The Diplomacy Of Violence

  • Thomas C. Schelling

Abstract

The usual distinction between diplomacy and force is not merely in the instruments, words or bullets, but in the relation between adversaries -in the interplay of motives and the role of communication, understandings, compromise, and restraint. Diplomacy is bargaining; it seeks outcomes that, though not ideal for either party, are better for both than some of the alternatives. In diplomacy each party somewhat controls what the other wants, and can get more by compromise, exchange, or collaboration than by taking things in his own hands and ignoring the other’s wishes. The bargaining can be polite or rude, entail threats as well as offers, assume a status quo or ignore all rights and privileges, and assume mistrust rather than trust. But whether polite or impolite, constructive or aggressive, respectful or vicious, whether it occurs among friends or antagonists and whether or not there is a basis for trust and goodwill, there must be some common interest, if only in the avoidance of mutual damage, and an awareness of the need to make the other party prefer an outcome acceptable to oneself.

Keywords

Fatigue Europe Influenza Explosive Assure 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • Thomas C. Schelling

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