Should peace be attributed mainly to democracy or to some intervening variable that influences both democracy and conflict? A second, perhaps related question is whether or to what extent democratization is driven by external drivers of threat. If regime type helps explain external conflict, does external conflict also help explain regime type? By examining the relationships among strategic rivalry, unstable boundaries, democracy, and interstate conflict in a regional context, we find that rivalry and unstable boundaries are alternative manifestations of external threat. Both have significant, if not identical effects on stimulating interstate conflict. Regime type does not appear to have an independent effect on interstate conflict when we take either rivalries or unstable boundaries into consideration. At the same time, we also find that external threat indicators negatively predict changes in democratization. In short, greater threat is associated with less democratization.
The study of military coercion is a central topic in international relations, and in recent years research on coercive threats has yielded a long list of important theoretical innovations. In 1960, Thomas Schelling drew a distinction between threats meant to deter and those designed to compel, but empirical research about coercion has paid much more attention to deterrence than compellence. This is problematic because deterrence and compellence are thought to operate according to different dynamics. This article introduces the Militarized Compel lent Threats dataset, which is designed specifically to help test hypotheses about the use and effectiveness of compellent threats in international politics. I describe the rationale behind the dataset, present coding procedures and basic descriptive statistics, and offer comparisons to several related datasets.
This study examines the influence of civil-military relations on military effectiveness. More specifically, we investigate how coup-proofing, that is, the strategies and tactics employed to prevent the military from seizing power, affects battlefield performance. The main argument claims that coup-proofing has a negative impact on soldiers' leadership qualities, initiative, and the ability to coordinate different military units. Ultimately, the higher a country's coup-proofing efforts relative to its opponent, the worse its effectiveness on the battlefield. We test this hypothesis using data on battlefield outcomes and coup-proofing between 1967 and 1999.
The Gaza War between Israel and Hamas in winter 2009, in which excessive use of lethal force caused the deaths of many Gazan non-combatants, shed light on how casualty shyness leads democracies to use excessive force to reduce the risk to which soldiers are exposed at the expense of the opponent's non-combatant fatalities. This can be termed the force/casualty tradeoff (FCT). Because this tradeoff is only one manifestation of state action, a more thorough analysis is required to recognize variances in the state's space of action. Arguably, and by drawing on the case of Gaza, the FCT reflects the interplay between two sets of legitimacies: legitimacy of sacrifice and the legitimacy to use force. The relations between these two legitimacies determine the state's space of action in the military domain: low legitimacy of sacrifice coupled with high legitimacy to use force yields the FCT, while other variations in the profile of these legitimacies produce other results.
In democratic societies, citizens can hold their government politically accountable for the consequences of international cooperation. Can democratic accountability shape international cooperation under strategic interdependence, and if so, to what effect? I show formally that citizens can endow a government with incentives to promote the public good by conditioning political support on the consequences of international cooperation. Contravening the conventional wisdom, democratic accountability effectively shapes international cooperation. Since international cooperation is reciprocal, domestic democratic accountability also influences the behavior of foreign governments, even if they are autocratic. Empirically, democratic accountability in one country increases the expected dyadic level of international cooperation if and only if the expected social benefits to that country are substantial enough. However, the analysis also reveals that democracies might sometimes obtain a higher payoff from cooperation with autocracies that do not have democratic accountability mechanisms. These findings indicate that the democratic propensity for international cooperation is a contingent phenomenon.
This article introduces GeoEPR, a geocoded version of the Ethnic Power Relations (EPR) dataset that charts politically relevant ethnic groups across space and time. We describe the dataset in detail, discuss its advantages and limitations, and use it in a replication of Cederman, Wimmer and Min's (2010) study on the causes of ethno-nationalist conflict. We show that territorial conflicts are more likely to involve groups that settle far away from the capital city and close to the border, while these spatial variables have no effect for governmental conflicts.
A Presidential Address provides one with the opportunity to look backwards and forward. Backwards to understand how we got to where we are now; forwards to suggest paths to further progress. I will focus on the range of research methods that the members of the Society use, how they have evolved during my engagement with the Society, and some suggestions of how we can develop them further.
