It's the Principle at Stake: Rhetoric and Compromise in International Bargaining

Abigail Post
How does government rhetoric affect international bargaining? While governments often turn to principle-based arguments during foreign policy interactions, existing rationalist theories of International Relations dismiss such moral language as inconsequential rhetoric with no real impact on either state behavior or dispute outcomes. Contrary to the theoretical consensus, I show that principled language is not mere cheap talk but has measurable effects on international bargaining. In this dissertation, I provide evidence that when countries rely on...
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