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Leaders, Bureaucracy, and Miscalculation in International Crisis

Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 11:25am to 12:40pm

Uris Hall, G08

Professor Tyler Jost develops a theory of crisis miscalculation that emphasizes variation in institutional relationships between political leaders and foreign policy bureaucracies. He argues that two dimensions of these institutions – capacity for information search and oversight structure – help explain why some states are more prone to miscalculate than others.

To test his argument, he introduces a novel data set that measures these institutional differences across the globe from 1946 to 2015. Contrary to canonical theories that argue that bureaucratic advice undermines strategic judgment, the analysis finds that institutions that integrate bureaucrats into a leader's decision-making process tend to perform better in interstate crises than those that exclude them. The theory and findings improve our understanding of how bureaucracy shapes the crisis behavior of modern states.

About the speaker

Professor Tyler Jost is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and an Assistant Professor of China Studies at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. His research focuses on national security decision-making, bureaucratic politics, and Chinese foreign policy.


Paul Lushenko is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and a Ph.D. student in International Relations at Cornell University


Presented by the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. Co-sponsored by Cornell Center for Social Sciencesthe Department of Government, and the Gender and Security Sector Lab.

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Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Government, Science and Technology Studies, Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy, Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS)

University Themes

Public Engagement, Research


Einaudi, govtcal

Contact E-Mail


Tyler Jost

Speaker Affiliation

Brown University; Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

Wheelchair accessible from Tower Road, and from the back of the building across The Statler Hotel. For additional requests please

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