reference with to pointand risk-acceptant regard losses. term the that Tetlock and McGuire use to describe mimicking policymakers scientific this by of practice. In to outcome evidence) very as way(byreferring a positive negative or the of on schemas cognitive effect. avoiding use of certain be more efficient ofthumb. Tetlockand McGuire. 26. Khongsuggests procedural a strategy-forcing test and That existing analogiesto a rigorous public "scientific" of their validity.25 Despitethedifficulties measuring effects outside experimental laboratory an or researchers setting. are to "reliance prior on beliefs expectations notirrational se (one wouldexpect and is per itfrom 'good Bayesian').Levy 1997. research of this program mustassess whensuchreliance becomesirrational distorts As and policyoutcomes. onceagaina sensitive and of of wouldalso be required. usingcases drawn from international the politics havealready begunto examine explanatory powerof To based on expected prospect theory weighed against predictions utility.andPaulyandStein1993. carefully has charted persistent ofhistorical the use analogies scheas mas fororganizing incoming data. rationality reliance existing mapsfor interpretingtheworldis dependent thedesirability updating on of beliefs moreor less freNo is in answer that to dilemma infolmation. Khong1992. rule Other alternatives rationalist to modelsof explanation psychological emphasize the processby whichdecisionsare made.comparing psychological a interpretation of this to widespread behavior alternative explanations. however.Levy 1992. Prospect theory evokedthemost estamong students foreign of Based onrobust policymaking. alternatives often and these are as processing portrayed challengchoicemodels more has interingrational directly. kindofserious comtesting imposes also costs. . FoongKhong. parison thebenefits terms decision-making (in quality) In cases where particular schemasseemto produce outcomes whosecostsare unithe kindsof schemas analogiesmight a or formly high. from the prospect theory points deviations to expected utility theory.160. 25. Assessing point other or is difficult.Sincereliance preexisting on for beliefs both is widespread necessary the and processing new information. posesdifficult for judgments thoseevaluating positiveand normative its effects policyouton comes. uniform quently thefaceofdiscrepant in given thepsychological literature. and withrespect a reference to evaluateoutcomes systematically frequently point to rather using lossesorgains.

such as prospect theory. remain equallyempty without a or of theory reference points framing. 30. and particular cognitive strategies. 28. equally convincing explanations utility (for those be domestic including political goals) can often constructed. Weighing potential explanatory 27. utility often Psychological approaches supplement rational choiceexplanations. Jervis 1988.Mirroring claimsofrational the choicetheorists.29 the to courseareformidable. 29. subjective basedon different calculations example.28 of The of and McGuireof a decade ago stillstands: judgment Tetlock psychological approaches mustwork. of thecollection evaluation data thatis aimedat reconstructing refined. of studies foreign have evidence Psychological policymaking produced important a that rational choicemodels. Tetlock McGuire1986.30 if one of for in or allowsthevalidity testing sucheffects historical contemporary settings. Machina1987. Eventhemost prolific perceptive and scholars whohavemined historical andcontemporary find difficult claimmore data it to than presence systemthe of aticandwidespread biasestoward misperception acrossa widerange cases.27 Theory-building critics rationalist of the modelsconfront sameissueof "thinamongpsychological of ness" as thoseusingrational choice. efficiency be taken the contributionpsychological of seriously. other than an to In cases. alternative rational psycritics have argued wide scope fortheir chological findings.Critics rational choicevoice dissatisfaction with emptiness those the of models theabsence a theory preferences. Verba'scost-benefit criterion research of must Giventhesedifficulties. they notrepresentsingle but do qualifies psychological to choice. real-world to choice situations a flawed laboratory data. tests the results appear mixed: expected utility theory hardly is without valueinexplaining many theoutcomes.suchas prospect theory. however.169-70. obstacles that on of logicalperspective choicehave long allegedthatthetransfer experimental is how robust. theorists hardat workincorporating are expected utility anomalous findings into strategies broader more and inclusive theories decision of making." specifying clearly more theconditions under which rational nonrational. Critics thepsychoof Unfortunately. rather providing alternative them." rather but toward a producing"contingency theory information of processing. Theyhave generally of that the avoideda presentation contingent theories hypotheses wouldstipulate or conditions under whichpsychological of decisionmaking are distortions rational mostlikely. of Therich psychological literature international in relations produced has many case studies demonstrating widespread cognitive information and processing distortions thatdeviatefrom predictions rational the of choice and expected theories. arepursued.928 International Organization greethat convincing canbe madeusing dataavailable. Riker1995. and very of is to Alternative and estimates riskand utility difficult accomplish. toward single"cognitive not a portrait. and Foronlyoneexample. in of of Psychological processmodels. see .no matter the even cannot strategy: themost ingenious experiments capture subjective percepin Even tionsof riskthat present markets international are or bargaining.

