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Rethinking Allison's Models

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2013

Jonathan Bendor
Stanford University
Thomas H. Hammond
Michigan State University


The ideas in Graham Allison's Essence of Decision (1971) have had an enormous impact on the study and teaching of bureaucracy and foreign policy making. While Allison's work has received considerable critical attention, there has been surprisingly little examination of the content and internal logic of his models. We subject each of Allison's three models to a systematic critical analysis. Our conclusion is that the models require substantial reformulation.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 1992

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