The Dictators Handbook

The Dictators Handbook

959 Pages · · 2.1 MB · 448 Downloads· language English
Published By publisher of ebook PubliCaffaris
File Name: The-Dictator-Handbook-Why-Bad-Behavior-is-Almost-Always-Good-Politics.pdf
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Introduction TO The Dictators Handbook

“The Dictators Handbook” by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith is a fascinating and thought-provoking book that seeks to explain the fundamental principles of political power and how it is wielded by those in charge. The authors argue that all governments, whether democratic or authoritarian, are essentially the same in that they are run by a small group of people who are motivated by self-interest above all else.

Books Overview OF The Dictators Handbook

The book is structured around a series of principles that the authors call the “rules of rulers.” These rules are designed to explain how political power works in practice. How it can be used to achieve specific goals. The first rule, for example, is that all rulers must stay in power to achieve their goals. That they will do whatever it takes to do so. This means that rulers will often prioritize their own interests over the interests of their constituents. That they will use any means necessary to stay in power, including violence and corruption.

Another key principle of the book is that rulers must maintain a coalition of supporters in order to stay in power. This coalition can be made up of a variety of different groups. Including the military, business elites, and other powerful interest groups. The authors argue that these groups will support the ruler as long as they believe that they are benefiting from the ruler’s policies. That they will withdraw their support if they feel that their interests are being threatened.

Throughout the book, the authors provide a wealth of examples from history and from contemporary politics to illustrate their points. They look at a wide range of different types of governments, from democracies to dictatorships. They show how the same principles of political power apply in each case. For example, they argue that democratic politicians are just as likely to prioritize their own interests over the interests of their constituents as authoritarian rulers are. And that they will use the same tactics to stay in power, such as gerrymandering and pork-barrel spending.


One of the strengths of “The Dictator’s Handbook” is its clear and accessible writing style. The authors use a lot of real-world examples and anecdotes to illustrate their points. Which makes the book engaging and easy to read. At the same time, however, the book is also quite dense. Packed with information, so readers may need to take their time to fully absorb all of the material.


Overall, “The Dictator’s Handbook” is an important and thought-provoking book that offers a unique perspective on the nature of political power. While some readers may find the book’s focus on self-interest and cynicism somewhat disheartening. Others will appreciate the authors’ clear-eyed approach to politics and their willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. Whether you are interested in politics or just looking for a thought-provoking read. “The Dictator’s Handbook” is definitely worth checking out.