Turnover test: research shows role of domestic politics in international conflicts

Turnover test: research shows role of domestic politics in international conflicts

By Jennifer Micale

December 18, 2020

A new leader takes office and foreign rivals begin to test the waters. How tough is this new leader? Are they ready to risk war or just full of bluster?

These tests can worsen crises, increasing the risk of war as international adversaries assess the new leader’s willingness to use force. A new document shows that when this ‘turnover trap’ occurs depends largely on the politics of the country and the nature of the leader’s transition to power.

Amanda Licht, associate professor of political science at Binghamton University, was one of a trio of researchers behind “Same as the Old Boss? Domestic Politics and the Turnover Trap ”, recently published in International Studies Quarterly. The other authors are Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies Cathy Xuanxuan Wu at Old Dominion University and Professor of Government Scott Wolford at University of Texas at…

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