Recommended Reading

Do you have any free time? If you’re not¬†writing cases, here are reading and viewing recommendations to help you improve your debate skills.

  1. Down’s “Economic Theory.” This framework is used implicitly whenever someone says the words “rational actor.” It’s the framework that most debaters use, whether they realize it or not. For brevity, you should focus on pg.3-14, 21-31, 51, 87-95, 96-102.
  2. Schelling’s “Strategy of Conflict.” This works along similar lines, but is better written, more interesting, and it’s not strictly rational choice theory and is almost certainly more accurate. Read ch.1.
  3. Allison’s “Essence of Decision” is fascinating and explains multiple theories. This is the second most important thing after Downs IMO. Also, if you read this attentively, I don’t think you’ll ever lose a round about the cuban missile crisis. For brevity, read 1-9, 10-13, 28-35, 67-68, 89-95, 144-147, 162-180, 245-251.
  4. Black’s “Behavior of Law” is applicable to IR and is primarily sociological, but is definitely worthy of reading. It’s pretty simple and well formulated, and is a quick read despite the fact that I think you should read the whole thing.