Crisis Diplomacy: The Great Powers since the Mid-Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

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Why do some international crises lead to war, while others are resolved peacefully? Does the outcome depend mainly on underlying structural causes, or on decision makers' choices and diplomacy? In this book James Richardson examines nine major international crises from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in order to explain the differing outcomes of each. The author evaluates the main theories that have served to explain crisis behavior, emphasizing the conflict between theories based on an assumption of rationality, and those which emphasize the nonrational.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Crisis Diplomacy makes three important contributions to the literature. First, chapter 2 presents an excellent synthesis and summary of existing theories and concepts....Second, chapters 10 through 15 contain a wealth of interesting evaluations and critiques of contemporary theories of crisis behavior....Third, the book's insights from the historical cases refine and qualify the usual list of seven maxims of crisis management: maintain multiple advocacy, limit objectives, keep options flexible, avoid misperceptions of the adversary, communicate and signal clearly, keep close political control over military operations, and reduce time pressure." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"[Richardson's] final conclusions have cogency and even a ring of urgency for policy makers: the need for multiple advocacy to insure that all options are considered, a careful limitation of objectives, flexibility in selecting options, the importance of perceptions and their verification, and constant attention to communications. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the return to more ambiguous situations of war and peace, these admonitions have force and relevance. We must hope that some future policy makers will read and possibly heed." American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521459877
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in International Relations Series, #35
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: 1. Introduction: aims and approaches; 2. Theories of crisis behaviour; 3. 'Crisis management' versus 'crisis diplomacy'; Part II: 4. The Eastern crisis, 1839–1841; 5. The Crimean war crisis, 1853–1854; 6. The Russo-Japanese crisis, 1903–1904; 7. The Sudeten crisis, 1938; 8. The Franco-Prussian and Agadir crises; 9. Pearl Harbor and the Berlin crises; Part III: 10. Crises and the international system: arenas, alignments and norms; 11. The choice of goals: values, interests and objectives; 12. Selective perception and misperception; 13. Crisis bargaining; 14. Internal politics; 15. The outcome and risk of war; Part IV: 16. Conclusions: theory and policy.
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