Avi Acharya

Avi Acharya
Avi Acharya is an assistant professor in the political science department at Stanford University. He holds a PhD in political economy from Princeton University, and his fields of research include game theory, formal political theory and political economy. His more recent work focuses on historical persistence in political economy, path dependence in agency relationships and the properties of voting games with private information.

War with crazy types

Is it possible that Bashar al-Assad is simply just crazy? Of course, it is always more likely than not that a political leader is in fact rational – even for the likes of Kim Jong-un, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein. But can we always be 100% certain that a given policymaker is rational? The odds that he or she is crazy may be low – like 5%, 1% or even a tenth of a percent – but they are not 0% for every leader.

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