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HUS Special Seminar by Dr. David Bell Mislan (American University School of International Service)

We are pleased to invite you to a seminar on, “Exogenous Shock, the Endowment Effect, and the Origins of the Iraq War” by Dr. David Mislan, (American University) .


Human Sciences Program Special Seminar 2019


Exogenous Shock, the Endowment Effect, and the Origins of the Iraq War


Dr. David Bell Mislan

American University School of International Service



Why did the Bush administration (43rd) pursue war with Iraq?  More generally, why do states pursue preventive war?  This paper posits that a desire to return to pre-9/11 levels of security and an increase in risk acceptance among policymakers enabled the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.  It proceeds in four parts.  First, it offers a brief review of the explanations of the decision to invade Iraq from scholarly and popular thought.  Then, it extends a novel explanation based in part on prospect theory.  Third, it tests the explanation against the available empirical record.  Finally, the paper concludes with a short discussion of the implications of the paper’s findings for theory, policy, and practice.    


David Bell Mislan joined the SIS faculty in 2011 as an assistant professor. He is affiliated with the USFP program at the graduate level and the Foreign Policy & National Security and Peace, Global Security, & Conflict Resolution groups at the undergraduate level. Dr. Mislan is the author of Enemies of the American Way: Identity and Presidential Foreign Policymaking (Bloombury, 2012) and Weird IR: Deviant Cases in International Relations (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018, with Philip A. Streich). In 2016-2017, Dr. Mislan was a Fulbright Scholar in Yokohama, Japan. He writes and speaks on the topics of US foreign policy, national security, and the intersection of American identity and grand strategy. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Mislan is the co-advisor of Clocks and Clouds, an Undergraduate Research Journal. He is the co-founder and former advisor of the American University International Relations Society (AMIRS), the Model G20 program, and AU’s Model UN team.

HUS Special Seminar_Dr.Mislan 12-18-2019