Players engage in deterrence when they threaten their opponents with

Players engage in deterrence when they threaten their

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Players engage in deterrence when they threaten their opponents with retaliatory actions that promise to impose costs on their opponents that are far in excess of any benefits their oppo. nents might envision by taking these actions. Detenence is really a psychological defense: it tnes to preuent opponents from unl"ertaking a pmticular actton by ueating rn tfuir minds the fear of costly retahatton. The success of deterrence depends on the credibility of the retaliatory threat and on the rationaliry of the opponent. Opponents must truly believe that their actions will result in retaliarory responses that inflict unaccepnble costs on themselves, their peo. ple, or their nation. Opponents who do nor really believe a retalia- tory attack will occur are not detened. Moreover, opponents must
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Models: How to Tetl. if They Are or Not be rationnl---opponents must weigh the potential costs and benefits of their actions and choose a course of action that does not result in costs that exceed gains. Opponents who are inational- who do not consider the costs of their actions to themselves, or their people, or their natio are not deterred. MODELS: HOW TO TELL lF THEY ARE HELPING OR NOT A model is merely an abstraction or representation of political life. \7hen we think of political systems or elites or groups or rational decision making or incrementalism or games, we are abstract- ing from the real world in an attempt to simplifu, clarift, and understand what is really important about politics. Before we begin our study of public policy, let us set forth some general criteria for evaluating the usefulness of concepts and models. Order and Simplify Reality Certainly the utiliry of a model lies in its ability to order and simplifir political life so that we can think about it more clearly and understand the relationships we find in the real world, Yet too much simplification can lead to inaccuracies in our thinking about reality. On the one hand, if a concept is too narrow or identifies only superfrcial phenomena, we may not be able to use it to explain public policy. On the other hand, if a concept is too broad and suggests overly com- plex relationships, it may become so complicated and unmanageable that it is not really an aid to understanding. In other words, some theories of politics may be too complex to be helpful, while others may be too simplistic. ldentify What ls Significant A model should also identify the really significant aspects of public policy. It should direct attention away from irrelevant variables or circumstances and focus on the real causes and significant consequences of public policy. Of course, what is "real," "re,levant," or "significant" is to some extent a function of an individual's personal values. But we can all agree that the utility of a concept is related to its ability to identify what it is that is really important about politics.
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  • Fall '19
  • Prof. Madya Dr. Norhayati Binti Daud

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