In March 2005, riots erupted in South Korea against Japan for claiming sovereignty over two small uninhabitable rocky islets (0.23 km2) which are equidistanced from South Korea and Japan. In February 2005, riots did not erupt in South Korea against North Korea for announcing it has nuclear weapons. How can we explain moral outrage in one case, where expected net benefit is miniscule, and the lack thereof in the other, where net expected benefit is huge? The paper constructs a forward-looking â€œfight-or-fightâ€ model. The model, though, fails to explain moral outrage: There is no morality in the model to start with. As an alternative, the paper constructs two models: â€œquarrel-or-reconcileâ€ and â€œresist-or-submit.â€ Both models incorporate the role of national identity. The models succeed to explain moral outrage and the lack thereof depending on the context.
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