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The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics (English Edition) di [Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Smith, Alastair]
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The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics (English Edition) Formato Kindle

5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente

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Lunghezza: 354 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
Scorri Pagina: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

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Recensione

Roger Myerson, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, July, 2011
"In this book, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith teach us to see dictatorship as just another form of politics, and from this perspective they deepen our understanding of all political systems."
 
Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2011


Enlightenment Economics, July 14, 2011
“Machiavelli’s The Prince has a new rival. It’s THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith.… This is a fantastically thought-provoking read. I found myself not wanting to agree but actually, for the most part, being convinced that the cynical analysis is the true one.”

R. James Woolsey Director of Central Intelligence, 1993-1995, and Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, July, 2011
"In this fascinating book Bueno de Mesquita and Smith spin out their view of governance: that all successful leaders, dictators and democrats, can best be understood as almost entirely driven by their own political survival—a view they characterize as 'cynical, but we fear accurate.'  Yet as we follow the authors through their brilliant historical assessments of leaders' choices—from Caesar to Tammany Hall and the Green Bay Packers—we gradually realize that their brand of cynicism yields extremely realistic guidance about spreading the rule of law, decent government, and democracy.  James Madison would have loved this book."
 

Descrizione del libro

Two renowned political scientists show how the rules of politics almost always favour leaders who ignore the national interest and focus on serving their own supporters.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 1560 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 354
  • Numeri di pagina fonte ISBN: 1610391845
  • Editore: PublicAffairs (27 settembre 2011)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B06XBY3XJV
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
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  • Screen Reader: Supportato
  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #71.120 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
This book is a must read for anyone with even the slightest interest in politics. I cannot recommend it enough, it should, in my opinion, become a staple in civic education programs all over the world.
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su Amazon.com (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards")

Amazon.com: 4.6 su 5 stelle 171 recensioni
28 di 28 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle A calculus for politics 30 dicembre 2016
Di Vincent Poirier - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
No one rules alone and all rulers depend on a coalition of supporters to keep themselves in power. To keep their coalition's loyalty, they must pay them, and they must pay them first. Only then can the dictator take his share. If there is any surplus, the dictator can build a school or a hospital if he or she feels like it.

This rule of course applies to all dictatorships, say authors Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, but it also applies just as surely to liberal democracies. It is the size of a ruler’s coalition of supporters that makes a state one or the other.

In a dictatorship, the ruler controls the money and pays off a few cronies, a few generals for instance, who can coerce and control the citizens. The cronies must pay their team, so the ruler must pay his cronies well so they can in turn pay their soldiers. As long as the ruler has the money for all this, nothing will topple him. The money can come from international aid, from income taxes on the citizens or from selling natural resources.

In a liberal democracy, the ruler has much less control over the money. For one thing, most of a country's budget is fixed, civil service pensions, social security, military commitments, etc. For another, the ruler must follow the law when spending what is not already earmarked. He can't just write blank checks to whom he please.

But once those differences are taken into account, power inevitably follows the same principles: all government is about paying off the ruler's coalition.

Effective rulers keep their coalitions small. A city in California did this by relying on voter apathy. Hardly any one voted in municipal elections so that a few hundred voters in effect controlled the budget and paid themselves lavish salaries.

To pay the coalition in poor countries, the dictator insists on handling any cash given as aid; he’ll redistribute it and if the needy are very lucky they’ll get a tiny bit of it. In rich dictatorships, the dictator sells oil or metals or any other valuable commodity and keeps the money for his cronies and himself while providing minimal health and education services to the poor, if they really have to. In a

The same rules apply in rich countries: the ruler pays off the electors with universities, infrastructure and healthcare. And he will still get kicked out in a few years because inevitably the large coalition will feel it isn’t getting enough.

This is not a libertarian manifesto! The authors are quite clear: the answer is MORE government, not less, or at least much more of the good kind of government.

First, we should aim for a larger coalition of cronies, a coalition that in effect includes every citizen. That way, the only way for the ruler to pay off the cronies is to deliver public goods that pay off everyone.

Second, we should improve governance. That way policy decisions are made more transparently and the money can’t be easily diverted to a small clique of hidden enforcers.

