By Michael Brecher

Featuring an built-in concept of challenge at either process and country point, this paintings specializes in 4 interrelated levels of crises: onset, escalation, de-escalation and effect. Systematic wisdom is gifted approximately how those stages spread, utilizing the information of foreign situation from 1918 to 1988

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Theoretically, p e r c e i v e d probability o f war ranges from virtually nil to near-certainty. F o r a crisis to erupt, however, perception o f war likelih o o d need not be high. Rather, it must be qualitatively higher than the norm in the specific adversarial relationship. This applies to both states for w h o m the "normal" expectation o f war is "high" a n d those with a perception o f "low" probability o f war. , India and Pakistan since 1947, Israel a n d the Arab states since 1948. " However, an unchanging high probability o f military hostilities d o e s not generate a crisis.

T h e former lasted almost a year, the latter three weeks, with I s r a e l s decision-makers willing to delay a military riposte another w e e k or two. It was not the p e r c e i v e d brevity o f time that s h a p e d decision-making behavior but, rather, the awareness o f the finiteness of time for choice. A r e s p o n s e could not b e delayed indefinitely; that is, whether a week, a month or longer, there was a realization that decisions for or against war h a d to b e m a d e within s o m e time frame ( B r e c h e r with Geist, 1980).

Two paths can b e followed in search o f an answer to this fundamental question. O n e is to "look at the e v i d e n c e , " to s e e what pattern, if any, e m e r g e s from the data. This may b e t e r m e d the m e t h o d o f atomic empiricism. T h e other is to d e d u c e the factors that m a k e it most likely 38 C R I S E S IN W O R L D POLITICS for an international crisis to erupt (and for a state to initiate a crisis), etc. I c h o o s e the latter, viewing a deductively-denved, two-level analysis as a superior path to knowledge about the m e a n i n g o f crises in the twentieth century.

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