Decision and Interaction in Crisis: A Model of International Crisis Behavior

Decision and Interaction in Crisis: A Model of International Crisis Behavior

Decision and Interaction in Crisis: A Model of International Crisis Behavior

Decision and Interaction in Crisis: A Model of International Crisis Behavior

Synopsis

This book provides an analysis of strategic behavior in international crises. Various aspects of crisis decision and interaction, such as initiation, misperception, deception, learning, and termination, are studied by means of a game model that incorporates psychological variables. This integrative approach is designed to narrow the gap between psychological and game-theoretical studies of crisis, which are generally considered to be incompatible. The utility of the approach is demonstrated by means of an in-depth case study of the 1967 Middle East crisis.

Excerpt

The importance of international crises in world politics is not difficult to appreciate. Even a moment's reflection on the events of this century points to the central and critical role that crises have played: a sequence of crises--Fashoda (1898), Morocco (1905-1906), Bosnia (1908-1909), Agadir (1911), and the Balkans (1913)--set the stage for World War I, whose immediate precipitant was the July 1914 crisis; the Hider crises of the 1930s were the overture to World War 11; and the Cold War featured a series of crises, in Iran (1945-46), Berlin (1948-49, 1958-62), Quemoy (1958), Cuba (1962), the Middle East (1973), Angola (1975-76), and elsewhere. in fact, according to one estimate (Brecher and Wilkenfeld, 1989: 6), between 1929 and 1985, the international system experienced 323 international (macrolevel) crises, in Africa (28%), the Americas (12%), Asia (23%), Europe (18%), and the Middle East (19%). At present, too, the disintegration of the Soviet Union is generating crises throughout its former empire.

The prevalence of crises has been matched by a voluminous literature on the topic. Scholars have produced in-depth case studies and aggregate data sets of crises, explored the phenomenon from different levels of analysis, and employed a variety of methodologies in its study. They investigated crisis initiation, escalation, management, termination, and forecasting, in isolation and in relation to other research areas. in short, barely has an aspect of crisis escaped the attention of researchers.

Whereas the output has been impressive indeed, its cumulative theoretical import has been less remarkable. the literature on international crises can boast some excellent studies, but it has yet to integrate them and produce a broad theory. in fact, rather than move in the direction of such a theory, the field has become divided to such an extent that the prospects for a general theory now seem dimmer than ever. One scholar has remarked that even major contemporary . . .

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