Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Trust, Reassurance, and Cooperation

  • Andrew Kydd
Abstract

Many scholars have argued that mistrust can prevent cooperation. These arguments often fail to adequately address the possibility that states can take steps to reassure each other, build trust, and thereby avoid conflict. I present a rational choice theory of reassurance focusing on costly signals and identify the conditions under which players can use costly signals to reassure the other side. The central result is that reassurance will be possible between trustworthy players in equilibrium if trustworthy actors are more willing to take risks to attain mutual cooperation than untrustworthy actors. I discuss the implications of the model in the context of the reassurance strategies pursued by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the end of the Cold War.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Adler, Emanuel, and Barnett, Michael, eds. 1998. Security Communities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Allan, Pierre, and Goldmann, Kjell, eds. 1992. The End of the Cold War. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Axelrod, Robert. 1984. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.
Beschloss, Michael R., and Talbott, Strobe. 1993. At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War. Boston: Little, Brown.
Bitzinger, Richard A. 1994. Gorbachev and GRIT, 1985–1989: Did Arms Control Succeed Because of Unilateral Actions or in Spite of Them? Contemporary Security Policy 15 (1):6879.
Blacker, Coit D. 1993. Hostage to Revolution: Gorbachev and Soviet Security Policy, 1985–1991. New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press.
Braithwaite, Valerie, and Levi, Margaret, eds. 1998. Trust and Governance. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.
Chafetz, Glenn R. 1993. Gorbachev, Reform, and the Brezhnev Doctrine: Soviet Policy Toward Eastern Europe, 1985–1990. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
Checkel, Jeff. 1993. Ideas, Institutions, and the Gorbachev Foreign Policy Revolution. World Politics 45 (2): 271300.
Cohen, Eliot A. 1988. Toward Better Net Assessment: Rethinking the European Conventional Balance. International Security 13 (1):5089.
Coleman, James S. 1990. Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press.
Collins, Alan R. 1998. GRIT, Gorbachev, and the End of the Cold War. Review of International Studies 24 (2):201–19.
de Figueiredo, Jr, Rui, J. P., and Weingast, Barry R.. 1999. The Rationality of Fear: Political Opportunism and Ethnic Conflict. In Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention, edited by Walter, Barbara F. and Snyder, Jack, 261302. New York: Columbia University Press.
Downs, George W., and Rocke, David M.. 1990. Tacit Bargaining, Arms Races, and Arms Control. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Etzioni, Amitai. 1962. The Hard Way to Peace: A New Strategy. New York: Crowell-Collier Press.
Farrell, Joseph, and Rabin, Matthew. 1996. Cheap Talk. Journal of Economic Perspectives 10 (3): 103–18.
Fearon, James D. 1993. Threats to Use Force: Costly Signals and Bargaining in International Crises. Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley.
Fearon, James D. 1995. Rationalist Explanations for War. International Organization 49 (3):379414.
Fearon, James D., and Laitin, David D.. 1996. Explaining Interethnic Cooperation. American Political Science Review 90 (4):715–35.
Fukuyama, Francis. 1995. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. New York: Free Press.
Gambetta, Diego, ed. 1988. Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations. New York: Basil Blackwell.
Ganguly, Sumit, and Greenwood, Ted, eds. 1996. Mending Fences: Confidence and Security Building Measures in South Asia. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
Garthoff, Raymond L. 1990. Deterrence and the Revolution in Soviet Military Doctrine. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.
Garthoff, Raymond L. 1994. The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.
Glaser, Charles L. 1992. Political Consequences of Military Strategy: Expanding and Refining the Spiral and Deterrence Models. World Politics 44 (4):497538.
Glaser, Charles L. 1994. Realists as Optimists: Cooperation as Self-Help. International Security 19 (3):5090.
Glaser, Charles L. 1997. The Security Dilemma Revisited. World Politics 50 (1):171202.