33 lineof rein a searchsidesteps methodological the difficulty demonstrating misperception. Arthur As Steinhas argued. Such a concentration shared dissimilar on one to of tenceof common knowledge provides rationalist response thecriticisms A in that models not do psychologists.Rationality International in Relations 929 approaches againstmoreaustere rationalist modelsbecomescrucialin designing research strategy. Evolutionary gametheory models and incorporating bounded rationalthis ity havepursued approach. Bothpsychological rational and choiceapproaches share individualist an orientation. ologicalissues. . eventhedirection psychological of effects international on outcomes uncertain: is plentiful unbiasedinformation and maynotlead to greater cooperation to other or desired outcomes.andLevy 1992.3" Recentdiscussionsofprospect theory haveproduced widely divergent conclusions regarding the overalleffect itsdecision of heuristics international on politics.190-91. 32. of Thatshared has to rational and theoretical problem been a stimulus incorporating nonrational models of organization and institutions into theoriesof national behavior.Robert Jervis Jack and a be S.32 great of A deal hingeson thereference pointdeployed a in choicesituation. has also beenan intellecmodeling international modelsand tualtesting for actor(subjective ground bothrational expected utility) on has those models. Muchofthedebate centered methoddeploying psychological the modelsrather thancase studies. Timothy McKeown argues prospect that theory predicts "blandforeign policies". WoosangKim and BruceBueno de Mesof to the as quitahaveattempted measure importance misperception-defineddifferThis the of encesin perception regarding probability crisisescalation. nonrational is then models ofthis to kindmayadd little power existing explanations. in all counterfactual Kim andBuenode Mesquitaclaimis unobservable nearly that or beliefs and theexishistorical cases. Bothhavetended evadethecrucial to of whether question aggregation: assumptionsregarding individualdecision-making processes. 33.3.217.chap. prospect no of and particular theory provides theory reference points.286. Usingan expected utility framework. The Reason and Collectivities: Issue ofAggregation elaborated Deterrence one and theory represents of themostsophisticated highly in It uses ofrational actor relations. 31. Jervis 1992b. KimandBuenode Mesquita1995. Stein1990. If eventhesignofthesepsychological effects uncertain. See McKeown1993.secondstrategy thefaceofevidence rationalist of decision in of capture making an array cases is torelaxtheassumptions therationalist model. Levyperceive status bias that quo might upset risk-acceptant by propensities in thedomain losses.however.rationalor nonrational.particularly use of deductive that sharean inon haveadmitted thecontenders Participants either side. can be transformed plausible into assumptions aboutthebehavior collectivities.

36. contend They 34.36 Given itsunhappy in consequences economic it planning. Critics Allison'sapproach of focused on of initially thedescriptive accuracy his account theforeign of More recently.whohas urged positive a symbiosis between rationalist psychological and to in approaches decisionmaking orderto modelofdeterrence. a Although modelofinternational selection maygivesomepurchase thedifferenon tialsurvival units. is surprising this that assumption. Jonathan Bendor ThomasH. Graham Allison'sEssenceofDecision was one ofthefirst to efforts challenge on and actor unitary rational assumptions the basisofpolitical Allison described rational a actor process. withcoherent stable values. incapacity strategy alternation different of different in choice.In choosing CubanMissileCrisis. 35. and a capacity carry its decisions"is most out in widespread international relations inthetheory economic and of planning.930 International Organization to modelsthataggregate ability offer individual choicesand behavior." been so easilyacand has for ceptedas an adequatemicrofoundation muchof international Realist relations.177. groups (with preference orderings) power.35 and Elster notesthat the treating polity"as a unitary and actor.236. 204-205. andthepossibility cycling. of on as assumptions state rationality depended an implicit selection argument.well-grounded to beliefs. link of the between rational action survival notbeenmade. Downs 1989. . Hammond and that argue Allison creates rational a modelwithout dimension strategic actor a of behavior. his policyprocess. convincing Jervis pointed that has out units of composed many individuals appearmoreirrational thanindividual for decisionmakers severalreasons:governments coalitions or that pursue or in contradictory organizational institutional goals. remarks a less positive produce "strong" a also on attribute on of thepart bothrational deterrence theorists psychological to and modelers transfer their assumptions aboutindividual choiceto states organizations. organizational two an process model(modelII) anda bureaucratic politics model(modelIII). Instead. a Omitting test theinsights gametheory oddina study crisis of of is of bargaining. whichhe labels potentially "treacherous misleading. Jervis 1989b. most the the case threatening ofsuperthe powercrisisbargaining Allisondeliberately a during Cold War.muchof thepsychological literature suggests precisely opposite:that the distortions decision in and from rational a making deviations modeloccurfrequently in international with mixedsurvival politics. and has In fact. Allison1971. of however. 37. for in consequences theunits question. specification themodelsandparticularly tilt his against candidate a rational his for choicemodel havebecomea target.34 of George Downs. dein scribed thecase of Waltz:states that wereunableto behavein at leasta -crudely manner rational wouldbe selectedout through intense international competition.whichhe explainedthrough alternatives. Building early on decision-making models. deviations such a model. Elster1989b.37 modelofgovernmental decision two that making (modelI) andthen proposed alternatives heavily qualified themodel. selected case in which international the environment should havereinforced pressures toward unitary andrational decision Allison found substantial from making.

