Diplomacy: Communication and the Origins of International Order

Robert F. Trager

“Trager’s book is a tour de force, the most significant advance for our understanding of how and when diplomatic communications convey information about state leaders’ intentions in many years. Systematic study of how state leaders draw inferences from their counterparts’ words and actions is very difficult. Trager’s integration of carefully thought-out theoretical arguments, close reading of diplomatic records, and systematic measurement of patterns in those records represents major progress.”

James D. Fearon, Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

“Diplomacy, especially private diplomacy, is central to international politics, and yet scholars have had little to say about how it communicates and influences. With a superb combination of game theory, data, and diplomatic history, Robert Trager moves us a big step forward to understanding signaling, credibility, and bargaining. There is often a trade-off between richness and rigor, but not here.”

Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

“Robert Trager has written the definitive book on diplomacy as cheap talk communication. This book will be the starting point for future research on this topic for a generation.”

Andrew Kydd, Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison