Carnegie Mellon University

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Bad Governance is Good Politics

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 4:30-5:30pm, Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53

 will present five rules that determine whether a leader survives in office or is ousted. The logic behin the rules reveals when governing badly is best for leader survival. I will illustrate the workings of the theory by discussing foreign aid and UN disaster relief with an emphasis on some of their pernicious consequences for ordinary citizens and for the advancement of freedom and prosperity.


Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Silver Professor of Politics at New York University (NYU).

An expert on foreign policy and nation building, his current research focuses on political institutions, economic growth, and political change. He is also known for his research on policy forecasting for national security and for business concerns.

His most recent books include The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics (Public Affairs Press, 2011); The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future (Random House, Inc., 2009); The Strategy of Campaigning, with Kiron Skinner, Sirhey Kudelia, and Condoleezza Rice (University of Michigan Press, 2007); and The Logic of Political Survival, with Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow (MIT Press, 2003). He is the author of twelve other books, numerous policy pieces, and more than 120 academic articles. He has been profiled in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist Magazine. Foreign Policy magazine has recognized him as one of the top one hundred global thinkers.

Bueno de Mesquita is a former Guggenheim Fellow and in 2001–2 was president of the International Studies Association. He is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Queens College in New York recognized him in 1998 as one of its one hundred "alumni stars." From 1983 to 1986, he was chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester; from 2002 to 2006 he chaired the Politics Department at NYU. He currently directs the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy. He has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Cornell University, University of California at Berkeley, and NYU.

Bueno de Mesquita received his BA degree in 1967 from Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY); his MA degree in political science in 1968 from the University of Michigan; and his PhD degree in political science in 1971 from the University of Michigan.

Sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics and the Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program.