Advancing peace and conflict studies into a quantitative science requires advanced mathematical methods and concepts. Lim, Metzler and Bar-Yam (2007, "LMB") provide a wavelet based method for predicting the location of violence in a country based upon the hypothesis that well mixed or well separated groups do not engage in violence, but intermediate sized groups without clear boundaries between them do. Wiedmann and Toft (20I0,"WT") consider the remarkable quantitative success of LMB and question whether the methods used correctly evaluate their effectiveness. Here we provide some additional tests to address questions raised by WT. We confirm the quantitative success of LMB. Moreover, despite claiming to criticize LMB's policy implications that suggest the separation of groups as a method of promoting peace, WT affirm that homogenous populations are not susceptible to violence. WT's statement itself could be used to motivate a policy of separation. In contrast, LMB provide scientific precision that can guide policy makers in a choice of policy options in terms of geographical distributions and political boundaries, or the alternative of promoting the mixing of ethnic populations. Here we point to additional scientific support for the key policy implications.
Researchers investigating the link between trade and peace often face a severe problem of list-wise deletion from missing trade data. Attempts to mitigate this problem include assuming that most observations are zero or imputing the values of such flows. We compare two frequently used trade data sets (the Gleditsch data set and the Correlates of War Project data set). We classify individual observations as observed, constructed or missing. We demonstrate that state attributes are systematically related to different categories of trade data. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we also find that replacing some missing data with estimated values tends to inflate the effects of trade in conflict models, although the effects differ by data set.
The link between territorial issues and incidents of militarized conflict is one of the most consistent patterns found in the empirical study of international relations. Consequently, disputes over territory are generally perceived to be more salient to state decision-makers than other types of issues. Given this relative issue salience, state elites are thought to be more likely to engage in domestic mobilization efforts when territory is externally threatened. The political participation literature observes wide cross-national differences in participatory behavior and contends that the level and timing of participation is partially a function of elite-led strategic mobilization. I propose that these phenomena are connected and that territorial threats are associated with overall patterns in non-voting political participation across countries. I assess this relationship with cross-national, multilevel models using 27 Afrobarometer surveys collected in 16 different countries from 1999 to 2003. As expected, if salient external threats are triggering domestic mobilization efforts, I find that territorial threats are positively associated with most forms of non-voting political participation. However, I also observe lower levels of protest behavior in states that recently experienced a territorial threat—a finding that corresponds with previous research linking salient external threats to increased societal cohesion.
The agreement between Egypt and Israel at Camp David in 1978 is used to illustrate how a fair-division procedure called Adjusted Winner (AW), in which two sides allocate 100 points over the issues that divide them, could have been used to reach a settlement. AW satisfies the properties of envy-freeness (each side is ensured of receiving at least 50 of its points and hence does not envy the other side), equitability (each side receives the same number of points over 50), and efficiency (there is no other settlement better for both players). While the actual agreement at Camp David seems to reflect quite well what AW would have yielded on the six issues that divided the two sides, this agreement probably could have been achieved more expeditiously, and in a less crisis-driven atmosphere, if AW had been used.
What determines the level of a country's military expenditures? Both history and theory indicate that military expenditures are strategic in nature-a country's military expenditures depend on the military allocations of other countries. This article examines two potential sources of interdependence: geographic proximity and alliance membership. Estimation results from spatial autoregressive models show that a country's military expenditures are positively correlated with those of its geographic neighbors. Since countries may respond positively to their neighbors' military spending due to conflict or cooperation, the article uses alliance membership as an alternative measure of contiguity to discover potential cooperative relationships among geographic neighbors. Results indicate that a country's military expenditures are positively correlated with the military spending of its alliance partners. This correlation is stronger between members of the same defensive alliance.
