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Unformatted text preview: Bargaining Failures and Civil War Barbara F. Walter Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093; email: [email protected] Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 2009. 12:243–61 The Annual Review of Political Science is online at polisci.annualreviews.org This article’s doi: 10.1146/annurev.polisci.10.101405.135301 Copyright c 2009 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved 1094-2939/09/0615-0243$20.00 Key Words conﬂict, negotiation, war onset, war duration, war resolution Abstract This article explores the many bargaining failures that may occur at every stage in intrastate disputes: before fighting breaks out, as a war is being fought, and once a war ends. It argues that disputes that occur within states are particularly susceptible to information and commit- ment problems. It also reveals why certain countries have more diffi- culty overcoming these problems than others do. This represents the most comprehensive overview to date of bargaining failures associated with civil wars. 243 A n n u . R e v . P o l i t . S c i . 2 9 . 1 2 : 2 4 3- 2 6 1 . D o w n l o a d e d f r o m w w w . a n n u a l r e v i e w s . o r g b y U N I V E R S I T Y O F R O C H E S T E R L I B R A R Y o n 1 1 / 2 / 1 . F o r p e r s o n a l u s e o n l y . INTRODUCTION Bargains are difficult to reach and implement in civil wars. In fact, they are notably harder to attain in civil wars than in interstate wars (see Pillar 1983, Walter 1997). Fewer negoti- ated settlements are signed; if they are signed, they are less likely to be implemented; and even if they are implemented, they are more likely to break down (see Licklider 1995, Walter 2002, Elbadawi & Sambanis 2002). It is no surprise, therefore, that civil wars tend to last longer, end more often in decisive military victories, and re- cur at a higher rate than wars between states. Despite these problems, most studies of civil war have focused on the underlying struc- tural conditions that encourage groups to go to war rather than on the bargaining problems that may stand in the way of settlement [see Blattman & Miguel (2009) for a comprehen- sive survey of the recent literature on civil war in both economics and political science]. In fact, the two main empirical studies on civil war con- centrated only on the economic, political, so- cial, and geographic characteristics of countries at the expense of more strategic factors (Collier & Hoefﬂer 2004, Collier et al. 2006, Fearon & Laitin 2003). 1 There is now near consensus that poverty, large populations, a low level of economic development, a prior history of civil war, and political instability increase a country’s risk of civil war....
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course IR 109 taught by Professor Heinz during the Spring '10 term at Rochester.
- Spring '10