POL SCI DETERRENCE

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Author:
cthuruth
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16372
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POL SCI DETERRENCE
Updated:
2010-04-27 01:15:01
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  1. For a deterrent threat to work, it must be
    • credible
    • The party receiving the threat must believe that the threat will be carried out
  2. Deterrence depends
    on perceptions
  3. Deterrence:
    The underlying objective of deterrence is to persuade an adversary not to take an action that it otherwise would
  4. Categories of Deterrence(2):
    -Extended deterrence: when actions of one state are designed to persuade another not to threaten a third state (preventing an attack against others)
  5. Categories of Deterrence(1):
    -General deterrence: when one state tries to deter another from altering the status quo (preventing an attack against yourself)
  6. Categories of Deterrence(3):
    Extended immediate deterrence- during the final stage of a crisis, the would-be attacker is persuaded to back down rather than follow
  7. General and extended deterrence fails when 
    a threat is made
  8. Extended immediate deterrence fails when
    a threat is carried out
  9. For a deterrent threat to work, it must be
    • credible
    • The party receiving the threat must believe that the threat will be carried out
  10. The credibility of a deterrent threat depends on:
    • -The capability to successfully carry out the threatsurvivability
    • -The will to carry out the threat
  11. Of course, if a threat is credible,
    it will never have to be carried out
  12. Perceptions influence decisions to
    attack or not
  13. Perceptions: A would-be attacker only attacks when
    they believe that the deterrent threat will not be carried out (or when they believe that they can defeat their adversary at an acceptable cost)
  14. U.S. used two separate methods of deterrence in the Cold War:
    • Massive retaliation
    • -MAD: mutual assured destruction
    • -Flexible response
  15. Does deterrence work?
    • -Detailed case studies of almost every major crisis conclude that deterrence does not work: threatened states did not back down-
    • -But there is a selection bias: cases where there was already a crisis (and therefore a failure of deterrence)
    • -In cases of credible deterrence, should never see a crisis because of effective deterrence
  16. Evaluating Deterrence: Achen & Snidal:
    Failures of deterrence are not the equivalent of failures of deterrence theory 
  17. Deterrence theory predicts failures of deterrence when:
    • -Retaliatory threat is absent
    • -Retaliatory threat is not credible, etc…
  18. Because decisions are influenced by perceptions, leaders may
    take actions that prove more costly than had been anticipated
  19. To understand leaders’ decisions, must ask
    what their prior beliefs were
  20. Bayes’ Rule:
    A prior belief is changed to an updated (posterior) belief based on the observation of conditional events
  21. Costly Signals(3):
    • -Information or signals about information can be used alter beliefs
    • -To be effective, signals need to be costly
    • -Signals also need to be sufficiently informative
  22. Terrorism:
    Any act of violence undertaken for the purpose of altering a government’s political policies such that the violence targets those who do not actually have the personal authority to alter or enforce governmental policy
  23. Terrorists(3):
    • -Terrorists as crazy, irrational fanatics
    • -Many governments have policies refusing to negotiate with terrorists
    • -This policy affects the perceptions of would-be terrorists
  24. Suppose there are two different types of people who become terrorists
    • “True Believers”
    • “Reluctant Terrorists”
  25. Also 2 types of governments:
    • “responsive”- bargain with weak political parties
    • “repressive”
  26. Reluctant Terrorists:If the government’s threat to not negotiate with terrorists is perceived as credible by the “reluctant terrorist,” then:
    the reluctant terrorist is more likely to resort to violence than pursue negotiations
  27. An act of terrorism might actually be the work of a
    reluctant terrorist, but we cannot tell from the act alone whether we are dealing with a reluctant terrorist or a true believer
  28. Terrorism as a Commitment Problem:Governments have a credibility problem:
    • once terrorists disarm in exchange for government concessions, the government has every incentive to renege(to go back on one's word)
    • For the government, it is always better to win outright than grant concessions
  29. In a situation with multiple terrorist factions
    (hardliners and moderates), all terrorism cannot be ended by negotiations
  30. Solving the Commitment Problem:Terrorism can be ended by:
    reaching a negotiated compromise with some (moderate) terrorists that includes their help through counterterrorism help against remaining terrorists
  31. Solving the Commitment Problem:The government needs to provide:
    • tangible, implemented concessions in exchange (but not so large that they’ll renege)
    • -Land for peace?

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