This article examines youths' willingness to participate in three different forms of unrest (peaceful protests, low-level violence and oil-related crime, and militarized struggle) in the oil-rich Delta region of Nigeria, focusing among other factors on the role of schooling, educational attainments, earnings, and unemployment, and using data from over 1,300 respondents. It discusses what level of education matters the most for each outcome, the influence of higher formal education on willingness to participate by the unemployed, and the effect of marginal increases in income on the disposition of the employed towards participation. The results are compared across various sample specifications.
This paper focuses on how domestic legal systems influence states' choices of peaceful dispute resolution methods. In order to increase familiarity with rules of peaceful resolution of disputes, states use their domestic legal systems to provide them with clues about the most trustworthy ways to settle disputes. States tend to choose methods of dispute resolution that are similar to those embedded in their domestic legal systems. Empirical analyses support the conjecture of a linkage between domestic law and interstate conflict management methods, showing that civil law dyads prefer more legalized dispute resolution methods compared to common law dyads. Islamic law dyads are most likely to use nonbinding third party methods, while common law dyads tend to resolve their territorial disputes through bilateral negotiations.
Barbieri, Keshk, and Pollins (2009)introduce a new Correlates of War trade data set and express various opinions on issues related to analyzing data on trade and how these may impact our inferences on the relationship between trade and conflict. Since there are 33 references to my name in their paper and the authors believe the expanded trade that I have generated to be highly problematic, I respond to some of the issues raised, clarify the specific sources of disagreement, and outline my thoughts on how trade data can be improved and best used in empirical analyses. Barbieri et al. (2009) could be interpreted as suggesting that inferences on the pacifying effect of trade on conflict are fragile and sensitive to decisions on the data. However, their paper in my view provides few new empirical results and does not change my own interpretation of the evidence that dyadic trade reduces the risk of conflict.
Research on when economic sanctions end has emphasized either the international bargaining game played by the sender and the target or the redistributive politics and ruling coalition changes in each state. We contend that neither approach offers a fully satisfactory explanation for economic coercion termination. Bargaining is inconsistent with long coercion episodes while ruling coalition changes cannot inform our understanding of very short episodes. We argue that both bargaining factors and domestic realignments matter, but the influence of bargaining factors declines as a sanctions episode continues while the relevance of domestic realignments increases over time. Our empirical tests, which utilize the new Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions data set, provide support for both the bargaining and domestic realignment approaches, suggesting that unifying them is beneficial.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in the development of economic activities based on advanced technologies. We conducted an exploratory study in order to evaluate the attitudes of Israelis and Palestinians toward barriers and inhibiting factors. We also looked at possible models of cooperation and their economic and sociopolitical benefits, as well as the policy measures that would have to be taken in order to make such cooperation feasible. Our main results suggest that Palestinians are more sensitive to inhibiting factors but show more openness to all models of cooperation, with a preference for virtual models that are less dependent on the inhibiting factors. Economic benefits are considered major drivers for cooperation; they are important mostly to Palestinians, although Israelis attach equal weight to noneconomic benefits. In addition, public support is considered an important but not necessarily the major instrument for cooperation, especially among people in high-tech. The main conclusion drawn from this paper is that a basis does exist for Palestinian-Israeli cooperation in advanced technologies, innovation, and high-tech activities.
Although globalization has become one of the most salient issues in the study of international relations during the past few decades, its net effect on international conflict remains unexplored. I argue that although the manifold phenomena of globalization may conflict (i.e. produce both positive and negative influences), its overall consequences help foster a common peaceful disposition among national leaders who are then less likely to resort to arms in times of crisis. Based on a cross-sectional, time-series dyadic data analysis for I 14 countries during the period from 1970 to 2001, this study reports that socio-economic and political globalization in its entirety generates a dampening effect on militarized interstate disputes. Even when common conflict-related control variables such as democracy, economic interdependence, joint membership in international organizations, and others are incorporated into the analysis, globalization emerges as the most powerful explanatory variable. Consequently, globalization when taken in its entirety represents an unambiguous force for interstate peace.
