Uncertainty, Threat, and International Security
Implications for Southeast Asia
The rise of China is changing the strategic landscape globally and regionally. How states respond to potential threats posed by this new power arrangement will be crucial to international relations for the coming decades. This book builds on existing realist and rationalist concepts of balancing, bandwagoning, commitment problems, and asymmetric information to craft explanations about how states respond when faced with potential threats. Specifically, the book explores the role different types of uncertainty play in potential balancing situations. Particular focus is given to the nature of the rising state’s actions, the balance of forces, and the value of delay. These concepts are analysed and illustrated through a series of case studies on Europe in the 1930s as well as the present-day Southeast Asia, looking at great powers such as Britain and France, but also a wide range of smaller powers including Poland, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Table of Contents
Introduction—Threats and the Challenges of Uncertainty
Chapter 1—Balancing as a Commitment Problem
Chapter 2—Balancing and Buck-Passing: A Dynamic Model with Uncertainty
Chapter 3—Balancing and Buck-Passing: Western Europe in the 1930s
Chapter 4—To Bandwagon or Hide: A Theoretical Examination of the Alternatives to Balancing
Chapter 5—To Bandwagon or Hide: East Central Europe before World War Two
Chapter 6—Balancing and Bandwagoning by Other Means: How the Outbreak of War Affects States’ Responses to Threats
Chapter 7—The Rise of China: Will States Balance, Bandwagon, or Hedge in the South China Sea Today?
Ivan Savic teaches Political Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus. He received his M.Phil. in Political Science (with a minor in Economics) from Columbia University and a B.Com. from the University of Toronto, specializing in commerce and finance, and international relations. He has also taught at the University of Toronto, Brown University, Columbia University, and Hunter College, CUNY. His primary research interest is in international finance, specifically financial governance, the relationship between political and financial policy, and the politics of international crisis response. He is also interested in the interplay of economic and security issues such as the nature of economic interdependence under globalization and its impact on conflict.
Zachary C. Shirkey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Hunter College, CUNY. He received his PhD from Columbia. His research on military intervention, war duration, and alignment choices has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, the International Studies Review, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics. His two previous books, Is This a Private Fight or Can Anybody Join? and Joining the Fray, examine the causes and timing of military intervention in interstate and civil wars respectively
"Ivan Savic and Zachary Shirkey have written a masterful book. By combining rigorous, game theoretic reasoning with nuanced case studies they have created a new and superior understanding of different facets of uncertainty. And then, in clear prose they tease out fundamental policy implications for global politics and US foreign policy. Every international relations student should read this book." - Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Julius Silver Professor of Politics, NYU and co-author of The Dictator's Handbook and Spoils of War.