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The Social Shaping of Commission Reports

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    Zelikow held three different offices in the U.S. Department of State during the second Reagan administration; he was on the National Security Council under President George H. W. Bush, along with Condoleezza Rice; he served on President George W. Bush’s transition team in 2000–2001; then he was named to the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

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    Indeed, Clinton had received a presidential daily briefing in December 1998 entitled “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack U.S. Aircraft and Other Attacks.” Clinton took al-Qaeda warnings seriously and wanted Bin Ladin dead, but efforts to accomplish this were never successfully mobilized (pp. 128–33).

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    For penetrating analyses of signals, perception, and misperception in international politics, see Jervis (1970, 1976).


  1. Jervis, Robert L. 1970 Logic and Images in International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  2. 1976 Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  3. Mednicoff, David M. 2005 “Compromising toward confusion: The 9/11 Commission report and American policy in the Middle East.” Contemporary Sociology 34:107–15.

  4. Tilly, Charles 2006 Why? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  5. Vaughan, Diane 1996 The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  6. 2006 “NASA revisited: Theory, analogy, and public sociology.” American Journal of Sociology 112, September, forthcoming.

  7. Zegart, Amy B. 2004 “Blue ribbons, black boxes: Toward a better understanding of presidential commissions.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 34:366–393.

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Correspondence to Diane Vaughan.

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Vaughan, D. The Social Shaping of Commission Reports. Sociol Forum 21, 291 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11206-006-9021-7

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