Signaling Foreign Policy Interests

  title={Signaling Foreign Policy Interests},
  author={James D. Fearon},
  journal={Journal of Conflict Resolution},
  pages={68 - 90}
  • J. Fearon
  • Published 1 February 1997
  • Economics
  • Journal of Conflict Resolution
The author distinguishes between two types of costly signals that state leaders might employ in trying to credibly communicate their foreign policy interests to other states, whether in the realm of grand strategy or crisis diplomacy. Leaders might either (a) tie hands by creating audience costs that they will suffer ex post if they do not follow through on their threat or commitment (i.e., costs arising from the actions of domestic political audiences) or (b) sink costs by taking actions such… 
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