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Trusting EnemiesInterpersonal Relationships in International Conflict$
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Nicholas J. Wheeler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696475

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199696475.001.0001

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Enemy Images

Enemy Images

(p.75) 3 Enemy Images
Trusting Enemies

Nicholas J. Wheeler

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how enemy images are produced and reproduced in relations between two enemies. It identifies four drivers of security competition that block the development of trust. These are: (1) the security dilemma; (2) the problem of offence–defence differentiation; (3) peaceful/defensive self-images; (4) ideological fundamentalism; and (5) uncertainty about future intentions. Using examples such as the military stand-off on the Korean peninsula and the Libyan dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction, the chapter shows how hard it is for face-to-face diplomacy to change enemy images. It also examines the problem of ‘future uncertainty’—the problem of what happens if successor leaders do not share the trust of their predecessors and have malign intent.

Keywords:   security dilemma, enemy images, offence–defence differentiation, future uncertainty, peaceful/defensive self-images, bad faith model, ideological fundamentalism

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