A state of fear

Dr. Graham Allison

Graham Allison

Dr. Graham Allison (1940) is thé leading analist of U.S. national security and defense policy. He is specialised in nucleair weapens, terrorism, and political decision making. Allison served as a special advisor for the Department of Defense under Reagan and as Assistent Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans during Clinton’s first term. Allison has been decorated twice with the highest U.S. medal for civilians, mainly because of his positive influence on the changing relations between the U.S., Russia, Ukrain, Belarus and Kazahkstan, which leaded to the destruction of more than 4000 nuclear warheads. Dr. Allisons first book, ‘Essence of decision’: explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, is an all-time bestseller. At the moment, Allison is director of the Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affaires. During the symposium Allison talked about the influence of fear on the political decision making process.  Does fear in politics lead to (ir)rational choices?

Watch Graham Allison’s speech at the VeerStichting symposium

Mister Allison takes the non-proliferation treaties established after the Cuban Missile as an example of humans rising above their own fear in a situation of ‘all against all’ to break with this destructive state of affairs. Do you think this will also be possible in the future, when power won’t be distributed between two nations but a dozen? How would we able to rise above our most primary instinct in a situations of chaos?