Rational Deterrence Theory and Comparative Case Studies

@article{Achen1989RationalDT,
  title={Rational Deterrence Theory and Comparative Case Studies},
  author={Christopher H. Achen and Duncan Snidal},
  journal={World Politics},
  year={1989},
  volume={41},
  pages={143 - 169}
}
Several recent books have argued that comparative case studies of crises demonstrate the failure of rational-deterrence theory; they have offered certain empirical generalizations as substitutes. This paper shows that such contentions are unwarranted. First, the empirical generalizations are impressive as historical insights, but they do not meet the standards for theory set out by the most sophisticated case-study analysts themselves. Second, the “tests” of rational deterrence used in the case… 

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