Games leaders play: renegade regimes and international crises
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] My dissertation is a game-theoretic analysis of international crises between the US and renegade regimes after the Cold War. The main puzzle that leads me to conceive this project is the seemingly irrational behavior of certain leaders like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein during crises with the US. Why, I wondered, did they risk war with the United States, while the odds are clearly against them in terms of power distribution? Why do they sometimes escalate the crisis to the point of war, a war they are likely to lose, and sometimes seek conciliation and settlement? This puzzle regarding the foreign policy behavior of renegade regimes leads to the central question of this study: what are the dynamics behind the foreign policy behavior of renegade regimes during crises? The cases include crises with Iraq (1991), Serbia (1999), and North Korea (1994). I created a theoretical framework, which is called "enhanced neoclassical realism" that brings together psychological theories of foreign policy analysis and rational choice models, and incorporates systemic and domestic constraints that leaders face to analyze their foreign policy behavior. Specifically, I am using operational code analysis, a research program on foreign policy behavior based on cognitive psychology, to capture the political elites' perceptions regarding the international system. I use large-group identity framework developed by Vamik Volkan and the logic of political survival framework by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and his colleagues to identify the key domestic constraints on the leaders. Finally, I use extensive-form game theory to analyze their foreign policy behavior during the crises based on their perception of the international system and the domestic constraints they face.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.