Playing poker with a committee : assessing the viability of coalitional coercive diplomacy
Author(s)Burgess, Daniel Peter
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
MetadataShow full item record
Since the end of the Cold War, 'coercive diplomacy', that is the strategic use of threats aimed at convincing an adversary to stop or undo 'hostile' actions, has become a principle crisis management tool of the Western powers. Yet as a strategy it has a relatively poor track record of success; a record that theorists have struggled to explain. Despite the fact that the majority of such engagements have been undertaken multilaterally, little work to date has focused on the impact that employing a coalitional 'coercing agent' has on the ability to craft a potent package of threats. This study aims to contribute to the debate by testing empirically the impact of coalitional dynamics on the ability of Western powers to employ coercive diplomacy. More specifically, it explores the theoretical tension between the anecdotal assumptions held by certain theorists regarding coalitional action problems (CAP) on the one hand and Jakobsen's four-point ideal policy of coercive diplomacy on the other. I explore this tension through two case studies: the employment of coercive diplomacy by NATO and the Contact Group aimed at halting Serbian aggression in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 and the Western coalition's attempt to roll back the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The study finds that although CAP do arise as predicted, coalitions have effective mechanisms for overcoming them and thus are able to effectively implement coercive threat packages that approximate to Jakobsen's ideal policy.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2007.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology