The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

31 Jul 2012

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Explains the theory of political survival, particularly in cases of dictators and despotic governments, arguing that leaders seek to stay in power using any means necessary, especially by attending to the interests of coalitions.

Pages: 352

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Overall: 57% of the 63 mentions are positive, 35% are neutral and 8% are negative.

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63 mentions sorted by:
  • If you're trying to be fancy about it you do it like this: The Dictators Handbook Put the words you want to be a link in between brackets [example] and then put the URL in parenthesis directly after [example](example url)
    30 points in /r/news by zigzagman1031 | 20 May 2017
  • (I hope that's how you post links in Reddit) Anyways; really good book; similar to Machiavelli; but with enough contemporary examples; and explanations to feel unique. Can't recommend it enough.
    34 points in /r/news by crunchyninja | 20 May 2017
  • If your politicians are not doing what you expect them to do; it means the group you are part of is too inconsequential for them to be significant in their acquisition or hold on power. So the resources that would be used to win the approval of your demographical block are used to win the approval of the segment of the population critical to their success. Since their objective is to win they have to promise this critical segments more than the competition; so everything that is spent on you is wealth that their opponents can promise to the critical segment; winning over the politician that is trying to please you. The solution is to find a party where your support is critical to their success. This holds true whatever your personal beliefs are. If yo want a better explanation I suggest having a look at the book the dictator's handbook or if don't have time to read a big (and honestly) fairly heavy book this video is an interesting summary.
    1 points in /r/AskMen by hexalby | 19 May 2017
  • check out the dictator's guide. if you want to know why leaders throughout history have behaved in ways that seem at odds with common sense - this is the book. it also explains how in fact democracies and dictatorships are not really all that different - in both the real mechanism of staying in power is "deep/hidden" coalition. The only difference is you need a smaller coalition for a dictatorship. CG_grey made a video book review about it - it covers the genernal idea quite well.
    2 points in /r/Documentaries by rnev64 | 08 May 2017
  • Bad behavior is almost always good politics.

    There's a CGP grey video Rules for Rulers; which talks about how horrible; despotic people can remain in power for so long (hint: figure out who actually got you into power; and keep that person happy).

    If articles are more your fancy this one has most of the same content.
    3 points in /r/worldnews by ScowlEasy | 28 Apr 2017

  • The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics By Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith

    For eighteen years; Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to.

    This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters; or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with; and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth; which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.

    This is essentially any public choice economics class you'll ever take. It's a great break down on the real incentives of rulers and how that influences their rule; even more so it goes into detail how these incentives shape economies; policies; wars; business; and much more.



    Nonfiction- Political Science/Public Choice theory
    13 points in /r/globalistshills by Peetrius | 20 Apr 2017

  • BTW: very interresting read on the subjet:
    3 points in /r/Monero by Ant-n | 20 Apr 2017

  • I'm going to bank with he doesn't. It's rarely good politics for a dictator to care about the lives of the common people at the expense of his cronies who keep him in power; especially in a war scenario.

    Source: The Dictator's Handbook
    3 points in /r/worldnews by readmeink | 13 Apr 2017