in: Conflict management and peace science: Journal of the Peace Science Society, p. 073889421985561
ISSN: 0738-8942 (print), 1549-9219 (electronic)
Crisis escalation to war is a subject of longstanding interest. Case studies, formal models and statistical analysis offer compelling explanations for why some crises escalate to war while others do not. Much less can be said in answer to the following question: where do crises come from in the first place? In this paper, we first introduce the concept of a near crisis following the approach taken over the course of more than four decades by the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) Project. A near crisis is just below a crisis as defined by ICB with regard to intensity, as it lacks one essential condition for a crisis—higher likelihood of military hostilities. Second, we present a newly developed dataset that contains information on 86 cases in which actors perceived a threat to one or more basic values, along with an awareness of finite time for response to the value threat. We also present simple statistical models comparing (a) near crisis to crisis and (b) crisis to war that show that analyses based on the Near Crisis dataset will contribute to advancement of knowledge.