This chapter illustrates how a sense of threat can be a central component for initiating strategic interaction in most engagements. In threats, people see the power of the negative to focus attention. Political scientists have repeatedly documented the power of the negative, finding that negative information carries more weight in political judgments than positive information. This chapter also investigates the three categories of threat: insult, deprivation, and incapacity. It then explains how the boundaries of blame are cultural creations that shift, often as the result of strategic action. Further, it argues that threats, intentional or not, are the main moves or perceptions through which strategic interaction begins. A perception of threat seems the most common reason to enter strategic engagements.
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