Name

YASUI, Kiyotaka

Official Title

Research Associate Research Associate

Affiliation

(Organization for Regional and Inter-regional Studies)

Contact Information

URL

Grant-in-aids for Scientific Researcher Number
60756302

Paper

An Opportunity for Backing Down: Looking for an Electoral Connection to Audience Costs

Yasui, Kiyotaka; Nakai, Ryo

Japanese Journal of Political Science 17(2) p.168 - 1892016/06-2016/06

DOIScopus

Detail

ISSN:14681099

Outline:© Copyright Cambridge University Press 2016.This paper explores the time-inconsistency problem of audience costs in international disputes. The nature of democracy makes it difficult for leaders to back down from earlier diplomatic positions in an international dispute, out of fear of domestic political costs. Few studies have addressed the temporal aspect of such costs. This study argues that election timing impinges on the extent to which the audience cost mechanism works, and consequently, on state conflict behavior. While competitive elections are central to the political accountability inherent in a democracy, voters typically lack enough opportunities to punish unsatisfactory leaders in a timely way, because of fixed election timing, and also may disregard foreign policy missteps that occurred in the distant past. Democratic leaders therefore have an incentive to choose strategically, with the electoral calendar in mind, when selecting a form of conflict behavior. Leaders can retreat from their demands without paying high audience costs when the upcoming election is in the distant future. To test this argument, the authors conduct a natural experiment featuring territorial disputes between Russia and two Baltic republics-Estonia and Latvia. Despite the commonalities in the disputes, as well as in their political systems and socioeconomic backgrounds, the governments of the two Baltic countries showed a sharp contrast in their diplomatic decisions. This paper argues that only the temporal gap in electoral timing can explain this variation, imparting the ironical implication that frequent democratic elections can obstruct peaceful conflict resolutions, and that excessive democratization may well hinder the very goal of peace.

Research Grants & Projects

Grant-in-aids for Scientific Research Adoption Situation

Research Classification:

Revisiting Audience Cost Theory from the Perspectives of Domestic Public Opinion and Election

2015/-0-2017/-0

Allocation Class:¥2860000

Research Classification:

Effects of Electoral Accountability on International Conflicts

2017/-0-2020/-0

Allocation Class:¥3770000