a likely on issues. maker whobargains political authoritative decision with also executive must bargain bureauWhether chief that lators thelegislature). Bendor Hammond and Ibid. politics and of missing Allison'sbureaucratic a degree specification rigor HelenMilner's contribution of bargaining. suchinfluence in with bureaucracies order influence also should of or executive headofgovernment filters thepreferences thechief into models in of Principal-agent policymaking. are that assumption states unitary realist conceivedas bargaining of Aggregation themodeling internal processes. as ofrationality aggregation circumscription The first avenueis increasing and rationality beconstrained individual Model II assumed that largeorganizations cybernetic Steinbruner's rules. ing How to policyimplementation.316-17. 41.Although many bonds strong forge groups manyinterest foreign policywill be thelegislature. political has Milner terms actors what in settings itsown rational domestic polyarchic among to modelappears asbureaucratic politics risks limits.38 or rational nonrational tionofboundedly trace their shortcomings. Steinbruner 1992. be incorporated themodeling foreign 38. canbe unclear simpler game-theoretic regime) tary raisessimilar of of theinfluence points interventioninterest and groups Modeling route influencfor economic international issues.319. . Policyoutcome be seenas theequilibrium two-level linked an adds setting within institutional rational agents among bargaining words. (or in than partners a parliamenor (other coalition cratic subordinates cabinet colleagues in modelsoftwo-level games.312.39 bothcases. twopaths whatever models. 39. however. Bendor Hammond and 1974.Relations 931 in Rationality International that rationality makeseasierhispromofor that Allisonsetsa benchmark individual models. Allison'ssecondand third as couldbe portrayed rational.40 rationality on an optimistic ofindividual view (the are aggregation wholeis less on If limitations rationality one routetoward pointstoward bargaining Allison'smodelof bureaucratic thanits parts). Despitethewidely arguethatlarge Bendorand Hammond who composethem. rationality held to becomemore decision-making rouindividual choiceto organizational as bounded imperfect one movedfrom and and heldviewthat are organizations less rational "dumber" tine.41 little existsin foreign hierarchy sumethat or a evade thisissue by positing "chiefof government" other modelssometimes with other legistypically actors. organizations is rationalityfounded Allison's viewofinstitutional them. of soonafter published theory decision.John decision simplified to havedaccording highly a elaborated simiAllison'swork appeared. rational of or games.313. In other in model.She provides particularly will Less attention be givenhereto actors. and and political socialunits organizations bywhich increases. thecontrary. viduals rather constrain than in embodied model1. 1992. thantheindividuals of enhance decision-making the capacities indion may. Allison'searly and Two-level game policyorganizations. the as wellas captures dimension external of the the benefits relaxing at length positive to thisissue of 10 describes greater of critique the are a telling that assumption states units. may another. 40.. on and that behavior relied simple nonrational organizational larmodelofsimplified was In processes.

is Unfortunately. Kiewietand see 42. This interaction. Allison'salternative Despitetheir organizaif actors from rational unified. the actors from comunitary rational and relations haveproduced that international of and competition. and politics. with games(interacting political as and playoutthedomestic ticinstitutions fixed of In the that within context.chap. route produces their boundsor amplifies that context. 43. institutions. See Ibid." as Bates putsit. outcomes within the choicemeans equilibrium as as explicable through samerational domesmost like of studies. creating twobroadavenuesfor in One actors embedded and contionaland national collectivities.2. typeof international tions. notunitary. see 45. Bates 1997a.however. politicalgames in which "defining or. second rational decision making linked international to behavbargaining fies domestic are bargaining gamesthat then to instituThose gamesmayvaryaccording domestic ior and strategic interaction. of modelsstoodat thebeginning weaknesses. by willoptfor whenpolitical actors determining define crucial. is specified institutionsrarely than within change rather change institutional (or on fixedpreferences thepartof key individuals If one can assumerelatively national ofinterests) fixed institutional ofthegame. institutions over for policy. . 44. they clearly. avenueproduces outcomes mayserveas proxies a unified that within conventional assumptions to Bothroutesforceclose attention the simple. political bureaucratic plexities domestic context.accept However. for national interest.Organization 932 International that analysis canincorpoone anddelegation regimes provide avenueofinstitutional within hierarchical settings. a given institutional setting. andAltandShepsle1990. rules treating and representatives is more than convincing within rationalist a frameworkfar and preferences behavior in and rules under circumstances whichinstitutional changefrequently unpredictably.Robert social and is of from rational exemplar building Coffee Organization an excellent His level."44 interests compete influence public constrained inby actors from individual rational foreign policyactions Building are or institutions exogenous endogof leavesopenthequestion whether stitutions institutional change regards Positive economy ultimately political enous. For an introductionagency to problems their and solutions a political in McCubbins 1991. For a representative rigorous and array modelslinking of international domestic Pahre Papayoanou and 1997.43 and institutionsthedomestic theinternational at actors toward economic political of within frame positive the is of institutions squarely treatment political of of decisionsin a context politicaland economic "the study rational economy. Whether context strained organizational by route specicarefully remains The opentoargument. in institutionalist analysis foreign national preferences a moreelaborated institutions thegamesthat and of political stability domestic as described Milner.42 domestic actors rate diverse of analysis itstreatment is institutionalist weakness rational of potential Another of study theInternational Bates's recent rules theinstitutional of thegame.164.2. assessing stability strategic bargaining) international of policy.45 second and information environment. that Bates..

