Kydd, Andrew H. 1963-
Kydd, Andrew H. 1963-
Born 1963. Education: University of Chicago, Ph.D., 1996.
2006 Best Book Award, American Political Science Association, for Trust and Mistrust in International Relations.
Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including American Political Science Review, World Politics, International Organization, and International Security.
A political science professor, Andrew H. Kydd is interested in issues concerning international relations, including terrorism, security, nuclear proliferation, and conflict resolution. In his first book, Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, Kydd postulates a theory about how relations between two countries are based on principles of mutual trust. According to the Princeton University Press Web site, Kydd's is "the first systematic game theoretic approach to trust in international relations, and is also the first to explicitly consider how we as external observers should make inferences about the trustworthiness of states." His theory is based on three concepts. First, whenever a state enters a conflict, it becomes more likely that its government is not trustworthy; second, militarily and economically strong states are not necessarily more likely to be trustworthy; and finally, even when a state is untrustworthy in the past, negotiations and working cooperatively can help build trust over time. Kydd uses the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union as a model for much of his argument, he comments that the Soviets were clearly untrustworthy from the time just following World War II, when they diligently worked to take over states such as Poland.
In a review in the Political Science Quarterly, Aaron M. Hoffman called Trust and Mistrust in International Relations an "impressive" collection covering many important subjects, "including debates within realism, the capacity of hegemons to foster international cooperation, the qualitative analysis of events data, how to interpret the origins and demise of the Cold War, challenges facing the United States in the post-Cold War era, and the roles of trust and reassurance in interstate relations. This is a book everyone should read." While Hoffman agreed with Kydd that an analysis of observations concerning another country's treatment of other states can lead to solid reasoning as to whether or not that country is trustworthy, the critic also felt Kydd is guilty of making "some questionable claims." For example, Hoffman did not believe that the more powerful a state the less trustworthy it tends to become; rather, the critic felt that imbalance of power between to negotiating countries should not be a factor in all cases. Kydd errs, according to Hoffman, because his concept of trust is based on the "expectation that others will advance rather than harm interests placed under their control."
Put another way by Wallace J. Thies in a Perspectives on Political Science review, "Kydd defines trust as believing that another state is willing to reciprocate cooperation. Mistrust means believing that another state will exploit an attempt to cooperate." Thies went on to explain the organization of the book, which is arranged in paired complementary chapters. One chapter will explain a theory about international relations, and the chapter following it will provide case studies. For example, chapters three and four are about how mistrust can escalate between countries, and Kydd provides the Cold War as an example. The two chapters after that concern how trust can be built up, even after countries have been at war, and the author provides the post-World War II relationship between West Germany and the United States as an example. While Thies considered the chapters on theory to be "very sophisticated," the critic felt that "case study chapters come across as something that could have been written by a more traditional scholar who lacks Kydd's prowess at creating formal models." Despite his own reservations, Hoffman asserted that Trust and Mistrust in International Relations "is a model of systematic thinking about important subjects."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Biochemistry, February 21, 2006, J.D. Moon, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, p. 1476.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, April, 2006, J.D. Moon, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, p. 1476.
International History Review, September, 2006, David A. Welch, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, p. 693.
Journal of Economic Literature, September, 2007, Barry O'Neill, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, p. 755.
Journal of Peace Research, May, 2006, Anne E. Sartori, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, p. 356.
Perspectives on Political Science, summer, 2007, Wallace J. Thies, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations.
Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2006, Aaron M. Hoffman, review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations.
Princeton University Press Web site,http://www.press.princeton.edu/ (March 27, 2008), brief faculty profile.
University of Wisconsin Department of Political Science Web site,http://www.polisci.wisc.edu/ (March 27, 2008), brief faculty profile.