War and Chance
Assessing Uncertainty in International Politics
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focused on the facts - that it is, at best, a waste of time to debate uncertain judgments that will often prove to be wrong.
In War and Chance, Jeffrey A. Friedman explains how avoiding the challenge of assessing uncertainty undermines foreign policy analysis and decision making. Drawing on an innovative combination of historical and experimental evidence, he shows that 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 affairs, and shows that placing greater emphasis on assessing uncertainty can improve nearly any foreign policy debate.
A clear-eyed examination of the logic, psychology, and politics of assessing uncertainty, War and Chance provides scholars and practitioners with new foundations for understanding one of the most controversial elements of foreign policy discourse.