. within by economists. preferences. 49. and Identity: Supplements Alternatives and to RationalModels The insertion norms identity theanalysis international of and into of relations has beentaken someas a direct by assaulton rationalist modelsof national policyand international interaction. forthisknowledge be communicable theothers. Fora summary. Norms. and. criticisms havebeenleveledat rationalist different models.50." choicemodels els. international relations. 46. Morrow see 1994a.46 havequesempty explanatory predictive Others tioned individualist and assumptions regarding beliefs.Rationality International in Relations 933 Culture. absenceofa theory as of For the of of beliefs preferencessimply failure explanation and is a choicemodwithin rational is occurs"whenthemind atrest.Kenneth many cently argued that boththerulesof thegame(in economic strategic or interaction) is and muchknowledge irreducibly social. however. ifexplanation standard rational leave restless mindsin their wake."49 Schofield's and theproblem common of that language knowledge he raises a in provide linkto thosewhopropose including socialandcultural content rational models. and Mostcultural normaand or to subtivetreatments employ"thick description" interpretive approaches their to models. theinformation Arrow rehas environment seemto underlie that rationalist models. be able to form to tionsabouttheir and to contrast thedeductive parsimonious of rationalist and bent alternatives critical themethodological of are individualism is coupledwith that in of models politics.48 sion international) "The theoretical cooperation: problem underlying cooperation thus: what theminimal is amount one agent can be stated that must knowin a given milieuaboutthebeliefs and wantsof other noto coherent agents. part. Herbert often Simonhas arguedthatwithout rational choice strong auxiliary assumptions (suchas thosein publicchoicetheory) modelsare nearly of or content. Simon1995.Thesecritical positions those can be arrayed from that modified rationalist complement models those to that a theoretical divide rational nonrational. viewthat In andnotall areincompatible rational the ratiomodelsareincompatible theinclusion norms culture theresult or nalist with of is of of an unfortunate conflation methodology substance. 47. The jects. and suggest much larger between Thetreatmentpreferences exogenous individualistic beenquestioned of as and has socialpsychologists. Whether and rationality these rationality collective identity can within modified be combined choiceframeworkone ofthecentral is a rational quesTo turn tions and that can one posedbytherecent toward identity norms. Schofield 1985. thedegree common of assemble a and four positions among diverse group theorists researchers. some. with choicemodels.47 Arrow'sassertion be tiedto the can of thatunderlies assumption commonknowledge equilibrium analysisin game Norman Schofield situates question theheart social(andbyextenof this at theory. Arrow 1994.5-6.307-308. insertion takenmanydifferent That has forms. 48. proponents ofstrategic culture a determinantbehavior.

in themostculturally If is placedon choicecan hardly saidto occur. to doctrine a meansofendogenizas a "culturalist" approach thechoiceofmilitary Jeffrey Legro. approach nonrational. uses theculture military In are forexplaining state cases. "a ranked Alastair lain Johnston national preferences. pointof One encesmaywithextension suggest deeperconflict the of itself. 1995b. 54... Kierl995. For of setofgrand that acrosstheobjects analysis . 51.125. feasible is sharply and of liefslargely guideinterpretationthechoicesituation. 52. means which by employ word is created transmitted is very and different.cultural explanations a preferences. collective the by original definition.contrast structuralfunctional to and in another of culture an alternative realist insti(as deployment organizational of as organizations a means tutionalist also explanations).27-28. 53. we a norm-driven behavior or culture. models state of choice. Johnston 48. offers limited. fact. is notseen as theresult individual and strategic of cultures embedded are organizational interaction: through processes socialization. thedegree To that concerns nature culture organizational disagreement of culture defined is it carefully. Legro1995. by of he a thatis functional and be "rigidand immutable."54 mayarrive a view to to of choice so constrained culture little that choiceremains: return Elster's by beset constrained culture.934 International Organization Within international relations culture sometimes is portrayed an alteras strategic culture better is seen as a In strategic nativeto rational choice explanations. Kreps. to A secondpointof divergence linksculturalist criexplanations psychological If which earlier. Kreps1990a.52each ofthese not for them.andwant to what required them. strategic preferences is consistent referent strategic of culture. thisinterpretation be driven account. in unreflective in individuals thoseindividuals and acceptsuchcultures a relatively culthis the and modelofcorporate way. 67.132. organization.127. W.Contrast imagewith rational individualist culture may ture corporate Although Krepsallowsthat proposed David example. ."50 or variables suchas "technology. an instrument overturning meansofenriching of and efforts explain collective socialcontent beliefs preferto the or Eventhese with a rationalism.51 ingpreferences. Rosenberg 1995." offers definition culture efficient a principle setofprinciples permit or that "relatively transacevolutionary: both tions takeplace andon which viablereputation be based. secondgroupis moreconcerned reigning 50. in to or explanations. a of and or of providing source organizational modification extension thosemodels. that described and and This first of wishesto elaborate "socialize" beliefs prefergroup critics A with enceswithin rationalist accounts." acrosstime"as the"essential empilical andpersistent for than culture proposed a morepowerful is as explanation thisranking Strategic Elizabeth Kieralso presents threat. strategic organizational is later."53 to a can Although the the viewsoforganizational culture culture culture. culture dictated schemas guide implies"culturally tiquesdescribed is of one at individuals see.

