Emotional Choices : How the Logic of Affect Shapes Coercive Diplomacy, Hardback Book


In coercive diplomacy, states threaten military action to persuade opponents to change their behaviour.

The goal is to achieve a target's compliance without incurring the cost in blood and treasure of military intervention.

Coercers typically employ this strategy toward weaker actors, but targets often refuse to submit and the parties enter into war.

To explain these puzzling failures of coercive diplomacy, existing accounts generally refer to coercers' perceivedlack of resolve or targets' social norms and identities.

What these approaches either neglect or do not examine systematically is the role that emotions play in these encounters.

This book contends that target leaders' affective experience can shape their decision-making in significant ways.

Drawing on research in psychology and sociology, the study introduces an additional, emotion-based action model besides the traditional logics of consequences and appropriateness.

This logic of affect, or emotional choice theory, posits that target leaders' choice behaviour is influenced by the dynamic interplay between their norms, identities, and five key emotions, namely fear,anger, hope, pride, and humiliation.

The core of the action model consists of a series of propositions that specify the emotional conditions under which target leaders are likely to accept or reject a coercer's demands.

The book applies the logic of affect to Nikita Khrushchev's decision-making duringthe Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and Saddam Hussein's choice behaviour in the Gulf conflict in 1990-91, offering a novel explanation for why coercive diplomacy succeeded in one case but not in the other.




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