My only complaint with the Dictator’s Handbook is its relentlessly cynical tone; but maybe the authors are simply being honest.

Vincent Poirier, Montreal
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Well worth reading, but possibly, just possibly, a bit simplistic in its fundamental assumption 9 settembre 2013
Di The Gypsy Reader - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
I found this book to be well worth reading and would recommend it for anyone interested in thinking about or analyzing international politics, the development of governmental power structures, historical developments of organizational elites, the "real" effects of such things as foreign economic aid, and so forth.

Having said that, why then did I give it only four stars? The reason is that I'm still not sure how strongly the authors believe in their fundamental premise, which is that just about every decision (or is it absolutely every decision) made by those in power in organizations of whatever nature base their decisions solely, totally on their own self interest. While I can, and do, accept that such a standard is far, far too common, particularly among political elites or those whose economic interests will be aided by political decisions of the elites, I (perhaps naively) still believe that occasionally people can make decisions based upon what's good for society, or simply because it's the right thing to do, even if it doesn't advance their own material interests.

Possibly the authors make this assumption as a form of teaching lesson, i.e., make the somewhat simple sounding, wide-ranging blanket statement to get the "students' " attention, and then have them study the examples given to develop a more nuanced or subtle understanding of the topic. Fine if that's the case; the absolutism of the "self-interest" rule does seem to make the examples come to life and somewhat easier to analyze, but ultimately I believe we can add some modifications to make the analytical process a bit more realistic.

In discussing the examples, the authors do an excellent job of showing how their pattern of analysis can readily be applied in a large number of areas and they also explain, quite clearly, a very useful way of thinking about the various elements within the particular "society" (country, corporation, major economic group, etc.), that is, those in power, those just below them whose loyalty is necessary for the leaders to continue in power, the next group down who want to enter the second level, and so forth. How members of these various groups will tend to act, who they will support and under what general conditions, and similar matters are all discussed in a clear and enlightening manner.

So, in sum, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in how the world works (or at least how one can think about certain aspects of how it works in a number of cases).
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Required reading for all citizens of the world 7 marzo 2017
Di R. Gonzalez - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
One of the best books I've ever read. It explains a lot about how we govern ourselves and why the leadership ultimately lends itself to corruption and cronyism. A must read for every citizen of the world.
5.0 su 5 stelle An Excellent Insight Into the Political Process 16 gennaio 2017
Di Casey Martin - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita addresses that no one man can rule alone, and that instead that man must keep certain key people happy. That is the only form of governing, as the only difference between dictatorships and democratically elected officials is the number of key people to keep happy. The author proves this point well citing several different real life incidents of what this process can cause and how essential it is to politics. There are few problems I could find with this book but one of the most glaring is the constant cynical mood the author expresses, at first it isnt too bad but after getting half way through the book the point of it was clear. Overall, a good read if your looking to deepen your understanding of the political process
5.0 su 5 stelle One of the most interesting books on power and the drivers of human behavior that I have ever read 14 gennaio 2015
Di David - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Absolutely fascinating look at power structure and relationships in all organizations - many of the lessons are relevant to everything from your office politics to the politics of dictators (hopefully the former involves a lot less bloodshed than the latter).

While many books that cover similar topics focus on the state-level model (e.g. "Russia does X because it wants Y"), this book focuses on the pressures and biases that drive the actions of individual people because people want things, not states/countries. It uses stories and examples to illustrate a broad range of points and helps explain behaviors that you may find baffling such as - why do organizations rarely do what is right for the long-term? and why was the nobility of medieval Britain supportive of a hereditary monarchy that prevented them from ever being king?

For those who were expecting a couple of professors to write a more 'academic' book, you will be surprised. The book's references are a lot more sparse and the arguments are more story-supported than you'd expect for a book making such bold claims about the drivers of human behavior. The authors made a trade-off as the book is a lot easier to read and more interesting than lots of books written by professors but it leaves them open to assertions that their conclusions are not sufficiently supported. I am familiar enough with related research and enjoyed their approach enough that I wasn't bothered by their choice but if you often comb through the footnotes and endnotes of every book you read, you may be frustrated.

In short, this is one of the most interesting books I've read and I would whole heartedly recommend it.
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