The role of mandatory evacuations as costly signals during interstate disputes

Zamaroczy, Nicolas de and Mahanta, Upasana (2019) The role of mandatory evacuations as costly signals during interstate disputes. Open Political Science, 2. pp. 64-75. ISSN 18749496

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International Relations (IR) scholars, particularly those working in the rationalist tradition, argue that costly signalling is one of the main tools that policymakers have to resolve interstate bargaining disputes and, ultimately, to minimize the occurrence of war. Recent rationalist work has greatly advanced our understanding of how costly signalling works in global politics, particularly by unpacking how militarized escalations can signal potential antagonists (e.g. Slantchev 2011). But the current literature is too hasty in dismissing the importance of non-militarized signalling during international crises, particularly for leaders worried about the risk of accidental wars. This paper presents mandatory evacuations (MEs) as a form of non-militarized escalation that states have been increasingly using since World War II to credibly signal their opponents. We illustrate our claims with a case study of China’s preparations for the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War, when it ordered a massive evacuation along its northern border as a costly signal towards the Soviets.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Mandatory evacuations | Costly signals | International crises | Crisis bargaining | Crisis escalation
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > International Relations
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of International Affairs
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2022 14:03
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 09:34
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