Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Senior Fellow, Emeritus
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Biography: 

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is an emeritus 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.

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Recent Commentary

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It All Adds Up

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Michael A. M. Lernervia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Game theory is no game. The work of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. By Michael A. M. Lerner.

The Strategy of Campaigning

by Kiron K. Skinner, Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Condoleezza Ricevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Ronald Reagan outmaneuvered Jimmy Carter. By Kiron K. Skinner, Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice.

Analysis and Commentary

Politics Starts at the Water’s Edge

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Kiron K. Skinner, Condoleezza Ricevia New York Times
Saturday, September 15, 2007

It is rare for world leaders to be selected on the basis of their foreign policy acumen or experience...

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Development and Democracy

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Hoover Digest
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Economic growth and democracy don’t always go hand in hand. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and George W. Downs explain why.

Analysis and Commentary

How Foreign Aid Can Help the Poor—and Why It Doesn't

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Aid does little to raise incomes, improve health or education, or do the myriad other things well-intentioned people would like aid to do.

Why Gun-Barrel Democracy Doesn’t Work

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, George W. Downsvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 2004

Over the past half century, the United States has repeatedly sent its military forces abroad in the name of democracy. Yet very few of the countries we have invaded have become democratic. By Hoover fellow Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and George W. Downs.

Analysis and Commentary

Preventing Future Enrons

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Harry Roundellvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, April 15, 2002

When auditors review governance structures and books, and are encouraged to consult with their clients about problems in the incentive structures, we will have come a long way toward eliminating fraud.

Questions—and Answers

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

What motivates terrorists? Which regimes are most likely to spawn terrorist groups? How can the scourge of terrorism be stopped? By Hoover fellow Bruce Bueno de Mesquita.

Analysis and Commentary

A Leaky Umbrella for Nuclear Stability

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, September 3, 2001

The United States should build a leaky umbrella and make it available to everyone.

Analysis and Commentary

Creating Incentives for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, July 16, 2001

In an arrangement that ties revenue to tourism, both Palestinians and Israelis have incentives to minimize violence.

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