Glaser, Charles L., and Kaufmann, Chaim. 1998. What Is the Offense-Defense Balance and Can We Measure It? International Security 22 (4):4482.
Goldstein, Joshua S., and Freeman, John R.. 1990. Three-Way Street: Strategic Reciprocity in World Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Güth, Werner, and Kliemt, Hartmut. 1994. Competition or Co-Operation: On the Evolutionary Economics of Trust, Exploitation, and Moral Attitudes. Metroeconomica 45 (2): 155–87.
Güth, Werner, and Kliemt, Hartmut. 1998. The Indirect Evolutionary Approach: Bridging the Gap Between Rationality and Adaptation. Rationality and Society 10 (3):377–99.
Hogan, Michael J., ed. 1992. The End of the Cold War: Its Meaning and Implications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hollis, Martin. 1998. Trust Within Reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jervis, Robert. 1976. Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jervis, Robert. 1978. Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma. World Politics 30 (2): 167214.
Kaiser, Robert G. 1992. Why Gorbachev Happened: His Triumphs, His Failure, and His Fall. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Kaufman, Stuart J. 1996. Spiraling to Ethnic War: Elites, Masses, and Moscow in Moldova's Civil War. International Security 21 (2): 108–38.
Kelman, Herbert C. 1985. Overcoming the Psychological Barrier: An Analysis of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Process. Negotiation Journal 1 (3):213–34.
Kirkpatrick, Jeanne J. 1990. The Withering Away of the Totalitarian State … and Other Surprises. Washington, D.C.: The American Enterprise Institute Press.
Kydd, Andrew. 1997. Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Why Security Seekers Do Not Fight Each Other. Security Studies 7 (1):114–55.
Lahno, Bernd. 1995a. Trust and Strategic Rationality. Rationality and Society 7 (4):442–64.
Lahno, Bernd. 1995b. Trust, Reputation, and Exit in Exchange Relationships. Journal of Conflict Resolution 39 (3):495510.
Lake, David A., and Rothchild, Donald. 1996. Containing Fear: The Origins and Management of Ethnic Conflict. International Security 21 (2):4175.
Lake, David A., and Rothchild, Donald, eds. 1998. The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict: Fear, Diffusion, and Escalation. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Landa, Janet Tai. 1994. Trust, Ethnicity, and Identity: Beyond the New Institutional Economics of Ethnic Trading Networks, Contract Law, and Gift Exchange. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Lane, Christel, and Bachmann, Reinhard, eds. 1998. Trust Within and Between Organizations: Conceptual Issues and Empirical Applications. New York: Oxford University Press.
Larson, Deborah W. 1987. Crisis Prevention and the Austrian State Treaty. International Organization 41(1):2760.
Larson, Deborah W. 1997. Anatomy of Mistrust: U.S.-Soviet Relations During the Cold War. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Lebow, Richard Ned, and Risse-Kappen, Thomas, eds. 1995. International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lebow, Richard Ned, and Stein, Janice Gross. 1994. We All Lost the Cold War. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Lindley, Daniel A. 1998. Transparency and the Effectiveness of Security Regimes: A Study of the Concert of Europe Crisis Management and United Nations Peacekeeping. Ph.D. diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lindskold, Svenn. 1978. Trust Development, the GRIT Proposal, and the Effects of Conciliatory Acts on Conflict and Cooperation. Psychological Bulletin 85 (4):772–93.
Mearsheimer, John J. 1982. Why the Soviets Can't Win Quickly in Central Europe. International Security 7(1):339.
Mearsheimer, John J. 1994. The False Promise of International Institutions. International Security 19 (3):549.
Mendelson, Sarah E. 1993. Internal Battles and External Wars: Politics, Learning, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan. World Politics 45 (3):327–60.
Morrow, James D. 1994. Game Theory for Political Scientists. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Oberdorfer, Don. 1991. The Turn: From the Cold War to a New Era: United States and the Soviet Union, 1983–1990. New York: Poseidon Press.
