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Guide to Schelling's Two Forms of Coercion

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SCHELLING'S TWO FORMS OF COERCION (XX-PJ)

Note: Page numbers from Arms and Influence.


TYPE

DETERRENCE

COMPELLENCE

Goal (77)

Deter someone from starting (to go on not doing something)

Compelling someone to stop (to change behavior)

Result

Inducing inaction (175)

Inducing action (performance) (175)

Intention

To deter (78)

To induce withdrawal, acquiescence, collaboration (79)

Difficulty

Easier (100, 174)

Harder (100, 174)

Actions

Held in waiting (77)

Initiated with a time frame (77)

Comms

Clear about what is threatened and what it is about (73)

General direction (73); leaves options

Timing

Indefinite; can wait forever (72)

Definite; deadlines a must but with tact—too little and too much time allowed are both bad (72)

Connected-ness in comm

Clear (86) with exceptions (88)

Ambiguous (86) with exceptions (88)

Offense & Defense

More like coercive D but not the same as classic D force to resist (78)

More like coercive O but not the same as classic O force to destroy/take (79)

Cost/Benefit Anal.

Denying benefits

Imposing costs

Posture

A position (73); non-intrusive, non-hostile, non-provocative (directly) (71)

An advance projected as to a destination (73)

Tactics

Announcements, trip wires, incurring obligations, waiting (71)

Requires more creativity. Initiating an irrevocable action that can cease only if opponent acts (72) without spiraling into self-defeating action (84)

Credibility

Essential (75) but doesn’t need to be in motion per se; can be on hand

Essential. Must be put in motion to be credible (72)

Interests

Must have some mutual (4)

Must have some mutual

Violence

Latent (3)

Latent

Ideal

Status quo (77)

Action that once initiated causes min harm if compliance and great harm if not; timetable feasible (89)

Comparison

Statics (71)

Dynamics (71)

Picture

Digging in or laying a minefield and waiting (72)

Get momentum to make the other act to avoid collision (72); game of chicken

Phrases

"Do nothing", "stop where you are", "leave me alone" (72b)

"Do X, Y, Z", "go back", "cooperate"

Examples

Cold war

Cuban Missile Crisis (75), Vietnam

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