Patrick Bratton gave an interesting talk at CIPOD on September 30, 2009 on 'the effects of governmental structure on coercive signalling'.
Bratton is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Program Chair for Political Science and International Relations at Hawaii Pacific University. He has done a considerable amount of work on coercion in international politics. He provided the abstract of the presentation pasted below:
The Effecs of Governmental Structure on Coercive Signalling
How does governmental structure affect the ability of a state to send clear coercive messages and to orchestrate those signals into coherent messages? This presentation shall review the concept of coercion and previous studies done by the author and his collaborator on the effects of governmental structures on coercion. Several studies indicate that democracies, in particular presidential democracies with a division of powers like the United States, are poor at sending clear signals and orchestrating those signals into coherent messages. There has been an assumption that both authoritarian and parliamentary governments are more effective. The presentation will compare the effects of these three types of governments on signaling and orchestration: (1) Presidential divided/shared powers systems; (2) Westminster parliamentary democracies; and (3) authoritarian governments. It uses examples from: the US War with Vietnam, the 1982 Falklands War, and the 1995-96 Taiwan Straits Crisis.