Naval War College Review

Article Title

War and Human Nature


Martin L. Cook


Stephen Peter Rosen is Michael Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University. In this ambitious volume he attempts to counter the view that economic- rationality models of human behavior adequately explain human decision making. He defines economic rational- ity as the assumption that people “have a stable, ordered, and consistent set of preferences and that they have a stable way of making choices about how to use scarce resources in a manner that gives them the most utility for a given expenditure of resources.” Rosen at- tempts to demonstrate the inadequacy of economic rationality to explain or predict human behavior by drawing on a wide range of empirical research.