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Divided over Iraq, United over Iran. A Rational Choice Explanation to European Irrationalities

Andreas Goldthau
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Andreas Goldthau: RAND Corporation

European Political Economy Review, 2008, vol. 8, issue Spring, 40-67

Abstract: The War on Iraq in has split the continent into "Old Europe" and "New Europe". On Iran, by contrast, the Eu jointly acts in the context of a coordinated European foreign policy. The paper argues that both conflicts resemble an assurance game among the Europeans, in which the entailed trust dilemma prevented involved players from cooperating. It identifies the European "Dialogues" with Iran as a regime that reduced information deficits in the case of Iran. In the case of Iraq, however, European players were unable to mutually judge whether there was a hidden agenda or not - and thus opted for defection instead of cooperation.

Keywords: European foreign policy; nuclear conflict; WMD; Iran; Iraq; assurance game; regime theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F51 F53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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