Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995), xv + 423 pp.

  • Russian translation (by Irina Soboleva), in press, 2015.
  • Chinese translation (by Ding Zhen Huan and Ou Yang Wu): Pian Hao Wei Zhuang De She Hui Huo Guo (Changchun: Changchun Publishing House, 2005), 287 pp.
  • Turkish translation (by Alp Tümertekin), with an additional preface:Yalanla Yaşamak: Tercih Çarpıtmasının Toplumsal Sonuçları(Istanbul : YKY, 2001), 498 pp.
  • Swedish translation (by Margareta Eklöf): Privat Sanning, Offentlig Lögn (Stockholm: City University Press, 1999), 424pp.
  • German translation (by Ekkehard Schöller), with an additional preface: Leben in Lüge: Präferenzverfälschungen und Ihre Gesellschaftlichen Folgen (Tübingen, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr, 1997), xviii + 462 pp.
    • PTPL - Kuran Book

Articles and Essays

(with William H. Sandholm) “Cultural Integration and Its Discontents.” Review of Economic Studies, 75 (2008): 201-228.

(with Edward McCaffery) “Sex Differences in the Acceptability of Discrimination.” Political Research Quarterly, 61 (2008): 228-238.

(with Edward McCaffery) "Expanding Discrimination Research: Beyond Ethnicity and to the Web." Social Science Quarterly, 85 (September 2004): 713-30.

"Cultural Obstacles to Economic Development: Often Overstated, Usually Transitory," in Culture and Public Action, ed. Vijayendra Rao and Michael Walton (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 115-37.

(With Cass R. Sunstein), "Controlling availability cascades," in Cass R. Sunstein (ed.), Behavioral Law and Economics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 374-97.

(With Cass R. Sunstein), "Availability cascades and risk regulation ," Stanford Law Review, 51 (April 1999): 683-768. Abstract

  • Reprint in The International Library of Essays in Environmental Risk, vol. 1, ed. John S. Applegate (Hampshire, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 411-96.
  • Abridged version in Cass R. Sunstein, Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 78-98.

"Insincere deliberation and democratic failure ," Critical Review, 12 (Fall 1998): 529-44. Abstract

"Ethnic norms and their transformation through reputational cascades ," Journal of Legal Studies, 27 (Summer 1998, pt. 2): 623-59. Abstract

"The vulnerability of the Arab state: Reflections on the Ayubi thesis," Independent Review, 3 (Summer 1998): 111-23.

"Ethnic dissimilation and its international diffusion," in David A. Lake and Donald Rothchild (eds.), The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict: Fear, Diffusion, and Escalation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998): 35-60. Abstract

"The inevitability of future revolutionary surprises ," American Journal of Sociology, 100 (May 1995): 1528-51.

"The unthinkable and the unthought," Rationality and Society, 5 (October 1993): 473-505.

"Seeds of racial explosion," Society, 30 (September/October 1993): 55-67.

  • Abridged reprint under the title "A backlash against affirmative action is growing among whites," in Paul A. Winters (ed.), Race Relations: Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996): 29-35.
  • Reprint in Current, no. 358, December 1993: 4-15.

"Mitigating the tyranny of public opinion: Anonymous discourse and the ethic of sincerity," Constitutional Political Economy, 3 (Winter 1993): 41-74. Abstract

"Now out of never: The element of surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989," World Politics, 44 (October 1991): 7-48. Abstract

  • Reprint in Nancy Bermeo (ed.), Liberalization and Democratization (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992): 7- 48. Abstract
  • Abridged reprint in Essential Readings in Comparative Politics, 4th ed., edited by Patrick O'Neill and Ronald Rogowski (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012), in press.

"Cognitive limitations and preference evolution," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 146 (June 1991): 241-273. Abstract

"The East European Revolution of 1989: Is it surprising that we were surprised?" American Economic Review, 81 (May 1991): 121-125. Abstract

Reprint in The Economics of Defence, ed. Keith Hartley and Todd Sandler (Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edgar Elgar, 2000): forthcoming.

Reprint in David Kennett and Mark Lieberman (eds.), The Road to Capitalism: Economic Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992): 332-338.

"Private and public preferences," Economics and Philosophy , 6 (April 1990): 1-26.

  • French translation (by Joëlle Cicchini): "Préférences privées et préférences publiques," Revue Européenne des Sciences Sociales, vol. 37, no. 114 (1999): 293-319.

"The role of deception in political competition," in A. Breton, G. Galeotti, P. Salmon, and R. Wintrobe (eds.), The Competitive State (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1990): 71-95. Abstract

"Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution ," Public Choice, 61 (April 1989): 41-74. Abstract

  • Reprint in Ulrich Witt (ed.), Evolutionary Economics (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1993): 273-306.

"The tenacious past: Theories of personal and collective conservatism," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization , 10 (September 1988): 143-171.

"Preference falsification, policy continuity and collective conservatism," Economic Journal, 97 (September 1987): 642-665. Abstract

"Chameleon voters and public choice," Public Choice, 53 (1987): 53-78. Abstract

Comments, replies, edited works

"Why revolutions are better understood than predicted: The role of preference falsification" [Comment on an article by Nikki Keddie], Contention, 3 (Spring 1992): 199-207.

  • Reprint in Nikki R. Keddie (ed.), Debating Revolutions (New York: New York University Press, 1994): 27-35.

Encyclopedia Articles

"Public opinion," Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), in press.

"Public opinion, microsociological aspects," International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Amsterdam: Pergamon, 2001): 12556-60.


Op-ed: “You Can’t Keep a Lid on Discontent Forever.” Cato Unbound, March 16, 2016. 

Op-ed: “The Authenticity Deficit in Modern Politics.” Cato Unbound, March 7, 2016.

Op-ed: "Turkey's Electoral Dictatorship.” Project Syndicate, April 10, 2014.

Op-ed on Arab uprisings: "The Politics of Revolutionary Surprise," Project Syndicate, February 2, 2011. (available in seven languages)

The Politics of Revolutionary Surprise.” Project Syndicate, February 2, 2011. Available also in Spanish, Russian, French, German, Chinese, and Arabic.


Interview with Denis Volkov, “An Atmosphere of Repression Leads to Preference Falsification among Opinion Leaders,” Institute of Modern Russia, 14 October 2015 (Online: in English and Russian).

Religious Freedom Project discussion on “The Economic and Political Effects of Restrictions on Religion” moderated by Daniel Philpott. Participants: Timur Kuran and Abdullah Saeed, December 15, 2014. 

Radio interview with Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace (March 4, 2011): "Historical Roots of Middle Eastern Uprisings."


Jack A. Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), in Contemporary Sociology, 21 (January 1992): 8-10.

The above photo is from Love Canal in Niagra Falls, New York. Did it pose a grave environmental risk?  Did people believe so?

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