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

@article{Snyder2011TheCO,
  title={The Cost of Empty Threats: A Penny, Not a Pound},
  author={Jack Snyder and Erica D. Borghard},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  year={2011},
  volume={105},
  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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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
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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
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Recent theorizing has emphasized that military mobilizations both sink costs and tie hands, unlike signaling strategies that rely solely on punishments for bluffing, like audience costs. I argue that
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How do leaders signal their intentions during a crisis? Scholars point to audience costs, potential political punishment for bluffing during bargaining, to explain how accountable leaders
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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
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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
Does it Matter if Autocracies Can Generate Audience Costs?
Theories of audience costs are a relatively new phenomenon within international relations, with Fearon (1994) arguing that democracies are able to generate audience costs and thereby are seen to be
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Audience costs theory posits that domestic publics punish leaders for making an external threat and then backing down. One key mechanism driving this punishment involves the value the public places
Outcomes and Audience Costs in an Incentivized Laboratory Experiment
This paper presents a laboratory experiment examining how citizens' concern for their country's international reputation affects how they evaluate leaders. A large experimental literature has found
Detecting Audience Costs in International Crises ∗
We present observational evidence of audience costs. Selection effects in crisis bargaining make it difficult to directly observe audience costs because when state leaders anticipate larger audience
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