selective on pressures imposed nonrational operating codes)? do theseactors their and ends(that arethere accomplish political religious costsor is. 57.55 opposedview is in favor "broad. 56. cultures. Some argue the that worldviews of other such as Islamicfundamentalism. secondsetremarks suchmodelshave the that beenfilled with particular about assumptions individual state and specifipreferences. 5.389.58 apparently This happy complementarity reachitslimits."notthin The of rationality. drawing both on By and interpretivist rationalist the approaches indeterminacieseachcan be partially of alleviated. accounts challenge that someof the embedded publicchoiceand positive in assumptions political modelsof economy political behavior. Monroe1995. Theinclusion other-regarding of oraltruistic motivations rationalist in has models beenthesourceof considerable much direct relevance to controversy.59 replyto sucharguments The raisestwoquestions: thisworldview. cannotbe meldedwithan approachderived from European the Enlightenment.285.146. widespread notseemtohaveweakened explanatory the of power essentially rationalist models. criticisms aredirected "thick view of thecritics) rather thanthethinrationality was thefocusof thefirst that criticisms. concept rationality of becomesso thin to beas come a tautology. also Sen 1994."who mayhave non-Archimedean and preferences be moved concern others. be fruitfully can into incorporated broader rational purposive and modelsofbehavior.157-78. 58. one side."56 for by less withaltruism. for by Elster. and shared and widely thepopulation reflected itsbehavior? by in To thedegreethat actioncannotbe explained a verythin by rational model. Euben 1995. 59. may when beliefs preferences another the and however. example." rational and man.itis argued byemptying that rational choiceof self-interest narrowly the defined.On less self-centered ofrationality. of homo UsingFerejohn's distincthe here at of kind(in the rationality" thewrong tions. thefirst If critics concerned the are with emptiness rational of choicemodels. views see See thecontributionsGoldstein Keohane1993b. of it without international On relations. the self-interest of rationality an unnecessary view criticizing narrow as auxiliary assumption imposed toomany economists. . bedistinguishes tweeneconomicman "defined continuous and through preferences narrow selfinterest. Although concerned debateswithin international relations revolvearound similar issues:does "broadening" rational models incorporate to differentbeliefs abouttheworld nonmaterial and of the render model conceptions interest so "thin"as to undermine explanatory its The usefulness? introductionideational of variables explanations foreign into of overthepastdecade. of or culture another challenge time rationalism itself. callytheassumption a self-interested economicus.Rationality International in Relations 935 or anachronistic inaccurate that too auxiliary assumptions havecharacterized many rational of choicemodels political behavior. Elster1984.57 Ferejohn makesa convincing argument even interpretivist that accounts based on thick of historical description distant episodes.does policy. to and Ferejohn 1991. is derived from writings intelthe of typically lectuals clerics.

