The Cost of Empty Threats: A Penny, Not a Pound

  title={The Cost of Empty Threats: A Penny, Not a Pound},
  author={Jack Snyder and Erica D. Borghard},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={437 - 456}
A large literature in political science takes for granted that democratic leaders would pay substantial domestic political costs for failing to carry out the public threats they make in international crises, and consequently that making threats substantially enhances their leverage in crisis bargaining. And yet proponents of this audience costs theory have presented very little evidence that this causal mechanism actually operates in real—as opposed to simulated—crises. We look for such… 

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    American Political Science Review
  • 1994
International crises are modeled as a political “war of attrition” in which state leaders choose at each moment whether to attack, back down, or escalate. A leader who backs down suffers audience

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  • Joe Clare
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
  • 2007
A number of recent studies assumes that international threats issued by democratic states are more credible because their leaders face domestic punishment for failing to carry them out. Yet this

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  • Alastair Smith
  • Economics, Political Science
    American Political Science Review
  • 1998
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