Warning about War: Conflict, Persuasion and Foreign Policy

Christoph O. Meyer, Chiara de Franco, Florian Otto

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


What does it take for warnings about violent conflict and war to be listened to, believed and acted upon? Why are some warnings by some sources noticed and largely accepted, while others are ignored or disbelieved? The answers matter directly to the feasibility of preventing mass atrocities or future harm to states’ economic and security interests. The theoretically sophisticated and empirically ambitious study challenges conventional accounts that tend to blame decision-makers’ lack of receptivity and political will. Instead, the authors offer a new theoretical framework to explain how a small number of factors shape distinct “paths of persuasion”, including conflict characteristics, political contexts, and source-recipient relations. The study is the first to systematically integrate persuasion attempts by analysts, diplomats and senior officials with those by journalists and NGO staff. The ambitious comparative design involves three states (US, the UK, Germany) and international organisations (UN, EU, OSCE) and looks in depth at four conflict cases: Rwanda 1994, Darfur 2003, Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages324
ISBN (Electronic)9781108644006, 9781108640206
ISBN (Print)9781108486071
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • War
  • Causes of war
  • Conflict
  • Foreign policy
  • Conflict warning
  • War Prevention
  • International cooperation


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