Katzenstein. relations also argueagainst starting pointof individual. and moralsense. 62. Instead. Spruyt's excellent account theemergence thesovereign of of with for of competiofthesuccessofone identity a rational choiceexplanation theemergence theinitial tors.however." Or moreradically: this 60.8-9."a coreconstructivist is modelpurportedly in. territorial combines analysis state an 63. Wendt. Spruyt 1994. Katzenstein and 1996.Kristen cal action. this 65. Alexander and Wendt pointto twowaysin which Jepperson.60 a rational agents. example. elevation identity the of undermines methodological models se. of and Rather emphasizing socialandcultural than on of which heldtobe is a third ofcritics set concentrates thedeterminantsidentity.936 International Organization the content beliefs preferences. or Once and of sociallyconstructed priorto any definition preferences behavior. Katzenstein and 1996. with One couldargue choicesaresimply that highly incompatible rationalist constrained socialandcultural determinants earlier criticisms alleged)andthat by (as constituted identities an ontological issueprior behavioral to modeling socially are choicelines. Identity produce and in is affect interests behavior a direct unmediated that difficult and way mayitself toreconcile with Renwick Monroe'ssphere ethiof rational choicemodels. domestic identity politics maybe reflected foreign is to and thoseinterests. for from kindsofpolitical identity: "Certain proceeds directly from one's perception selfin relation others. or whether individuals states.61 sociological The perspecconstitute properties actors eventheir as institutions certainly product "are the tiveaccepts institutionspervasive.identity prior interests maydefine in those interests couldbe incorporated a rationalist can also The can the of and existence. Jepperson. Ruggie.60-61."64In kicks concern what before neo-utilitarian the happens of on the for RonaldL.butsomeinterpretations ofidentity into call question ratiorationalist per which a nal choiceassumptions well."They activity. is to linked particular identistates to identity prior interests: maydevelopinterests or in In policyinterests. of to this actionemanate primarily and of as delineates setsthedomain choiceoptions perceived perception effectively bothin an empirical availableto an actor. thepursuit but of cases.63 John As research alongrational Ruggieputsit. security policy. environment notonlyalterchoices. issue. both ties. or this with identity may extending reinterpreting concern conflict rather thancomplementarity a rationalist with approach. institutional environment. See Adler1997. example. 64."62 represent outcomes arenotthesimple that institutionalized environThe socialconstructivistsociological or viewofa highly of or the actors neednotbe ment shaping evendetermining identity itsconstituent models. . emphasizes socially a coreconstituent itsresearch of Sociological approaches international to program. Wendt.65 Once again.41. shapedprofoundly a dense are by agents themselves.Social constructivism. Jepperson.andRuggie. DiMaggioandPowell 1991. outlining effects identity national PeterJ. incorporatesdiverse as constructed identity itsimplications and as bodyofscholarship. although of ofhuman the design. individualism rather than again. 61. issue. arenotnecessarily products conscious they "collective sumofindividual interests.

chap.68 Behavior driven socialnorms by is behavior by both of choicemodand premises rational wayundermines individualist rationalist in by are they els. Elster1989c. toincolporate sphere human this of a perspective well.108. Rosenberg Elster 1989c. them enforcing them(through sustains expressed approval by and that population whichis determined theinstrumental Unlikerational and disapproval)."66 "ethicalaction does notresult Shawn to forms mine rationalist a calculus itcanbe attached different ofrationality. of alternative rational rationalist frame. Norm-driven behavior theconventional realist 66. between normmotivation. following maycombine The.70 constructivists. as behavior within rationalist for of as challenges Elster's definition norms notoutcomeRussellHardin. Doubts in cultures) couldascribe samevariation. thelevelofcollectivities. as with consequences thebehavior the of by minimally concern are norms what Morethan economic in transactions there strong regarding (where of can relations beenportrayed a setting weakor has as money buy). see conception norms. Monroe1995."Norm-driven on havea grip themind is duetothestrong that itstietotheemotions: "Social norms emotions their violations trigger. 69. by action. 71. of of On theindividualism Elster's . however: wouldselection or in can amongindividuals collectivities.3. 70. 67.Thenorms question socialintworespects: areshared a population.71 individual Two separable plainedthrough and norms be regarded basedin individual can as beliefs issuethen: what to degree self-interest and are behavior to whatdegreenorms sustained rational (defined by induced norms). 1995. if structures reasoning of mayexhibit different Rosenberg contends thatindividuals arguments (described anddifferent at cultural in or viewis rare nonexistent norms. Hardin is action"justisn'tdone. exas behavior tionand seekto expandthescope of norm-driven behavior against characteristics norms at of are choice. Social driven rational and of definiontheother the individualism Elster's wouldcontest methodological hand. example. Hardin.12-13. here from Thedescription is drawn Elster 1989c. theevidenceof such radicalvariation to from evidence) transposed socialandpolitical be reasoning (drawn experimental settings? described Elster by A final to choiceexplanations behavior.67 the earlier thecase ofnon-Western similar rationality produce someform roughly of Relations 937 Rationality International Identity also undermay from conscious calculus. fluid boundaries interest nonconsequentialist and choicecan onlybe assessedempirically. easy pursuit future outcomes."69 can of is from the both rationalist Elster's behavior contested conception norm-driven Thosedeploying rational choicemodelsseek andthesocialconstructivist positions. 68.32-35.124-25.100. to dlivenby by (as guideto behavior governed social norms compared behavior thata certain or is (whenchallenged) rational optimizing behavior) theresponse in behavior nonrational a secondsense. as theonly be by alternative cannot absorbed evenanexpanded that in defined this driven socialnorms. is One of norm-driven behavior notoutcome-oriented. andElster1989b. For norms elements bothrational of selforiented.140.

outcome-driven behavior described Elster.72 by Although socialconstructivists would rejectan individualist account theorigins norms.theinstrumental of ethnicity theindividual theelitelevel is a models one. bridges illusory realis thesubject theconcluding 72.they wouldnotin every case reject role a in forindividual stateself-interest sustaining or norms. Bernard nationalism thefamiliar distinctions between civic and ethnic rational/ (good/bad. arethecautions regarding easyleapfrom and in of theoretical eclecticism thestudy to group motivations action. rational havecompeted explanatory models for success. 73. however. have notbeen behavior a nonrational as to designed establish to norm-driven alternative rationalist. with norm-driven behavior: suffused and of choicemodelsmentioned All ofthesocialandinterpretive qualifications rational are as the individual earlier applicable here.Thecompetition mademore is interand esting a mingling normative positive of As Yackhasargued. case studies theinfluence most of of in norms international relations. nonrational. Martha for of as Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink makeclearin thisissue. with wholly norms a nonrational maybe discovered international basis in relations: theattachment national to sovereignty be one example. see and .938 International Organization orabsent. not that arenawillprovide onlysomecleartests of contemporary suggests this cases. 74. ability assignan instrumental the to explanation thepowerof for many norms theabsenceofan apparent and affective emotional or linkage that sustainscompliance in through social disapproval domestic contexts mayreducethe norm-driven behavior.In international may relations. On this point. See thecases in Katzenstein 1996c. Just deterrence as has theory served theprincipal ofcontest as site between rational choiceandpsychological approaches. Social constructivists expanded have attention outcomes appear to that to be explained theevolution socialnorms international by of in relations-norms that areoften closelytiedto identity.74 Prevailing with richandgrowing ofhistorical a and and combined set ethnicity ethnic conflict. ofrationalist models their and but thelimitations strengths and competitors also a site between theoretical methodological the and Whether those for bridge building camps. appear incomplete failto "work"in Elster's substrate closelyresembles that theabsenceof a cultural notprimordial) (if withaffect often unconcerned outcomes. Fearon Laitin1996.73 Models of ethnic based on rational havebeenwidely emoutbidding politicians view and at ployed. those or powerful Atthesametime. scopeofwholly nonrational. by analysis. responses realist as to skepticism.731. Nevertheless. peaceful/conflictual) combine unexamined assumptions about sources the conflict wellas assumptions as ofunfolding ethnic about desirable outcomes.7. further On investigation. Yack 1996.norm-centered and explanations havechallenged eachother on theone handandrational choicemodelson theother or sincetheendoftheCold War. of are or section. identity. predicting In on thefield ethnic national of identity in theprevalence ethnic of choiceandcultural eclectic or conflict particular.

more realistic definitionsrational of mitted of In addition theneedforcontingent statements scope. the results support prospect in of latest theoretiAlthough experimental theory-the the cal altemative of championed thepsychologists-are by robust. a theory notemerged either on side. as Robert Jervis. Critics of absenceofcritical from number a scrutiny thoseapproaches. Psychological critiques response rational by choice modelers and game theorists. be such has Unfortunately.rational choiceandits to that critics also sharemethodological individualist shortcomings couldbe explored critics have movedblithely from Bothrational choiceand itsmicro-level together.particularly the mostrecent neorealist neoliberal and controversies.In theinconclusive greatdebatesof international relations. cognitive psychology. translation those in to findings decision into situations comparable those international politics remains a haveelicited significant problematic. a tary state actors beenpervasive thefield. levelsof analysis. reducing heroic assumptions proof for The rationvidedsuchan easytarget thepsychologists. issueofappropriate aggregafrom individual the in to drawn level tion modification order preserve or assumptions Under influence neorealism movesto the of hasseldom beenbroached and explicitly. incorporationbounded of haveperintothesemodelsandthedevelopment evolutionary ality gametheory behavior opened and newresearch avenues. Manyof thoseat thecenter psychological of research such programs. imageof rational uniThe and has in interaction a given. theories that wouldspecify when rational choiceoralternative models deciof psychological sionshould applied. critics rational choiceanditspsychological demonstrate arguthat changes between to aboutscope must framed be forward. those rational choicemodelscouldbe found either on in employing side. Philip and haveargued context-dependent for or contingent Tetlock. Psychological approaches The long-standing exa level playing field:bothacceptedindividualist premises. psychological perspectives-depth psychology. to and theindividual theorganizational governmental accompaThe rational nonrational and niedbytheir assumptions. result." international social sci"bring state relations. far the the backin.Rationality International in Relations 939 Reason and theDomain ofInternational Politics International relations alwaysbeen a realmof reasononlyin part. morethan other . the to Perhaps longcoexistence thosewhohavetried capture elements calculation prudence thoseimpressed theirratioits of and and by nality international of outcomes processes spared field and has the from someofthe battles thatare underway between rational choiceand its critics in elsewhere the social sciences. however. prospect out deviations from austere modelsof subjective theory-havepointed important haveconfronted rational modelson actor expected utility. rational choiceandgame-theoretic approaches A certain from microeconomics notmeant an familiarity modelsdrawn with has for however. Janice Stein. has claimedby of bothpassionsandinterests. strategic is As havebeeneasiertoaccept. modelsrelyon a Expectedutility the that that rationality is increasingly constrained. hegeThe ments precisely movethefield confronted of modelers haveoften broad claims monic aspirations rationalist equally in of distortions decision regarding prevalence psychological the processes.