To uncover the relationship between bias and effective conflict resolution, we explore the bias of third parties and the techniques they employ in the diplomatic management of river, maritime, and territorial claims. We find that bias increases the likelihood that a third party will engage in unobtrusive techniques like good offices and decreases its propensity to pursue involved mechanisms like arbitration. Additionally, bias is inversely related to the range of issues addressed at a settlement attempt. As such, unbiased third parties are more effective because they are used for the management techniques that have the most potential to resolve conflicts.
Empirical research suggests that the existence of territorial disputes makes armed conflict more likely to occur. Yet, there are many states that have engaged in militarized interstate disputes that not only maintain normalized bilateral relations, but cooperate with one another on an increasing number of bilateral issues. How can disputing states like Argentina and the UK so frequently cooperate with each other on bilateral issues when there remains a significant amount of tension regarding their territorial dispute over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands? Our theory suggests that challengers involved in territorial disputes are willing to engage
in bilateral cooperation with their adversaries in order to influence upcoming territorial settlement attempts. Bilateral cooperation is purposively and strategically used by the challengers as a form of confidence building measure (CBM) with the goal of reducing the negative impact of the territorial dispute. Empirical analyses of monthly data (1978—2003) on Argentina—UK relations, as well as qualitative evidence from the case, support our theoretical expectations by showing that challengers deliberately link cooperation on bilateral issues to territorial dispute settlement attempts as a form of bargaining incentive to increase the likelihood of peaceful resolution.
This article explores a boundary condition surrounding the effect of trade interdependence on the onset of interstate conflict. In particular, we focus on the types of conflict experienced by states, including territory, policy, and regime conflicts. We draw on the MID 3.1 and Oneal and Russett's data to build three multinomial logit models to examine how trade interdependence affects territorial, policy, and regime types of conflict between 1885 and 2000. We find that trade interdependence significantly decreases the onset of all three types of conflict. This result largely holds across three different measures of trade interdependence. Moreover, we discover that the pacific effect of trade interdependence on the three types of conflict displays different patterns. Trade interdependence at the moderate and middle levels plays a marginal role in pacifying territorial and policy conflict. This effect becomes quite strong between states with high levels of interdependence. For policy conflicts, the threshold for this strong dampening effect is even higher. Finally, trade interdependence exerts a more consistent pacific impact upon regime conflict.
The fact that many civil wars involve several warring parties is often highlighted as an obstacle to conflict resolution. However, this issue has so far attracted little attention in previous research. This article aims to contribute to filling this gap. It is argued that whereas only very strong rebel groups should be able to force concessions, a multiparty context can turn the tables and increase the chances for weak rebel groups to reach a deal. The empirical analysis is based on dyadic data covering the government and each rebel group in all internal armed conflicts, 1989-2003. In accordance with the theory, it is found that the likelihood that the government and a weak rebel group will reach a negotiated settlement increases with the number of warring parties in the conflict.
A new forecasting model, solved for Bayesian Perfect Equilibria, is introduced. It, along with several alternative models, is tested on data from the European Union. The new model, which allows for contingent forecasts and for generating confidence intervals around predictions, outperforms competing models in most tests despite the absence of variance on a critical variable in all but nine cases. The more proximate the political setting of the issues is to the new model's underlying theory of competitive and potentially coercive politics, the better the new model does relative to other models tested in the European Union context.
The vast majority of civil wars occur in economically less developed countries, as measured by GDP per capita. Two suggested explanations for this are prominent: one emphasizing that poverty facilitates rebel recruitment due to lowered economic opportunity cost of rebelling, and the other highlighting that low state reach and capacity give political and military opportunity for organizing insurgency. I argue that the latter account is more powerful. Low state reach is vital not only to rebel survival; it also enables rebels to obtain control over remote settlements, which facilitates the effective use of persuasion, coercion, organization, and economic rewards for mobilizing recruits and other resources. Although low economic opportunity costs can ease recruitment, it may not be essential if such tools are available. The argument is supported by a quantitative analysis covering 133 countries from 1989 to 2006. Countries experiencing civil war were distinguished more by low state reach (measured by road density, telephone density, and % urban of the population) than by depth of poverty (measured by the mean income of the poorest decile). Moreover, the negative association between GDP per capita and civil war risk disappeared when controlling for state reach, but remained strong controlling for poverty.