Osgood, Charles Egerton. 1962. An Alternative to War or Surrender. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Ostrom, Elinor. 1998. A Behavioral Approach to the Rational Choice Theory of Collective Action. American Political Science Review 92 (1):122.
Peffley, Mark, and Hurwitz, Jon. 1992. Internalional Events and Foreign Policy Beliefs: Public Response to Changing Soviet–U.S. Relations. American Journal of Political Science 36 (2):431–61.
Plous, S. 1985. Perceptual Illusions and Military Realities. Journal of Conflict Resolution 29 (3):363–89.
Plous, S. 1987. Perceptual Illusions and Military Realities: Results from a Computer-simulated Arms Race. Journal of Conflict Resolution 31 (1):533.
Plous, S. 1988. Modeling the Nuclear Arms Race as a Perceptual Dilemma. Philosophy and Public Affairs 17(1):4453.
Plous, S. 1993. The Nuclear Arms Race: Prisoner's Dilemma or Perceptual Dilemma? Journal of Peace Research 30 (2): 163–79.
Posen, Barry R. 1984a. Measuring the European Conventional Balance: Coping with Complexity in Threat Assessment. International Security 9 (3):4788.
Posen, Barry R. 1984b. The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany Between the World Wars. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Posen, Barry R. 1993. The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict. Survival 35 (1):2747.
Reagan, Ronald. 1990. An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Richman, Alvin. 1991. Changing American Attitudes Toward the Soviet Union. Public Opinion Quarterly 55(1):135–48.
Risse-Kappen, Thomas. 1991. Did “Peace Through Strength” End the Cold War?: Lessons from INF. International Security 16 (1): 162–88.
Risse-Kappen, Thomas. 1994. Ideas Do Not Float Freely: Transnational Coalitions, Domestic Structures, and the End of the Cold War. International Organization 48 (2): 185214.
Sagan, Scott D. 1994. The Perils of Proliferation: Organization Theory, Deterrence Theory, and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons. International Security 18 (4):66107.
Schultz, George. 1993. Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Schweller, Randall L. 1996. Neorealism's Status Quo Bias: What Security Dilemma? Security Studies 5(3):90121.
Sigelman, Lee. 1990. Disarming the Opposition: The President, the Public, and the INF Treaty. Public Opinion Quarterly 54 (1):3747.
Snyder, Jack. 1984. The Ideology of the Offensive: Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Spence, Michael. 1973. Job Market Signaling. Quarterly Journal of Economics 87 (3):355–74.
Spirtas, Michael. 1996. A House Divided: Tragedy and Evil in Realist Theory. Security Studies 5 (3):385423.
Stein, Janice Gross. 1991. Reassurance in International Conflict Management. Political Science Quarterly 106(3):431–51.
Stein, Janice Gross. 1994. Political Learning by Doing: Gorbachev as Uncommitted Thinker and Motivated Learner. International Organization 48 (2): 155–83.
Thom, Françoise. 1989. The Gorbachev Phenomenon. London: Pinter Publishers.
Van Evera, Stephen. 1994. Hypotheses on Nationalism and War. International Security 18 (4):539.
Van Evera, Stephen. 1998. Offense, Defense, and the Causes of War. International Security 22 (4):543.
Walt, Stephen M. 1996. Revolution and War. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Walter, Barbara F. 1997. The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement. International Organization 51(3):335–64.
Ward, Hugh. 1989. Testing the Waters: Taking Risks to Gain Reassurance in Public Goods Games. Journal of Conflict Resolution 33 (2):274308.
Watson, Joel. 1999. Starting Small and Renegotiation. Journal of Economic Theory 85 (1):5290.
Weingast, Barry R. 1998. Constructing Trust: The Political and Economic Roots of Ethnic and Regional Conflict. In Institutions and Social Order, edited by Soltan, Karol, Uslaner, Eric, and Haufler, Virginia, 163200. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Wohlforth, William C. 1995. Realism and the End of the Cold War. International Security 19 (3):91129.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed