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Title: Essays on Decision-Making in Territorial Disputes
Authors: Wang, Bella X
Advisors: Ramsay, Kristopher
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: border
Subjects: Political science
International relations
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: How do states manage ongoing territorial disputes that are not yet on their way to resolution? In three article-length chapters, this dissertation looks at how states choose border policies and jostle for positioning, given a strategic environment that is alternately ambiguous, confusing, and unpredictable. The first paper, "Testing the Territorial Waters: Experimentation and Learning in Policy Choices," explores how the policymaking process happens in the face of uncertainty over policy outcomes. Because states lack complete information about how to best advance their territorial claims, they accept extra risk to implement and learn from policies that offer clear feedback about outcomes. The second paper, "Legal Ambiguity in Territorial Disputes," focuses on a particular kind of border policy, namely faits accomplis. It hypothesizes that when international law fails to provide a basis for shared perceptions between disputing states, either due to the complexity of a dispute or due to competing, equally legally valid claims, dissatisfied states are more likely to attempt to encroach on disputed regions. Finally, the third paper, "The Strategy of Faits Accomplis in Territorial Disputes," narrows the focus further by asking how dissatisfied states choose the scale of a fait accompli, and what other states can do to prevent border activity. It finds that states can deter dissatisfied opponents from large-scale border activity through better border monitoring, since states attempting faits accomplis prefer not to get caught before they can consolidate newly held territory.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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