While the extant literature on the UN peacekeeping missions has considered the dynamics of institutional decisionmaking, relatively less attention has been paid to how states choose the civil wars in which they are going to intervene. In this article, I compare state and IGO decisionmaking in civil war intervention and claim that states make strategic decisions and consider the behavior of other third-party states to judge the costs and risks associated with intervention. Event history analysis results for the post-WWII period suggest that the timing of civil war intervention is closely associated with the war's intervention history. States become hesitant and wait for longer periods to take action in civil wars in which interventions that failed to influence combatant behavior have been attempted by other states. Civil wars that survive despite heavy third-party involvement discourage other states from undertaking intervention efforts.
Kenneth Boulding's (1962) notion of a loss-of-strength gradient (LSG) has been successfully applied to explain the military reach of states. The capability of a country (a.k.a. its national strength) is largest at its home base and declines as the nation moves away. Capable states are relatively less impeded by distance and can therefore influence more distant regions. Given armed conflict, battles are expected to occur in areas where the projected powers of the antagonists are comparable. When the aggressor's projected power is greater than the national strength of the defender, the latter side should give in without violence. This paper is a first attempt to apply Boulding's theory of international power projection to the study of civil war. Using new data on the point location of conflict onset and a variety of measures of state and rebel strength, this paper tests empirically one corollary of the LSG model: that civil wars in general locate further away from the capital in more powerful regimes.
Multiple studies of Huntington's suggestion of a clash of civilizations have found no support for it. This study does not reanalyze his thesis, but rather focuses on specific features of the different-civilization conflict he theorizes about. Using empirical analysis I find that different-civilization conflict is more prevalent than same-civilization conflict, and is therefore appropriate for continued scholarly examination. Even so, I conclude that over time it is not only shrinking as a percentage of the overall world conflict as previously reported but is doing so at a rate more pronounced than heretofore realized. My results support Roeder's findings that the most contentious civilizations are the West, Orthodox, and Islam, with Western states as a group being more contentious than the other two. As for a most contentious civilization dyad, I find the probability of conflict to be about the same for Western-Islamic and Western-Orthodox states. Finally, I conclude that the contentiousness of Western states derives in large part from their tendency to band together or cooperate during violent conflict.
If terror attacks from groups of one country are followed by similar attacks on the same target from groups of other similar countries, then this could be the consequence of contagion. However, just because one terror incident follows another does not necessarily imply that one is caused by the other or, in other words, that terror attacks are what is called spatially dependent. Rather, both incidents could have been triggered by the same underlying cause. This is known as Galton’s problem. One area where this problem is particularly prevalent is international terrorism. According to Huntington, international terrorism is contagious because of civilizational rallying effects. If radical groups from one country attack targets from a country of another civilization, then groups from other countries of the same civilization as the initial terrorist groups will become more likely to also attack this target. Any test of this hypothesis has to solve Galton’s problem and thus to disentangle spatial dependence from spatial clustering of attacks and common shocks and trends, which affect similar groups from different countries similarly. Accounting for such potentially confounding effects, we nevertheless find evidence for spatial dependence in international terrorism along civilizational lines in the post-Cold War period and particularly so for specific inter-civilizational combinations. However, while contagion consistent with Huntington’s predictions exists, spatial dependence seems to have a substantively small effect on patterns of international terrorism.
Multiple studies have confirmed that democracies are more likely than other regime types to resolve their militarized disputes through negotiation and compromise. We argue that these findings have not controlled for the types of disputes that are most likely to involve democracies. States have often resolved their most dangerous disputes, involving territorial issues with neighbors, prior to becoming democratic. Thus, the issues involving democracies are of less salience and are more easily negotiated with compromise. Using Militarized Interstate Dispute data from Correlates of War Project, 1816 to 2001, we confirm this explanation. The pacifying effect of regime type disappears once controls are added for proximity and issue type. We find that territorial issues among contiguous states are among the most difficult issues to resolve, and democracies are unlikely to be involved in these disputes. Our findings are an advancement of the territorial peace argument and present a first step in a re-examination of the broader empirical regularities associated with democratic peace theory.
