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Steve Saideman @smsaideman
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
One of the fundamental points of convergence among scholars of international relations is that uncertainty is usually bad.
Countries tend to do things that make things worse when they are uncertain 1/x
That cooperation is hard in an uncertain world. Institutions were designed to reduce uncertainty.

Here is where Trump comes in: 2/x
Trump attacks pretty much all international institutions--NATO, World Trade Org, NAFTA, UN, etc.

More importantly, he is an uncertainty engine… 3/x
The current dance with North Korea, the Ross/Rachel, creates more confusion and more uncertainty.

Maybe this works for real estate, but it is mostly awful for International Relations 4/x
There is an ongoing debate about resolve/credibility--whether countries develop a perception of a country's resolve from past episodes.

This is different: Trump is broadcasting uncertainty about what the US will do every single day. 5/x
This encourages adversaries to look for opportunities to undermine the US and its allies, It encourages allies to look elsewhere and to hedge.

And it all comes back to a key reality in IR:
Given the costs of war and given that peace is usefully preferable (invoking Fearon), wars are more likely when decision-makers are confused and uncertainty.
"Hey, I didn't think you would mind if I took a small piece of x"
So, this is where Trump is really dangerous. Either he or someone else are likely to be more confident than they should and ... ta da... war.

PS. Any student who took my Intro to IR class should be scared. Oh, and scarred, too.
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