International Negotiation 8: 367–402, 2003. © 2003 Kluwer Law International. Printed in the Netherlands. 367 Keynes’ Attack on the Versailles Treaty: An Early Investigation of the Consequences of Bounded Rationality, Framing, and Cognitive Illusions WILLIAM P. BOTTOM ¤ John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, Room 1133, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA (E-mail: email@example.com) Abstract. The Paris Peace Conference was arguably the most complex negotiation ever undertaken. The principal product of the conference, the Treaty of Versailles, failed to accom- plish any of its framers’ major goals. Relations between the Allies themselves and the Allies and their defeated enemies seriously deteriorated as a consequence of the negotiations and attempts to implement the treaty. Economic conditions in Germany, the rest of Europe, and eventually the United States declined as well. At the time of the Treaty’s publication, John Maynard Keynes and a considerable number of other participants predicted these events, pointing to the negotiators’ errors and oversights as a primary cause. The logic of Keynes’ argument is re-examined in light of recent research on the psychology of human information processing, judgment and choice. It reveals that his approach is actually very consistent
International Negotiation – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Keywords: VERSAILLES TREATY; BOUNDED RATIONALITY; COGNITIVE ILLUSIONS; FRAMING
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