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Diversionary Incentives, Rally Effects, and Crisis Bargaining

Arena, Philip and Bak, Daehee (2015) 'Diversionary Incentives, Rally Effects, and Crisis Bargaining.' Foreign Policy Analysis, 11 (2). pp. 233-250. ISSN 1743-8586

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Abstract

We do not yet have strong evidence that the rally effect motivates domestically vulnerable leaders to become engaged in international conflict. We draw upon mechanism design to argue that, if anything, diversionary incentives should be associated with a greater likelihood of being the target of disputes, though the conditions under which the result obtains are restrictive. Our analysis of all dyad-months involving the United States and its rivals for the period from 1956–1996 yields suggestive evidence of the unconventional behavior anticipated by our model, while failing to find evidence of patterns anticipated by either traditional diversionary accounts or strategic conflict avoidance. These results suggest that if we are to better understand international conflict by focusing on diversionary incentives, which may not be very useful, we should focus on the behavior described by our formal model rather than that anticipated by either traditional diversionary accounts or strategic conflict avoidance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 15:43
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 15:43
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18249

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