Notes # 6 reading

Notes # 6 reading - Chapter Outline What Is the Purpose of...

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Chapter Outline What Is the Purpose of War? What Do States Fight Over? Bargaining and War Compellence and Deterrence: Varieties of Coercive Bargaining Do Wars Happen by Mistake? War from Incomplete Information Incentives to Misrepresent and the Problem of Credibility Communicating Resolve: The Language of Coercion Can an Adversary Be Trusted to Honor a Deal? War from Commitment Problems Bargaining over Goods That Are a Source of Future Bargaining Power Prevention: War in Response to Changing Power Preemption: War in Response to First-Strike Advantages Is Compromise Always Possible? War from Indivisibility How Can We Make War Less Likely? Raising the Costs of War Increasing Transparency Providing Outside Enforcement of Commitments Dividing Apparently Indivisible Goods Conclusion: Why War? Chapter Review Given the great human, economic, and political costs of war, why can’t countries reach negotiated settlements instead? States have numerous bargaining strategies; why do they fail? Often, a number of bargains can be negotiated at the start of political tensions that would produce benefits to both sides—much greater than any gained through war. This paradox is illustrated in numerous cases, for example, the possible settlements that could have prevented the Mexican-American War. Authors who look for answers based solely on state interests fail to see the important role of interactions and institutions in explaining which countries go to war and when. At first glance, state interests do seem irreconcilable. Territory, security, and ideological conflicts remain the most frequent causes of war. National leaders often claim that these issues are indivisible, meaning that no compromise is possible. States historically have viewed territorial expansion as a means of increasing economic growth, controlling strategically important sites, or protecting ethnic or cultural allies. One state’s policy on defense, foreign affairs, or human rights may threaten the national security of another state, leaving little room for compromise. Seen especially during the Cold War, ideological changes of a state may threaten others who fear a shift in the global balance of power. Changes in relative power between states or blocs of states may be perceived as crossing some threshold on the slippery slope of security that defines a viable defense. However, the claim that no compromise is possible may be less than genuine and instead reflect more of a bargaining strategy.
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Failures of bargaining largely explain the puzzle of why states chose costly war over mutually beneficial settlement. Compared to bargaining in a domestic context, negotiations in international relations occur in a much weaker, if indeed existent, international structure. Especially for security concerns, international bargaining often takes the form of crisis
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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.

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Notes # 6 reading - Chapter Outline What Is the Purpose of...

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