Book

War and chance (2019)

assessing uncertainty in international politics

in: Bridging the gap

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Abstract

'War and Chance' analyzes the logic, psychology, and politics of assessing uncertainty in international affairs. It explains how the most important kinds of uncertainty in international politics are inherently subjective, and yet how scholars, practitioners, and pundits can still debate these issues in clear and structured ways. Altogether, the text shows how foreign policy analysts can assess uncertainty in a manner that is theoretically coherent, empirically meaningful, politically defensible, practically useful, and sometimes logically necessary for making sound choices. Each of these claims contradicts widespread skepticism about the value of probabilistic reasoning in international politics, and shows how placing greater emphasis on assessing uncertainty can improve nearly any kind of foreign policy analysis or decision.