Ole Rudolf Holsti (born August 7, 1933) is an American political scientist and academic. He currently holds the position of George V. Allen Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Duke University. He is noted for his writings on international affairs, American foreign policy, content analysis, decision-making in politics and diplomacy, and crises.
Holsti received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1954, his Master of Arts in Teaching from Wesleyan University in 1956, and his Ph.D from Stanford University in 1962.
Holsti worked at Stanford University as an instructor in the Department of Political Science (1962–1965), the research coordinator and associate director of Studies in International Conflict and Integration (1962–1967) and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, (1965–1967). He moved to the University of British Columbia in 1967, working as assistant professor in the Department of Political Science (1967–1971) before becoming a professor (1971–1974).
Holsti was at the University of California, Davis, as a professor in the Department of Political Science (1978–1979) before joining the faculty of Duke University as George V. Allen Professor in the Department of Political Science (1974–1998). He became a professor emeritus in 1998.
Holsti is the brother of the University of British Columbia's University Killam Professor Emeritus Kal (Kalevi) Holsti and the son of the late Foreign Minister of Finland Rudolf Holsti.
Inherent bad faith model of information processing in political psychology
The "inherent bad faith model" of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Holsti to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles’ beliefs and his model of information processing. It is the most widely studied model of one's opponent. A state is presumed to be implacably hostile, and contra-indicators of this are ignored. They are dismissed as propaganda ploys or signs of weakness. Examples are John Foster Dulles’ position regarding the Soviet Union, or Israel's initial position on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.