Examining the Effects of Demanding the Impossible

Thomas DolanWith primary research interests focusing in international relations and security studies, Dr. Thomas Dolan recently published an article: Demanding the Impossible: War, Bargaining, and Honor. Published in Security Studies, the article makes contributions beyond the study of war. Dr. Dolan showcases common themes in international politics and concentrates on decision-making during war, with emphasis on the effects of emotion on leaders’ bargaining behavior. He states, “Why do state leaders choose to fight a war that they know they cannot win? Why do they choose to fight rather than negotiate when the costs and risks of war equal or exceed the value of their aims?” He concludes that while honor concerns are not pertinent to every war, the case studies introduced in the article make clear that normative codes can influence the payoffs of rational decision makers in at least some decisions about war. Translating to many current events, the findings shown throughout the article can help make sense of other difficult decisions.


Comments are closed.