The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Wednesday’s Maxim – Thursday Edition

July 14, 2005

I wasn’t in my office on Wednesday, and thus didn’t post a maxim.

Given Dan Drezner’s recent post on prospect theory and terrorism, I thought it would be interesting to post Guicciardini’s views, in effect, on the rational-choice controversy in International Relations:

What I said earlier about princes also applies to people with whom you must deal: always keep an eye not so much on what reason dictates they ought to do, as on what you believe they will do, in view of their nature and their habits (Series C, 151)

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.