PS 367 Lecture13a

PS 367 Lecture13a - Brinkmanship and Nuclear Weapons...

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Brinkmanship and Nuclear Weapons Strategic Irrationality
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Brinkmanship and Risk Strategies • Strategy of pushing a situation to the brink in the hopes of forcing an opponent to back down and make concessions – Depends on creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede – Extreme methods = worst outcome for both actors • Ex.: Rocking a boat when neither player can swim – Rocker cannot swim but opponent can = stupidity – Rocker can swim but the opponent cannot = extortion
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Brinkmanship Strategies • Three strategies that may increase credibility of threats with disastrous outcomes: – Strategic irrationality – Threat that leaves something to chance – Strategy of limited retaliation
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Strategic Irrationality • If one can convince an opponent that one is irrational or stupid (and therefore cannot understand the opponent’s commitment), one becomes immune to threats and wins because the opponent has no choice but to back down – Example: Child pretends not to understand parents
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course POLI SCI 367 taught by Professor Favretto during the Spring '11 term at Wisconsin.

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PS 367 Lecture13a - Brinkmanship and Nuclear Weapons...

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