The Use and Utility of Ultimata in Coercive Diplomacy

What Others Say

“This nuanced, sophisticated, and pathbreaking study of ultimata from ancient times to the present explores the diverse reasons behind their issuance and mixed record of success. Sweijs examines the phenomenon of threat and escalation more generally and offers original insights relevant to the theory and practice of international relations.”

Richard Ned Lebow, Professor of International Political Theory in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (part-time) and James O. Freedman Presidential Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College

“This impressive work demonstrates that ultimata are far more successful than is commonly believed. This is a major and potentially troubling finding that makes this book a “must-read” for everyone with an interest in in coercion and coercive diplomacy”

Professor Dr Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Royal Danish Defence College & Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark

“Ultimata, whereby adversaries are threatened with severe punishment if they do not comply with demands is one of the purest forms of coercive diplomacy. In this unique and meticulous study, based on a thorough data base of 87 cases, Tim Sweijs demonstrates that ultimata can take a number of forms, each with their own conditions to determine their effectiveness.”

Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies

“In a period of intensifying rivalries, the use of coercive diplomacy, threats, and ultimatums–the “ultimata” of Tim Sweijs’s fascinating new volume–will become ever more common. Tim has provided an essential guidebook to navigating these dangerous waters, emphasizing the diverse nature of coercive threats and the risks of generalized theories about them. Eloquent, deeply researched, and methodologically sophisticated, this book represents an essential contribution to our understanding of coercive threats in world politics.” 

Michael J. Mazarr, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation