Emotional Choices: How the Logic of Affect Shapes Coercive Diplomacy

ISBN : 9780198794349

Robin Markwica
384 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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In coercive diplomacy, states threaten the use of force to get opponents to change their behaviour 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. Why do states reject coercive threats from more powerful opponents? This book argues that target leaders' decision-making can be shaped by their emotions in significant ways. It introduces a logic of affect that focuses on the dynamic interplay between target leaders' norms, identities, and five key emotions, namely fear, anger, hope, pride, and humiliation. The study applies the logic of affect to Nikita Khrushchev's decision-making during the 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.


1 Introduction; 2 The Logic of Affect; 3 Inferring Actors' Emotions; 4 The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962; 5 The Gulf Conflict, 1990-91; 6 Conclusion

About the author: 

Robin Markwica is a Max Weber Fellow in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute and a Research Associate in the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. He obtained an MPhil in Modern History from the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and a DPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). Inbetween, he held a research fellowship at Harvard University's Department of Government. His research interests include International Relations theory, international security, war and peace, foreign policy analysis, the European Union, constructivist and psychological approaches to International Relations as well as emotion research.

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