2.Causes of War_Article 3_Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma

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COOPERATION UNDER THE SECURITY DILEMMA By ROBERT JERVIS* I. ANARCHY AND THE SECURITY DILEMMA T HE lack of an international sovereign not only permits wars to occur, but also makes it difficult for states that are satisfied with the status quo to arrive at goals that they recognize as being in their com- mon interest. Becausethere are no institutions or authorities that can make and enforce international laws, the policies of cooperation that will bring mutual rewards if others cooperate may bring disaster if they do not. Because states are aware of this, anarchy encourages be- havior that leaves all concerned worse off thanthey could be, even in the extreme case in which all states would like to freeze the status quo. This is true of the menin Rousseau's "Stag Hunt." If they cooperate to trap thestag, they will all eat well. But if one person defects to chase a rabbit-which he likes less than stag-none of the others will get any- thing. Thus, all actors have the same preference order, and there is a solution that gives each his first choice: (i) cooperate and trap the stag (the international analogue being cooperation and disarmament); (2) chase a rabbit whileothers remain at their posts (maintain a high level of arms while others are disarmed); (3) all chase rabbits (arms compe- tition and high risk of war); and (4) stay at the original position while another chases a rabbit (being disarmed while others are armed).1 * I am grateful to Robert Art, Bernard Brodie, and Glenn Snyder for comments, and to the Committee on Research of the UCLA Academic Senate for financial support. An earlier version of this essay appeared as Working Paper No. 5, UCLA Program in Arms Control and International Security. 1 This kind of rank-ordering is not entirely an analyst's invention, as is shown by the following section of a Britisharmy memo of I903 dealing with British and Russian railroad construction near the Persia-Afghanistan border: The conditions of the problem may . . . be briefly summarized as follows: a) If we make a railway to Seistan while Russia remains inactive, we gain a considerable defensive advantage at considerable financial cost; b) If Russia makes a railway to Seistan, while we remain inactive, she gains a considerable offensive advantage at considerable financial cost; c) If both we and Russia make railways to Seistan, the defensive and offensive advantages may be held to neutralize each other; in other words, we shall have spent a good deal of money and be no betteroff than we are at present. On the 0043-887I/78/3002-0 I 67$02-40/I ? I978 Princeton University Press For copying information, see Contributor page This content downloaded on Wed, 19 Dec 2012 09:44:16 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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168 WORLD POLITICS Unless eachperson thinks that the others will cooperate, he himself will not. And why might hefear that any other person would do some- thing that would sacrifice his ownfirst choice? The other might not understand the situation, or might not be able to control his impulses if he saw a rabbit, or might fear that some
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