cover of book

The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin
by Kiron Skinner, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Serhiy Kudelia and Condoleezza Rice
University of Michigan Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-472-11627-0 | Paper: 978-0-472-03319-5 | eISBN: 978-0-472-02585-5
Library of Congress Classification JK2281.S73 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 324.72


The Strategy of Campaigning explores the political careers of Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin, two of the most galvanizing and often controversial political figures of our time. Both men overcame defeat early in their political careers and rose to the highest elected offices in their respective countries.

The authors demonstrate how and why Reagan and Yeltsin succeeded in their political aspirations, despite—or perhaps because of—their apparent “policy extremism”: that is, their advocacy of policy positions far from the mainstream. The book analyzes the viability of policy extremism as a political strategy that enables candidates to forge new coalitions and outflank conventional political allegiances.

Kiron K. Skinner is Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Carnegie Mellon University, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the National Security Education Board.


Serhiy Kudelia is Lecturer of Politics at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine and advisor to Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.


Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Condoleezza Rice is on a leave of absence from Stanford University, where she was a Professor of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is currently serving as U.S. Secretary of State.

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