Threats are a recurrent phenomenon in international politics which have received little analytical treatment. This study uses a phenomenological approach to develop a theory about how threats are created and reacted to in the case of the Cuban Missile Crisis

The notion of a turn-taking order is introduced as a general principle by which state interactions can be examined

This allows not only to reconstruct the actual unfolding of the Cuban Missile Crisis but also to develop in a systematic, rigorous, transparent manner, the generation of counterfactual scenarios

The core of this study contrasts the actual with alternative Cuban Missile Crises in order to explore the more general problem of how international crises are created, unfold, and resolved, and to provide a better historical explanation of the Cuban Missile Crisis