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Coercion, Survival, and War – Why Weak States Resist the United States - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Coercion, Survival, and War: Why Weak States Resist the United States

Phil Haun


This book considers why with its tremendous military advantage the United States so often fails to coerce much weaker states. The answer frequently resides in the large asymmetry in power which provides the United States a high probability of victory in a brute force war. The resultant high expected outcome from war introduces an incentive to leverage coercive demands upon a weak adversary, concession to which threaten the survival of the state, its regime, or its regime leadership. Perceiving its survival at stake an opponent will resist, so long as it has the means to do so. Theoretically, t ... More

Keywords: coercion, asymmetric power, brute force, coercive diplomacy, survival, signaling costs, credibility, demands, threats, air power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780804792837
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804792837.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Phil Haun, author