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Coercion and Provocation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1595-2269
Future of Humanity Institute and Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.
Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
(English)In: Journal of Conflict Resolution, ISSN 0022-0027, E-ISSN 1552-8766Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Threats and force, by increasing expected costs, should reduce the target’s resolve. How- ever, they often seem to increase resolve. We label this phenomenon provocation. We re- view instances of apparent provocation in interstate relations and offer a theory based on the logic of reputation and honor. We also consider alternative explanations: confounding or mis- imputation of resolve, revelation of information, character, or capabilities, or generalized sunk cost reasoning. Using survey experiments we systematically evaluate whether provocation ex- ists and what may account for it. We employ design-based causal inference techniques — a hypothetical natural experiment, a placebo treatment, and ruling out mediators — to evalu- ate our key hypotheses. We find strong evidence of provocation, and suggestive evidence that it arises from considerations of honor, vengeance, and reputation. Our experimental design minimizes the risk that this result arises from our alternative explanations.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401132DiVA, id: diva2:1382914
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07

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