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POLI 243 Lecture Notes - Cuban Missile Crisis, Massive Retaliation, Rational Agent

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

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Bureaucratic Politics
Politics within the government
Within the bureaucratic component
How they work/do not work together?
BP counters system level realists
States may not be rational unitary actors
States may be pursuing many policies at once, may be contradictory
US government’s position on tobacco
Subsidize tobacco farmers whilst other parts of government oppose tobacco
Internal divisions
not a single rational actor
One rational actor
uniform consensus
Different parts or pieces pursuing their own goals, what may be rational for one might
be batshit crazy for another
Department of agriculture may support the subsidization of tobacco farmers
Whilst the Surgeon General promotes health
Do the sum of these autonomous components aggregate into rational action?
Grahum Allison
On the Cuban Missile Crisis
How the world was so close to the third world war
Three arguments
Model 1: System Level Realist Argument (one single unitary actor)
Dominant way people think about security but not good enough
Model 2: Organizational Process
Both leaders (Soviets and US) were trying to be rational but they weren’t
Difference between what should be done and what can be done
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