Still Looking for Audience Costs

Security Studies, 2012

9 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012 Last revised: 20 Oct 2012

See all articles by Erik Gartzke

Erik Gartzke

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Yonatan Lupu

George Washington University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: July 26, 2012

Abstract

A pair of recent studies, motivated largely by limitations in the research designs of previous projects, offers evidence the authors interpret as contradicting audience cost theory. Although we share the authors’ ambivalence about audience costs, we are not convinced by their evidence. What one seeks in looking for audience costs is evidence of a causal mechanism, not just of a causal effect. Historical case studies can be better suited to detecting causal mechanisms than quantitative methods, and these two studies claim to be examining causal mechanisms. Yet process tracing is much less effective in assessing audience costs than Trachtenberg and others believe. After outlining relevant problems, we encourage scholars to theorize about and test more carefully key micro-foundations of audience cost theory.

Keywords: International Conflict, Audience Costs

Suggested Citation

Gartzke, Erik and Lupu, Yonatan, Still Looking for Audience Costs (July 26, 2012). Security Studies, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2117844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2117844

Erik Gartzke

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
San Diego, CA
United States

Yonatan Lupu (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

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