Assessing Credibility: A Qualitative Analysis of Public and Private Signals in the Cuban Missile Crisis

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2023

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Abstract

Credibility has long been a subject of interest in international relations. However, recent works minimize some of the earliest and most intriguing credibility questions. To what degree is accuracy related to credibility, do private signals exist solely in the shadow of their public counterparts or do they have credibility of their own? Moreover, how do leaders weigh concurrent public and private signals during a crisis? In this thesis, I examine the nature of public and private signals in the Cuban Missile Crisis in an inductive, qualitative manner. I find that in the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis, despite some rationalist assertions, private signals are at times meaningful. Moreover, the divergences between public and private signals are limited. As such, the two exist in an interactional, almost double-helical state. This finding has distinct importance for the future of credibility scholarship.

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Framel, Paul (2023). Assessing Credibility: A Qualitative Analysis of Public and Private Signals in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27880.

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