International Crisis Decisionmaking as a Two-Level Process

Journal article

Boyer, Mark A. & Peter F. Trumbore (2000) International Crisis Decisionmaking as a Two-Level Process, Journal of Peace Research 37 (6): 679–697.

The primary focus of this article is to break the ties to examining democracies to the exclusion of other regime types. Inspired by work in the two-level games approach to the larger question of foreign policy behavior, we broaden the two-level approach by examining the impact of domestic factors on decision-making across regime types and how they relate to the use and extent of violence in international crisis. Our analysis is bounded substantively and conceptually, however, by our exclusive focus in this article on decisionmaking in international crises. We use the 895 foreign policy crisis cases of the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) dataset for our analysis, which entails an examination of process and decisionmaking structural variables using cross-tabulations and a series of logistic regression models. We find that democracies exhibit many behaviors similar to non-democracies in crisis. The prevalent effects of action-reaction processes that result from the initial impact of the crisis-trigger suppress cross-regime type differences, at least in the initial stages of a crisis. Differences across regime types manifest themselves when looking at the entire crisis time period.

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