Negotiation in the Street - Abstract

Stronger executive constraints may enhance a government’s leverage in international bargaining by justifying its firm stance. Yet, much work only considers the formal political institutions such as legislative checks on executive power or regime type while neglecting population-based constraints. Also, the audience costs literature does not provide significant analysis of how a government’s foreign counterpart will assess the credibility of the government’s attempts to signal its domestic audience costs. In this study, I confront these gaps focusing on popular protests as a non-institutional source of executive constraints and examining the foreign counterpart’s evaluation process. I ask: How do popular protests influence the government’s bargaining position in international crises bargaining? I argue that domestic protests can indeed enhance a government’s bargaining leverage at the international level, but only when the foreign counterpart finds the protests credible. The credibility of protests varies depending on the three factors: protest intensity, regime type, and the government’s repression level to the protesters. For the empirical analysis, I use a mixed methods approach. I test my theory using data on protests collated with Historical Phoenix Event Data. I analyze the effects of such protests on the outcome of crisis bargaining and territorial disputes negotiations by using the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) and Issue Correlates of War (ICOW), respectively. In the chapter of a case study, I explore how protests affected international bargaining between South Korea and Japan on Treaty on the Basic Relationship (1965).