Balancing Risks

Balancing Risks

by Jeffrey W. Taliaferro
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801442214

ISBN-13: 9780801442216

Pub. Date: 03/28/2004

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Great powers often initiate risky military and diplomatic inventions in far-off, peripheral regions that pose no direct threat to them, risking direct confrontation with rivals in strategically inconsequential places. Why do powerful countries behave in a way that leads to entrapment in prolonged, expensive, and self-defeating conflicts?Jeffrey W. Taliaferro suggests…  See more details below

Overview

Great powers often initiate risky military and diplomatic inventions in far-off, peripheral regions that pose no direct threat to them, risking direct confrontation with rivals in strategically inconsequential places. Why do powerful countries behave in a way that leads to entrapment in prolonged, expensive, and self-defeating conflicts?Jeffrey W. Taliaferro suggests that such interventions are driven by the refusal of senior officials to accept losses in their state's relative power, international status, or prestige. Instead of cutting their losses, leaders often continue to invest blood and money in failed excursions into the periphery. Their policies may seem to be driven by rational concerns about power and security, but Taliaferro deems them to be at odds with the master explanation of political realism.Taliaferro constructs a "balance-of-risk" theory of foreign policy that draws on defensive realism (in international relations) and prospect theory (in psychology). He illustrates the power of this new theory in several case narratives: Germany's initiation and escalation of the 1905 and 1911 Moroccan crises, the United States' involvement in the Korean War in 1950–52, and Japan's entanglement in the second Sino-Japanese war in 1937–40 and its decisions for war with the U.S. in 1940–41.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801442216
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Series:
Cornell Studies in Security Affairs Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Tables and figures
Acknowledgments
Abreviations
Note on translations, romanization, and stylistic conventions
1Power politics and the balance of risk1
2Explaining great power involvement in the periphery29
3Germany and the 1905 Morocco crisis55
4Japan and the 1940-41 war decisions94
5The United States and the Korean War (1950-51)132
6The limits of great power intervention in the periphery173
7Implications of the argument218
Notes241
Index297

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