Robert Jervis is on every international relations syllabus. And in this episode, you will learn how he got there. But first, we talk time travel and IR theory.
Jervis is probably best known for his book Perception and Misperception in International Politics which was a groundbreaking work that applied principles of cognitive psychology to international relations theory. He traces the origin of this book to a question he asked his parents when young Jervis was just 7 years old.
In addition to Perception and Misperception we also discuss at length the origins of Jervis’ first book, The Logic of Images in International Relations, which is also firmly embedded in the International Relations theory cannon.
This is a fun, wide ranging conversation. Jervis recalls the influence of his family and growing up in a highly political environment in New York in the 1950s and 60s, how the Vietnam War reduced his own hawkish inclinations, and reflects on some of his work helping the CIA learn from past mistakes.