Audience Costs: An Historical Analysis

  title={Audience Costs: An Historical Analysis},
  author={Marc Trachtenberg},
  journal={Security Studies},
  pages={3 - 42}
This article examines the argument that the ability of a government to generate “audience costs”—to create a situation, that is, in which it would pay a domestic political price for backing down—plays a key role in determining how international crises run their course. It does this by looking at a dozen great power crises to see how well various aspects of the audience costs argument hold up in the light of the historical evidence. The audience costs mechanism, it turns out, does not play a… 
Is There A Tradeoff Between Audience Costs and Diplomatic Success in Crisis Bargaining ?
It is conventional wisdom in crisis bargaining literature that the ability of generating higher audience costs is an advantage. However, empirical studies show that democratic states raise their
Decomposing Audience Costs: Bringing the Audience Back into Audience Cost Theory
According to a growing tradition in International Relations, one way governments can credibly signal their intentions in foreign policy crises is by creating domestic audience costs: leaders can tie
Presidents on the cycle: Elections, audience costs, and coercive diplomacy
This study investigates an observable implication of audience cost theory. Building upon rational expectations theories of voters’ choice and foreign policy substitutability theory, it posits that
Politics, audience costs, and signalling: Britain and the 1863–4 Schleswig-Holstein crisis
Abstract Audience costs theory posits that domestic audiences punish political leaders who make foreign threats but fail to follow through, and that anticipation of audience costs gives more
At What Cost? Reexamining Audience Costs in Realistic Settings
Scholars have argued that leaders pay domestic audience costs for backing down from a prior position. We challenge this argument theoretically and methodologically. We argue that scholars have erred
Audience costs and reputation in crisis bargaining
Detecting Audience Costs in International Disputes
Abstract Selection effects in crisis bargaining make it difficult to directly measure audience costs because state leaders have an incentive to avoid incurring audience costs. We overcome this
The Many Whos, Whats, and Whys of Audience Costs
A strain of contradictions in audience cost theory as such is identified, stemming from conceptual and lexical ambiguities regarding the term and its underlying theoretical concept.
An Opportunity for Backing Down: Looking for an Electoral Connection to Audience Costs
Abstract This paper explores the time-inconsistency problem of audience costs in international disputes. The nature of democracy makes it difficult for leaders to back down from earlier diplomatic
Looking for Audience Costs in all the Wrong Places: Electoral Institutions, Media Access, and Democratic Constraint
For leaders to generate credibility through audience costs, there must be mechanisms in place that enable citizens to learn about foreign policy failures. However, scholars have paid relatively


Truman against Stalin in Iran: a tale of three messages
With these words Harry S. Truman celebrated the triumph of containment in his farewell address, and claimed a personal victory in forcing the Red Army out of Iran. The manner by which Truman
Les crises turque et iranienne (1945-1947). L’apport des archives caucasiennes
ResumeCet article est consacre aux apports des archives caucasiennes concernant les relations sovieto-turques et sovieto-iraniennes en 1943-1947. Il s’agit d’etudier l’influence des elites locales
Molotov Remembers
  • Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) Bulletin
  • 1992
Munich After 50 Years
See Kennedy's remarks in an NSC meeting
  • 1961
Note also Duroselle, France and the Nazi Threat, chap. 5, esp. 128-31. 126 Quoted in Duroselle, France and the Nazi Threat
  • French Historical Studies
  • 1936