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date: 21 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter profiles the bounded rationality of two major candidates for US president in the 2016 presidential election. It identifies their philosophical beliefs regarding (1) the friendly or hostile nature of the political universe, (2) the achievement of fundamental political values, (3) the predictability of the future, (4) control over historical development, and (5) the role of chance in political life. It also examines their instrumental beliefs regarding (1) the optimum strategic approach to political goals, (2) tactical flexibility in carrying out a strategy, (3) calculation and management of risk, (4) role of timing, and (5) utility of various means in taking political action. These beliefs define a leader’s “operational code” regarding the exercise of power by self and others in world politics. The chapter extrapolates from these beliefs some game theory predictions for how Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as the next US president would exercise power in world politics.

Keywords: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, operational code, US presidents, bounded rationality, game theory

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