PS20 Week 6 Essay.docx - Professor David Wilkinson TA Stuart Pike Political Science 20 – Section 1D 7 November 2018 Week 6 Short Essay James

PS20 Week 6 Essay.docx - Professor David Wilkinson TA...

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Professor David Wilkinson, TA Stuart Pike Political Science 20 – Section 1D 7 November 2018 Week 6 Short Essay James Fearon’s article discusses rationalist explanations for war and his arguments seem to serve as a counterpoint to Mearsheimer’s own. Fearon claims that the fact that fighting a war is both costly and risky implies that agreements negotiated between states in dispute that are preferred to war should exist. He also claims that there are only two reasons that explain why rational states are unable to come to an agreement and instead choose to go to war. The first reason is that states possess private information about their resolve or capability and have an incentive to not share this information with other states. The second reason is that in certain situations states are incapable of committing to their end of the deal due to uncertainty. Fearon uses an analogy between two gunslingers as an example. Both gunslingers would like to stealthily kill each other without retaliation but would also prefer completely avoiding conflict.
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