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Discontinuities in Signaling Behavior Upon the Decision for War: An Analysis of China’s Prewar Signaling Behavior

International Relations of the Asia-Pacific. DOI: 10.1093/irap/lcu023

MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-19

49 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2012 Last revised: 14 Dec 2015

Kai Quek

The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: July 25, 2012

Abstract

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 patterns in Chinese prewar signaling that reflect how strategic incentives for the signaling of resolve change before and after the decision for war. The study generates theoretical expectations on discontinuities in signaling behavior upon the decision for war – an unexplored research area with direct policy implications.

Suggested Citation

Quek, Kai, Discontinuities in Signaling Behavior Upon the Decision for War: An Analysis of China’s Prewar Signaling Behavior (July 25, 2012). International Relations of the Asia-Pacific. DOI: 10.1093/irap/lcu023; MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2117363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2117363

Kai Quek (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

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