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When states appease: British appeasement in the 1930s

Trubowitz, Peter and Harris, Peter (2015) When states appease: British appeasement in the 1930s. Review of International Studies, 41 (02). pp. 289-311. ISSN 0260-2105

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Abstract

When do states appease their foes? In this article, we argue that governments are most likely to favour appeasing a foreign threat when their top leaders are severely cross–pressured: when the demands for increased security conflict sharply with their domestic political priorities. We develop the deductive argument through a detailed analysis of British appeasement in the 1930s. We show that Neville Chamberlain grappled with a classic dilemma of statecraft: how to reduce the risk of German expansionism while facing acute partisan and electoral incentives to invest resources at home. For Chamberlain, appeasement was a means to reconcile the demands for increased security with what he and his co-partisans were trying to achieve domestically. We conclude by discussing implications of the analysis for theorising about appeasement and about how leaders make grand strategy more generally.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: ©2014 British International Studies Association
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0260210514000278
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 11:09
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2015 11:16
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/61659

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