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PS 367 08-deterrence-and-compellence

PS 367 08-deterrence-and-compellence - Introduction to...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to International Relations Lecture 8: Deterrence and Compellence Professor Branislav L. Slantchev Department of Political Science, University of California – San Diego May 2, 2005 Overview. Having concluded that war could be something that rational actors engage in, we note that this means that threats to use force can be made cred- ible. We turn to a more concrete analysis of deterrence and compellence, the two generic categories of strategic coercion, the use or threatened use of force for political purposes. We distinguish between several types of deterrence, and discuss various strategies that actors can pursue in order to succeed in gain- ing leverage. We conclude with the example of the First Persian Gulf War that demonstrates the evolution from general deterrence to compellence, and back. Outline of Lecture 8: Deterrence and Compellence 1. The strategic use of force • brute force • strategic coercion (latent use of force) • examples: Mongols, Romans 2. Deterrence • persuade opponent not to initiate action • passive, indefinite duration • hard to know if success is due to deterrence • make status quo good and issue a threat • strategies: glass plate (trip-wire) to counter salami tactics 3. Compellence • persuade opponent to stop/change action • active, definite deadline • easier to know if success is due to compellence • make status quo bad and issue a promise • coercive strategies: punishment, risk, denial, decapitation 4. Types of deterrence • direct (target is defender) and extended (target is prot´ eg´ e) • immediate (threat is actual) and general (threat is potential) • entrapment by prot´ eg´ e (Serbia and Russia in 1914) • strategic ambiguity (U.S. Taiwan policy) 5. Cost-benefit calculations • evaluate status quo v. alternative • how to improve status quo for opponent – increase benefits of SQ (trade, membership in valuable organization) – decrease costs (arms reduction) – decrease probability SQ will get worse (don’t build arms) • how to make alternative worse for opponent – increase probability of war (credibility, audience costs) – increase costs of fighting (more destructive weapons) – increase costs of losing (war-crimes trial, looting) – decrease benefits of victory (scorched earth) – decrease probability of winning (better military) – reduce value of unopposed gain (arms race) 8 1 Brute Force and Strategic Coercion We have now arrived at a particularly important junction. As we have seen, war could be explained by rational causes. Again, this is not to say that all wars have been rational, or that even most of them have (one might well argue, with persuasiveness, that actual war-making involves quite a bit of psychological adjustment that is hard to characterized as rational). However, if there are reasons over which rational actors could engage in the ghastly and extremely expensive large-scale destruction, then it becomes possible to use the threat of...
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PS 367 08-deterrence-and-compellence - Introduction to...

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