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For other George Downses, see George Downs.

brief descriptionprofilesbiographyreferences
George W. Downs

Full name

George Woodrow Downs

Alternative names

George W. Downs

Presence at Shimer

1967

Presence on Earth

1946–2015

BA

Shimer College 1967

Ph.D.

University of Michigan 1976

Role(s)

Mount Carroll period alum

George W. Downs was a student at Shimer College in the Mount Carroll period, graduating in 1967. He was a guard on the Shimer College Pioneers basketball team in 1966.

Brief descriptionEdit

This brief description is released under the CC0 copyright waiver.

George W. Downs (1946–2015) was an eminent American political scientist and pioneer of the application of noncooperative game theory to international politics. He was a professor of politics at New York University since 1998, where he served as Dean of Social Science from 2001 to 2009. Previously he served as Boswell Professor of Peace and War at Princeton University from 1987 to 1998. His books include Optimal Imperfection? (1995) and The Search for Government Efficiency: From Hubris to Helplessness (1986). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2014. He held a bachelor's degree from Shimer College and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. (from Shimer College Wiki)


ProfiledEdit

MentionedEdit

  • in September 1969 Shimer College Bulletin, page 4:
    LT. GEORGE W. DOWNS, Jr., AB '68, plays a key role in the operation of one of the nation's newest frontline defense facilities. Lt. Downs is a weapons controller at the BUIC III (Back- Up Interceptor Control) site that recently became operational at Mount Laguna Air Force Station, Calif.

BiographyEdit

George W. Downs (August 6, 1946 – January 21, 2015)[1] was an eminent American political scientist and pioneer of the application of noncooperative game theory to international politics.[2] He was a professor of politics at New York University, where he served as chair of the political science department (1998-2001), Dean of Social Science (2001-2009), and later as the Bernhardt Denmark Professor of International Affairs. Before that, he had served as Boswell Professor of Peace and War at Princeton University from 1987 to 1998. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2014. His books included The Search for Government Efficiency: From Hubris to Helplessness (1986) and Optimal Imperfection? (1995).

Early life and educationEdit

George Downs 1969

Downs in the military in 1969.

Downs earned a BA from Shimer College in 1967, graduating at the age of 20. Then as now, Shimer offered an early entrance program for high school sophomores and juniors.[3] At Shimer, he roomed with David Rocke, with whom he would collaborate on several books and papers.[1] In his senior year, the 6'3" Downs played as a guard on the Shimer Pioneers basketball team.[4] After graduation, Downs served in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot from 1967 to 1971.[1]

Downs went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1976.[5] At Michigan, he held fellowships including the Rackham Prize Fellowship, Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship, and NIMH Fellowship,[5] and served in a number of leadership positions.[6] His dissertation was titled "Bureaucracy, Innovation and Public Policy," and was also published in book form by Lexington Books.[7]

Academic and administrative careerEdit

Downs taught at the University of California, Davis from 1975 to 1987, as a professor in the department of political science.[5] He then moved to Princeton, were he served as Boswell Professor of Peace and War in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs from 1987 to 1998.[5] He also headed the Woodrow Wilson School's Ph.D. program from 1993 to 1997.[5]

From there, Downs moved to New York University, where he served as chair of the Department of Politics from 1998 to 2001.[1] He then rose to Dean of Social Science, serving in that capacity until 2009.[1]

According to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Downs was "the first scholar to use non-cooperative game theory to model the effects of domestic uncertainty on international negotiations and to identify how to use tacit bargaining ... to resolve disputes and arms races without coercion."[2] He is also known for his work developing the theory of coordination goods.[2]

Downs was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.[8]

Downs died of heart failure on January 21, 2015, shortly after falling asleep after watching the State of the Union Address.[1]

HonorsEdit

WorksEdit

  • Bureaucracy, Innovation, and Public Policy (1976) OCLC 67504394
  • The Search for Government Efficiency: From Hubris to Helplessness (1986; coauthored with Patrick Larkey) ISBN 9780394352138
  • Tacit Bargaining, Arms Races, and Arms Control (1990; coauthored with David Rocke) ISBN 0472064509
  • Collective security beyond the Cold War (1994) ISBN 0472104578
  • Optimal Imperfection? Domestic Uncertainty and Institutions in International Relations (1997; coauthored with David Rocke) ISBN 0691016259

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Remembering George Downs, 1946-2015" (PDF). New York University. http://politics.as.nyu.edu/docs/CP/1286/Remembering_George_Downs_1946-2015.pdf. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tucker, Joshua (2015-01-22). "The political scientist George Downs has died". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/01/22/the-political-scientist-george-downs-has-died/. 
  3. "Early Entrance Admissions". Shimer College. http://www.shimer.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/early-entrant-admissions/. Retrieved 2015-01-31. 
  4. "Shimer Cagers Hope to Stage Surprises". Register-Republic (Rockford, Illinois). 1966-11-17. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Downs, George W. (2010). "VITA: George W. Downs" (PDF). http://politics.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/2591/downs_cv.pdf. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  6. "George Downs passed away on January 21st, 2015". University of Michigan. 2015-01-26. http://www.lsa.umich.edu/vgn-ext-templating/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=30edf8641e62b410VgnVCM100000c2b1d38dRCRD&vgnextchannel=2108ddcd3a00d210VgnVCM10000055b1d38dRCRD&vgnextfmt=detail. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  7. "Bureaucracy, innovation, and public policy". Worldcat. http://www.worldcat.org/title/bureaucracy-innovation-and-public-policy/oclc/67504394. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  8. "AAAS Elects Three NYU Faculty as 2014 Fellows". New York University. 2014-04-23. http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2014/04/23/aaas-elects-three-nyu-faculty-as-2014-fellows.html. Retrieved 2015-01-31. 
  9. "The Louis Brownlow Book Award: Previous Winners" (PDF). http://www.napawash.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Louis-Brownlow-Book-Award-Previous-Winners-List1.pdf. Retrieved 2015-01-31. 


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