Discontinuities in Signaling Behavior Upon the Decision for War: Hypotheses and Evidence from China’s Signaling Behavior
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
July 25, 2012
MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-19
There is always a time gap between the decision for war and its implementation. I exploit this time gap to study how the signaling of resolve changes after the decision for war is made, based on the wars that China fought since 1949. I study the series of signals that China sent after it had made its decisions for war in Korea (1950), India (1962) and Vietnam (1979), and compare them with the signals sent just before the decisions were made. I find discontinuities in Chinese prewar signaling behavior before and after the decision for war, reflecting how the strategic incentives for the signaling of resolve differ across the two periods. The study also generates theoretical expectations on continuities and discontinuities in signaling behavior before and after the decision for war – an unexplored research area with direct policy implications.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50working papers series
Date posted: July 27, 2012 ; Last revised: January 29, 2014
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