Tag Archives: Bargaining

War with crazy types

Is it possible that Bashar al-Assad is simply just crazy? Of course, it is always more likely than not that a political leader is in fact rational – even for the likes of Kim Jong-un, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein. But can we always be 100% certain that a given policymaker is rational? The odds that he or she is crazy may be low – like 5%, 1% or even a tenth of a percent – but they are not 0% for every leader.

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An ‘A’ for effort: Experimental evidence on UN Security Council engagement and support for US military action

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has often adopted resolutions to authorise the American use of force. What do these resolutions communicate to the wider public overseas? Will they increase levels of support for US military action? A survey study [link to article] we have conducted in Japan finds not only that UNSC resolutions increase levels of support, but also that resolutions which failed due to a Chinese or Russian veto will still secure high levels of support for the use of force. If a draft resolution is withdrawn, however, or the US gives up on diplomacy, then public support falls. Foreign public opinion gives an ‘A’ for diplomatic effort when the US at least tries to pass a resolution; self-withdrawal is the worst case for the US.

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