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Calculating Credibility: How Leaders Assess Military Threats (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) Hardcover – July, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This interesting book challenges one of the most widely accepted principles of international relations, the definition of what constitutes 'threat credibility.' . . . Press's well-written, well-researched, and controversial book will likely provide the grist for many discussions in graduate seminars in international politics and national security."―Choice, September 2006

"Scholars have long been trying to drive a stake through the heart of one of the last century's most enduring legacies―Munich. The latest to grip the hammer is Daryl Press, and his well-argued (and commendably concise) book should be required reading for historians and policy wonks alike. Calculating Credibility compares two principal theories of crisis decisionmaking: 'past actions' (i.e., Munich), and 'current calculus.'"―Ralph Hitchens, The Journal of Military History

"In Calculating Credibility, Daryl Press takes on a major issue in the field of security studies: the role of reputation in decision makers' assessments of military threats. . . . By casting serious doubt on the claim that decision makers rely heavily on their adversaries' past behavior when judging credibility, Press has made a real contribution to our understanding of threat perception."―Barbara Farnham, International Studies Review 2006

"Daryl G. Press has written a truly important book. He demolishes the widely held belief that a state that backs down in a crisis loses credibility in the next crisis. In fact, he shows that a state's past behavior has almost no effect on how other states assess its credibility. Reputation is an overblown concept. The American foreign-policy elite should be told immediately about Press's findings."―John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

"Calculating Credibility considers how policymakers estimate whether another state's threats are credible. Although some have charged that deterrence is irrelevant in the post-Cold War era, how states make credible threats is of considerable practical importance. For instance, the Bush administration argued that the United States was justified in going to war against Iraq to preserve the credibility of the United Nations. This book fills a major gap in the literature in security studies and deterrence theory."―Deborah Welch Larson, UCLA --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

"Calculating Credibility considers how policymakers estimate whether another state's threats are credible. Although some have charged that deterrence is irrelevant in the post-Cold War era, how states make credible threats is of considerable practical importance. For instance, the Bush administration argued that the United States was justified in going to war against Iraq to preserve the credibility of the United Nations. This book fills a major gap in the literature in security studies and deterrence theory."—Deborah Welch Larson, UCLA
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