Exploring the Relationship between Prospect Theory and International Conflict: The Thai-Cambodian Border Dispute as a Case Study
Revista de Comunicación Vivat Academia, (119), 14-30, 2012
17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 9, 2012
The present paper explores the relationship between Prospect Theory and International Conflict by concentrating on key concepts such as the endowment effect, reference dependence, and framing. Prospect Theory is shown to have considerable explanatory power in the case of the historical dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over their shared border. The apparent lack of strategic importance of the Temple in dispute, the absence of natural resources in the contested area, and the relative intensity of the conflict cannot be properly explained by rational-choice theories. Finally, the paper concludes that Prospect Theory shows greater explanatory traction than rational-choice theories in explaining the intensity and persistence of the conflict over the contested areas, in particular the land surrounding Preah Vihear Temple.
Keywords: Prospect Theory, Cambodia, Thailand, Border Dispute
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