Stoics and Hotheads: Leaders Temperament, Anger, and the Expression of Resolve in Face-to-face Diplomacy
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AbstractWhen leaders negotiate face-to-face, why would an expression of anger make an interlocutor yield to one’s demand in some instances but cause him to become more intransigent in others? In this article, I consult recent findings in social and experimental psychology and provide an explanation for when anger is more likely to be considered a credible expression of resolve. Anger elicits concessions if a leader has projected an image for being composed most of the time. On the contrary, expressing anger makes an interlocutor more unyielding if a leader is known for becoming angry easily and frequently. I demonstrate such contrasting preconceptions of a leader’s temperament – a “stoic” vs. a “hothead” – and their impact on the larger trajectory of international politics with two in-depth case studies on the face-to-face interactions between Khrushchev, Macmillan and Eisenhower from the onset of the Berlin Crisis in November 1958 to the aborted four-power summit in Paris two years later.
Acceptance Date31/03/2018
All Author(s) ListWong Seanon
Journal nameJournal of Global Security Studies
Year2019
Month4
Volume Number4
Issue Number2
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages190 - 208
ISSN2057-3189
eISSN2057-3189
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2021-14-01 at 00:42