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Coercion, Survival, and WarWhy Weak States Resist the United States$
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Phil Haun

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804792837

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804792837.001.0001

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A Theory of Asymmetric Interstate Coercion

A Theory of Asymmetric Interstate Coercion

(p.11) 2 A Theory of Asymmetric Interstate Coercion
Coercion, Survival, and War

Phil Haun

Stanford University Press

This chapter develops a theory of asymmetric interstate coercion. A coercive strategy includes compellent or deterrent demands, punishment or denial threats, and costly signals. The determinants of coercion success are measured, coercive diplomacy is considered where the use of force is only threatened, and the relationship between economic sanctions and coercion is discussed. A model of asymmetric coercion is developed where demands, threats and costly signals are determined by the powerful challenger and in response the weak target chooses whether to resist or concede. In equilibrium, a coercive strategy should only be adopted when the target is expected to concede. The coercion range depicts the set of successful coercive demands for which the challenger prefers coercion to accommodation or brute force and the target prefers concession to resistance. The chapter concludes by discussing rational and non-rational explanations for why coercion might still fail.

Keywords:   asymmetric interstate coercion, coercive strategy, compellence, deterrence, punishment, denial, costly signals, economic sanctions, coercion range, asymmetric coercion model

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