Strategic non-cooperation as soft balancing: Why Iraq was not just about Iraq
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Many commentators explain recent transatlantic rifts by pointing to diverging norms, interests and geopolitical preferences. This paper proceeds from the premise that not all situations of conflict are necessarily due to underlying deadlocked preferences. Rather, non-cooperation may be a strategic form of soft balancing. That is, more generally, if they believe that they are being shortchanged in terms of influence and payoffs, weaker states may deliberately reject possible cooperation in the short run to improve their influence vis-à-vis stronger states in the long run. This need not be due to traditional relative gains concern. States merely calculate that their reputation as a weak negotiator will erode future bargaining power and subsequently their future share of absolute gains. Strategic non-cooperation is therefore a rational signal of resolve. This paper develops the concept of strategic non-cooperation as a soft balancing tool and applies it to the Iraq case in 2002-2003. © 2005 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1057/palgrave.ip.8800105
Publication InfoKelley, J (2005). Strategic non-cooperation as soft balancing: Why Iraq was not just about Iraq. International Politics, 42(2). pp. 153-173. 10.1057/palgrave.ip.8800105. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6649.
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Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy
Judith Kelley became the Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy in July 2018. Kelley, an expert on international relations, researches how international actors can promote democratic and human rights reforms. Kelley is also a senior fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Kelley's work focuses on how states, international organizations, and NGOs can promote domestic political reforms in problem states, and how international no