Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The practice, especially in international politics, of seeking advantage by creating the impression that one is willing and able to push a highly dangerous situation to the limit rather than concede.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Pursuit of an advantage by appearing to be willing to risk a dangerous policy rather than concede a point.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the policy or practise of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety), in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome; -- used especially of diplomatic maneuvers in crisis situations, and originally applied to the policies of John Foster Dulles under President Eisenhower.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the policy of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety)

Etymologies

1956. From brink +‎ -manship. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Dulles’s willingness to take risks, at least verbally, attached the word brinkmanship to him.

    Staying Tuned

  • The stakes are high for both Harper and Ignatieff, and with the new polling numbers brinkmanship is inevitable.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • So maybe Apple's anticompetitive brinkmanship is actually the best thing that could happen for everyone?

    Android 2.2 Will Officially Support Flash 10.1 | Lifehacker Australia

  • "Less belligerent in its audience pandering than its predecessors (less fart jokes, less homophobic subtext, and - thank Jesus - less squawking from Eddie Murphy), Shrek the Third may not give haters a migraine, but its lobotomized sense of comic brinkmanship is still without fun."

    GreenCine Daily: Shrek the Third.

  • South Korean critics claim such brinkmanship is shortsighted.

    No Pain, No Gain?

  • Unspoken, yet unmistakable in all the brinkmanship was the 2012 election campaign, still 18 months away, with the White House and both houses of Congress at stake.

    Debt talks crisis: Boehner, Obama trading blame

  • "Tension is expected to grow due to North Korea's brinkmanship, which is now at its highest level," said Kim Yong-Hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.

    Channel NewsAsia Front Page News

  • During that crucial epoch, Rand helped draw a sharp distinction between first-strike and second-strike nuclear deterrence, and the dangerously offense-oriented "brinkmanship" of the 1950s gave way to the more stable defensive posture of "mutual assured destruction."

    We Need a New Think Tank

  • BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, from a nation claiming to have a nuclear weapon, this kind of brinkmanship now carries a more ominous tone.

    CNN Transcript Jul 3, 2006

  • CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: The international community does have at its disposal a number of tools to make it more difficult for North Korea to engage in this kind of brinkmanship and to engage in the continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons programs and its missile programs.

    CNN Transcript Jul 5, 2006

Comments

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  • brinkmanship pol. = Politik am Rande des Abgrunds; Politik des äußersten Risikos

    September 4, 2009