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Can Strategic Interaction Divert Diversionary Behavior? A Model of U.S. Conflict Propensity

Current conflict research increasingly suggests the relevance of unobserved strategic processes in determining how and why states engage in conflict. Alastair Smith's ( , ) work, in particular, highlights the likelihood that diversionary foreign policy behavior is inhibited by the very fact... Full description

1st Person: Clark, David H.
Source: in The journal of politics : JOP Vol. 65, No. 4 (2003), p. 1013-1039
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Type of Publication: Article
Language: Undetermined
Published: 2003
Keywords: research-article
Online: Volltext
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520 |a Current conflict research increasingly suggests the relevance of unobserved strategic processes in determining how and why states engage in conflict. Alastair Smith's ( , ) work, in particular, highlights the likelihood that diversionary foreign policy behavior is inhibited by the very fact that democratic leaders' political needs are abundantly apparent to their potential targets. So, the very factors that give democratic leaders the incentive to divert also give their targets incentives to maintain low profiles. Yet, few empirical tests of this proposition exist in diversionary work or elsewhere. This article seeks to provide such a test in the context of Fordham's ( ) innovative explanation for American diversionary behavior. I test the strategic interaction hypothesis in a Zero-Inflated Poisson (ZIP) model and evaluate the utility of the ZIP model for modeling an unobserved process. The results suggest both the importance of strategic interaction and the power of the ZIP model in accounting for strategic interaction in world politics. 
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