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Unformatted text preview: breaking commitments continues to be a powerful force in U.S. foreign policy.n7 The notion that a country's credibility depends on its history of keeping its commitments is widely accepted, but is it true? n8 Does credibility depend on a history of resoluteness? More broadly, what causes credibility in international politics? To answer these questions, this article tests two competing theories of credibility. The first, which I call the "past actions" theory, holds that credibility depends on one's record for keeping or breaking commitments. I test this theory against the "current calculus" theory, which argues that decisionmakers evaluate the credibility of an adversary's threats by assessing (1) the APPEASEMENT DISADVANTAGE
7-WEEK JUNIORS MICHIGAN 2013
CFJPV balance of power and (2) the interests at stake in a given crisis. n9 If an adversary issues a threat that it has the power to carry out, and an interest in doing so, the threat will be believed, even if that country has bluffed in the past. But if it makes a threat that it lacks the power to carry out, or has no interest in doing so, the cr...
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2013 for the course DEBATE 101 taught by Professor None during the Summer '12 term at University of California, Berkeley.
- Summer '12