According to many international relations (IR) scholars, uncertainty about intentions is a key cause of war in the international system. In The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, John Mearsheimer argued that because “uncertainty about intentions is unavoidable,” “states can never be sure that other states do not have offensive intentions to go along with their offensive capabilities” ([New York: W.W. Norton, 2001], 31). As a result, states have strong incentives to try to maintain their security by increasing their power—a process that leads to the security dilemma.
In this trailblazing piece of scholarship, Marcus Holmes shows that this pessimism about the ability of states to understand the intentions of others is unwarranted. Drawing on an exhaustive review of recent findings in neuroscience, Holmes shows that face-to-face diplomacy can help states understand each other’s intentions in ways that help them avoid the security dilemma and promote international cooperation.
For many IR scholars, talk is cheap. As a result, there is a strong tendency to view face-to-face interaction as a relatively useless form of communication. In Face-to-Face Diplomacy, Holmes argues that this view flies in the face of diplomatic practices going back to at least
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Social Policy and Political Institutions
American Political Institutions after Watergate--A Discussion
DEMETRIOS CARALEY, CHARLES V. HAMILTON, ALPHEUS T. MASON, ROBERT A. McCAUGHEY, NELSON W. POLSBY, JEFFREY L. PRESSMAN, ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., GEORGE L. SHERRY, AND TOM WICKER
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.