Weird IR pp 43-57 | Cite as

Stupid Things Our Leaders Say and Do



This chapter provides a selection of vignettes about inappropriate leadership behavior. It raises some useful questions: When it comes to IR, how much do the personal characteristics of leaders matter? How do personal relationships between leaders impact politics among states? In what circumstances do personal antagonisms between two leaders undercut the pursuit of the national interest?


Stupid Things USAUnited States Donald TrumpTrump Tillerson President Trump 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References and Suggested Readings

  1. Allison, Graham T., and Philip Zelikow. Essence of Decision: Understanding the Cuban Missile Crisis, revised edition. New York: Longman, 1999.Google Scholar
  2. “Boris Johnson Libya ‘Dead Bodies’ Comment Provokes Anger,” British Broadcasting Corporation, October 4, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  3. Bush, George W. Decision Points. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010.Google Scholar
  4. Chan, Sewell. “Last Night in Sweden? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation,” The New York Times, February 19, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  5. Landler, Mark. “Trump’s Way: Trump, the Insurgent, Breaks with Seventy Years of American Foreign Policy,” The New York Times, December 28, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  6. Levy, Gabrielle. “Trump Relayed Highly Classified Intel to Lavrov, Kislyak,” US News and World Report, May 15, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  7. Mearsheimer, John. Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  8. Miller, Greg, Julie Vitkovskaya, and Reuben Fischer-Baum. “This Deal Will Make Me Look Terrible: Full Transcripts of Trump’s Calls with Mexico and Australia,” The Washington Post, August 3, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  9. Nakazawa, Katsuji. “Was the Korean Peninsula Part of China? Xi and the Han Dynasty Game Plan,” Nikkei Asian Review, August 18, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  10. Perlez, Jane. “Cordial Rivals: How Bush and Putin Became Friends,” The New York Times, June 18, 2001. Accessed March 10, 2018 at
  11. Reuters Staff. “Germany Rejects Trump’s Claim It Owes NATO and US Vast Sums for Defense,” Reuters News Service, March 19, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  12. Stoessinger, John. Why Nations Go to War, 11th edition. New York: Wadsworth, 2010.Google Scholar
  13. The Daily Beast. “Awkward Obama Kisses: Aung San Suu Kyi, Hillary Clinton, and More,” November 19, 2012 at
  14. Wall Street Journal. “President Trump’s WSJ Interview: Highlights,” April 12, 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at
  15. Weiner, Juli. “More Horrendously Creepy Details About Qaddafi’s Condoleezza Rice Obsession,” Vanity Fair, October 21, 2011. Accessed on March 10, 2018 at

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Human SciencesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

Personalised recommendations