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Solving the Decider’s Dilemma: Scapegoats, Foreign Affairs, and the Duration of Interstate War

Quiroz Flores, Alejandro; Bäck, Hanna LU ; von Hagen-Jamar, Alexander LU and Teorell, Jan LU (2017) In STANCE Working Papers Series 2017(11). p.1-26
Abstract (Swedish)
The prospects of domestic punishment might compel leaders responsible for the initiation of the war to continue fighting until they achieve favorable war outcomes (Croco 2011, 2015). As applied to war duration, this logic implies that ‘culpable’ leaders do not have incentives to end a war that will bring defeat. This paper argues that leaders can escape this dilemma by blaming and replacing their cabinet ministers for poor war results. Under a framework of war as a bargaining process, and using a database of the tenure of thousands of ministers of foreign affairs, this paper shows that the replacement of these cabinet ministers reduces the duration of interstate wars that end in defeat. These findings suggest that leaders do not... (More)
The prospects of domestic punishment might compel leaders responsible for the initiation of the war to continue fighting until they achieve favorable war outcomes (Croco 2011, 2015). As applied to war duration, this logic implies that ‘culpable’ leaders do not have incentives to end a war that will bring defeat. This paper argues that leaders can escape this dilemma by blaming and replacing their cabinet ministers for poor war results. Under a framework of war as a bargaining process, and using a database of the tenure of thousands of ministers of foreign affairs, this paper shows that the replacement of these cabinet ministers reduces the duration of interstate wars that end in defeat. These findings suggest that leaders do not necessarily need to continue fighting wars in order to avoid domestic punishment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ministers of foreign affaires, interstate war, Cabinet ministers, war duration
in
STANCE Working Papers Series
volume
2017
issue
11
pages
26 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
906e6e69-ba38-4f5e-a45c-650528725257
date added to LUP
2018-01-29 14:33:42
date last changed
2018-01-29 15:34:16
@misc{906e6e69-ba38-4f5e-a45c-650528725257,
  abstract     = {The prospects of domestic punishment might compel leaders responsible for the initiation of the war to continue fighting until they achieve favorable war outcomes (Croco 2011, 2015). As applied to war duration, this logic implies that ‘culpable’ leaders do not have incentives to end a war that will bring defeat. This paper argues that leaders can escape this dilemma by blaming and replacing their cabinet ministers for poor war results. Under a framework of war as a bargaining process, and using a database of the tenure of thousands of ministers of foreign affairs, this paper shows that the replacement of these cabinet ministers reduces the duration of interstate wars that end in defeat. These findings suggest that leaders do not necessarily need to continue fighting wars in order to avoid domestic punishment.},
  author       = {Quiroz Flores, Alejandro and Bäck, Hanna and von Hagen-Jamar, Alexander and Teorell, Jan},
  keyword      = {Ministers of foreign affaires,interstate war,Cabinet ministers,war duration},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1--26},
  series       = {STANCE Working Papers Series},
  title        = {Solving the Decider’s Dilemma: Scapegoats, Foreign Affairs, and the Duration of Interstate War},
  volume       = {2017},
  year         = {2017},
}