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Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics. John J. Mearsheimer

An expert in foreign policy, John J. Mearsheimer now turns his attention to a relatively understudied phenomenon, that of cross-border, international lying.

“In Why Leaders Lie, Mearsheimer provides the first systematic analysis of lying as a tool of statecraft, identifying the varieties, the reasons, and the potential costs and benefits. Drawing on a wealth of examples, he argues that leaders often lie for good strategic reasons, so a blanket condemnation is unrealistic and unwise. Yet there are other kinds of deception besides lying, including concealment and spinning. Perhaps no distinction is more important than that between lying to another state and lying to one’s own people.”