"Resolve in Military Interventions"
CIS Seminar Series
CIS welcomes Joshua D. Kertzer from Dartmouth College and Harvard University.
ABSTRACT: Why do some leaders and publics display remarkable persistence in war, while others “cut and run” at the Ã¯Â¬Ârst sign of trouble? Although resolve is one of the most frequently used independent variables in International Relations, used to explain everything from developments on the battleÃ¯Â¬Âeld to deliberations at the bargaining table to decisions at the ballot box, we have very little sense of why some actors are more resolved than others. I argue that resolve is an interaction between situational stakes and dispositional traits; by pointing to a series of dispositional characteristics frequently studied in a growing body of research on willpower in behavioral economics and social psychology (time and risk preferences, honor orientations, and trait self-control), I disaggregate the costs of war and explain why certain types of actors are more sensitive to the costs of Ã¯Â¬Âghting, while others are more sensitive to the costs of backing down. I test this argument at the micro-level with laboratory and survey experiments, and at the macro-level with Boolean statistical analyses of great power military interventions from 1946-2003.
Kertzer bio: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~kertzer/
Guest Chair/Discussant: Brian Rathbun, USC