Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics

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Oxford University Press, 7 gen 2011 - 160 pagine
For more than two decades, John J. Mearsheimer has been regarded as one of the foremost realist thinkers on foreign policy. Clear and incisive, a fearlessly honest analyst, his coauthored 2007 New York Times bestseller, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, aroused a firestorm with its unflinching look at the making of America's Middle East policy. Now he takes a look at another controversial but understudied aspect of international relations: lying. In Why Leaders Lie, Mearsheimer provides the first systematic analysis of lying as a tool of statecraft, identifying the varieties, the reasons, and the potential costs and benefits. Drawing on a trove of examples, he argues that leaders often lie for good strategic reasons, so a blanket condemnation is unrealistic and unwise. Yet there are other kinds of deception besides lying, including concealment and spinning. Perhaps no distinction is more important than that between lying to another state and lying to one's own people. Mearsheimer was amazed to discover how unusual interstate lying has been; given the atmosphere of distrust among the great powers, he found that outright deceit is difficult to pull off and thus rarely worth the effort. Plus it sometimes backfires when it does occur. Khrushchev lied about the size of the Soviet missile force, sparking an American build-up. Eisenhower got caught lying about U-2 spy flights in 1960, which scuttled an upcoming summit with Krushchev. Leaders more often mislead their own publics, sometimes with damaging consequences. Though the reasons may be noble--Franklin Roosevelt, for example, lied to the American people about German U-boats attacking the destroyer Greer in 1940, to build a case for war against Hitler-they can easily lead to disaster, as with the Bush administration's falsehoods about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. There has never been a sharp analysis of international lying. Now a leading expert fills the gap with a richly informed and powerfully argued book.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - Quickpint - LibraryThing

Sensible, evenly-tempered, concise book. Bit odd in its scope, perhaps, in that it seems to have been written as a reaction to the Iraq War, and looks only at lying in international politics, and ... Leggi recensione completa

LibraryThing Review

Recensione dell'utente  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

A well known pun says that all so called scientific fields that carry "science" in their name aren't science at all. This is certainly true for Mearsheimer's political science and international ... Leggi recensione completa

Sommario

Introduction
3
CHAPTER 1 What is Lying?
15
CHAPTER 2 The Inventory of International Lies
21
CHAPTER 3 Lying between States
25
CHAPTER 4 Fearmongering
45
CHAPTER 5 Strategic Coverups
63
CHAPTER 6 Nationalist Myths
71
CHAPTER 7 Liberal Lies
77
CHAPTER 8 The Downside of Telling International Lies
83
CHAPTER 9 Conclusion
99
Notes
103
Index
133
Copyright

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Informazioni sull'autore (2011)

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. His books include The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, which won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize, and New York Times bestseller The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which has been translated into twenty-one languages.

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