The Kennedy Experiment Revisited

Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 20-24

6 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: March 2008


Many of the critical issues and conflicts in international relations today bear a significant resemblance to the geopolitical circumstances that led to the development of a theorem the author published in these pages forty years ago. This theorem points toward a course of (1) unilateral, (2) reciprocal, and (3) symbolic actions between mutually mistrustful agents as the best road to travel toward the possibility of "normal" negotiations. Looking back at the events of 1962-1963, the author finds (as he found in his article forty years ago) that the unilateral-reciprocal approach led to reduced tensions between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Although his theorem has received the kind of varied and relevant observations those who formulate theorems aspire to, the author regrets that there have been very few attempts to apply this theorem to subsequent international conflicts as a tension-reducing tactic.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, The Kennedy Experiment Revisited (March 2008). Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 20-24 . Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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