Crisis Diplomacy: The Great Powers since the Mid-Nineteenth Century

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Although much has been written on international crises, the literature suffers from a lack of historical depth, and a proliferation of competing theoretical frameworks. Through case studies drawing on the rich historical experience of crisis diplomacy, James Richardson offers an integrated analysis based on a critical assessment of the main theoretical approaches. Due weight is given to systemic and structural factors, but also to the specific historical factors of each case, and to theories which do not presuppose rationality as well as those which do. Crisis diplomacy the major political choices made by decision makers, and their strategies, judgments and misjudgments - is found to play a crucial role in each of the case studies. This broad historical inquiry is especially timely when the ending of the Cold War has removed the settled parameters within which the superpowers conducted their crisis diplomacy.