or of historical contemporary Deterrence served may field theoretical for competition be established. accepting "neutral" By tractable rational a is issueswhoseimportance widelyacknowledged. differences be can of and definition perceived shortcomings. research agendasare empirically problem-centered by supplemented more questions selection biases will tendto favorresearch theory-driven. largely ground the empirical for choiceoritscritics. a result. otiose. auxiliary implicit for and of and for ened. a modelofindividual and that withthestate-centric relations will contend driven modelof international of neorealists liberal institutionalists. careful through and mentarity conflict arguments their choicemodels. they strata and exemplify third culture norms whoemphasize A diverse ofcritics set of points complefor clarifying exchange: is theoretical egythat necessary fruitful have quesManyof thesecritics definition. research on influence internaethnic and identity politicsand their tity-haveilluminated and by the of tionalrelations.By pressing a theory preference beliefformation arguing and basedon culture norms formation actors. has untilproven unrealistic. precise methodological If research. Onlyrecently instituactorsare a usefulassumption on the a identifying constraints domestic meansfor provided rigorous tional analysis in bargaining which and and both actors modeling theinternational domestic political engage.Prospect or modelof psychological theory another micro-level rationality choicehas enjoyed as that the of mayyetoffer breadth application rational processes a normcould decision.acknowledgment joint Careful claimsand counterclaims. and rationalist predilections both that modelsin directions evolution rationalist of Whatis morelikelyis further Heroicand unrealistic at assumptions accommodate leastsomeof thesecriticisms. socialconstructivist rational for each of thesecritical choice mayarisefrom alternatives rational to Full-blown wouldrender An or by alternatives. andacrossnational choice or between rational for convergence accommodation Arguing inevitable the Nevertheless. forcing that have implications are less clear forrational havebeenbroadchoicemodels to rational assumptions thesurface. levelplaying and rational deterrence the between theory and this purpose illuminated differences frontier a research competitive Nationalism ethnicity and provide similar itscritics. of alternatives attention theidentity to believedto be anmodelshad mistakenly thatmanyrationalist openedquestions and new culture. swered. issue is dealtwiththrough tionalactors. "knowledge and boundaries.was willing attributecircumscribed unitary the simplepragmatism: Typically. idenby As agendas-driven rationality. and choicemodels." construction socialknowledge acrosstime. wouldbe as naiveas proclaiming anditscritics that forintellectual to adpromises a exchange conditions described provide basis and fruitless grandiose than side agendason either rather promoting vanceresearch of of stipulations scope. rational of assumptions most the tioned individualist By choice assumptions.endorsed Waltz.Organization 940 International internaand to rationality states other a to ences. in will to and information information processing continue be relaxed faregarding . Social constructivism produce unified. evolutionary selective model. peace in ourtime. character units-as defined themselves by othersof within the politics.

Greif . mostefficient meanstopursue national ends. as norms national identity. beendesigned imposereasonon conflicts threatened spinoutof to control. transform to fights games. thegoal remained undistorted of rational The delicatebalance of terror rendered was less and decision-making processes. Models of linked domestic internaand tionalbargaining eliminate needforanother of unrealistic will the set assumptions modelswill be "collectivconcerning unitary rational and states. toavoiddisastrous and ones.Military strategy. roleat thecoreof explanatory to Its as modelscontinues grow. status a benchmark for remains uncertain it was whenMorgenthau as as attacked "scientific judgment man." as persistent cultural beliefs incorporated game-theoretic instituare into and models.leastsinceClauseto that to has witz. withits applications the of nuclear policyand armscontrol.theorybehavior havebothpositive negative driven can and Rational instituconsequences. And nonrational such and botha community cainfluences. whatmany saw as thefundamental of delicate but irrationality mutual assured destruction remained. Thenarrowing reason's of to of import a criterion decision-making efficiency may haveeliminated status a normative its as standard." of see 1995.75 light pastexperience. tional the of design (from point viewofindividual agents) mayproduce governmental deadlockand foreign at policypassivity the nationallevel. Finally. create may a and its pableofforging coherent legitimate foreign policyandone that oppresses ownminorities wageswaragainst and thoseoutside community's Reason's the pale. rational ized. Psychological whatwas seen as thehubris of dissents from rational choiceweredirected toward set beliefs but an earlydeterrence theory. Foran important example sucha strategy. thepastthey Rationalchoiceprovided meansto explorethe a stancein international relations. Assumptions rationality criticisms thoseassumptions of and of have defined rein also defined normative a searchagendasin international relations.Deterrence into theory. In of tionalist valuablecomplementarities between rational choiceanditscritics be more will rapidly exploited rationalist by models. effects misperception The of and othernonrational distortions international on outcomesare ambiguous. perhaps moststriking was demonstration reason theservice particular in of national international and attain collectively desirable international at Relations 941 Rationality International vorof constrained bounded or rationality. 75. and less dangerous.butone that demin of onstrated theeyes of sometheirrationality reason'soffspring.