According to the classical liberal belief, trade, which economically benefits countries, creates ties binding the interests of countries and reduces conflict. While the vast majority of the empirical literature supports this view, recent research questions these findings by also considering the reciprocal relationship between trade and conflict. If conflict also influences trade, then trade is an endogenous right-hand side regressor and previous estimates which ignore this are inconsistent. This article determines when one uses appropriate instruments for the endogenous regressors that trade reduces conflict and conflict reduces trade. Failure to use such instruments results in inconsistent estimates and can lead to the spurious conclusion that trade increases conflict. The lesson is the use of inappropriate instruments can be worse than not using them at all.
In the literature on civil conflicts, federalism is often touted as a useful institution to address regional demands. However, diversity in the groups present in a country is also associated with a higher tendency for conflicts. In this article we examine how the geographic distribution of groups across a country affects the ways in which federalism contributes to conflict resolution. Of tantamount importance in assessing these effects of federalism is whether particular types of distributions of groups across a territory make the adoption of federal institutions more likely. We find federal countries with strong ethno-federal arrangements to be particularly conflict-prone.
Most quantitative assessments of civil conflict draw on annual country-level data to determine a baseline hazard of conflict onset. The first problem with such analyses is that they ignore factors associated with the precipitation of violence, such as elections and natural disasters and other trigger mechanisms. Given that baseline hazards are relatively static, most of the temporal variation in risk is associated with such precipitating factors. The second problem with most quantitative analyses of conflict is that they assume that civil conflicts are distributed uniformly throughout the country. This is rarely the case; most intrastate armed conflicts take place in the periphery of the country, well away from the capital and often along international borders. Analysts fail to disaggregate temporally as well as spatially. While other contributions to this issue focus on the temporal aspect of conflict, this article addresses the second issue: the spatial resolution of analysis. To adequately assess the baseline risk of armed conflict, this article develops a unified prediction model that combines a quantitative assessment of conflict risk at the country level with country-specific sub-national analyses at first-order administrative regions. Geo-referenced data on aspects of social, economic, and political exclusion, as well as endemic poverty and physical geography, are featured as the principal local indicators of latent conflict. Using Asia as a test case, this article demonstrates the unique contribution of applying a localized approach to conflict prediction that explicitly captures sub-national variation in civil conflict risk.
Constitutional resolution of disputes between constituent groups of a polity avoids the incremental costs of civil conflict. But, the political process prescribed by a constitution provides a viable alternative to civil conflict only if the constitution is self-enforcing. Theoretical analysis reveals that the following properties help to make it possible to design a self-enforcing constitution that can settle recurring disputes:
• No party to the disputes has a big advantage in civil conflict.
• The parties to the disputes expect the incremental costs of civil conflict to be large relative to the importance of the disputes that arise between them.
• The parties are greatly concerned about the future consequences of their current actions.
Theoretical analysis also reveals that a self-enforcing constitution can require limitations on the prerogatives of winners of constitutional contests such that on average outcomes under the constitution are not too favorable to any one party and such that the outcome of each constitutional contest does not matter too much. The paper concludes with historical examples that illustrate the broad applicability of the theoretical analysis.
In economics, supply-side market concentration profoundly impacts firm behavior. This dimension of economic interaction can be used to predict the conflict initiation of countries in the context of international relations. The following investigation uses industry-level trade data to define four new market concentration variables, which are incorporated into the traditional model of military conflict. The article finds that high dyadic market concentration significantly decreases the likelihood that a state initiated military conflict in the period 1962â€“2001, and argues that market concentration is an important factor in the tradeâ€“conflict relationship.
The effect of trade on military conflict is one of the most important questions in international relations. Liberals argue that trade brings peace, neo-realists and neo-Marxists reason that trade brings conflict, while classical realists contend that trade has no impact on conflict. This article investigates theoretically and empirically some of the most important issues that remain in this literature: the roles of geographical proximity, country size, the handling of the trade data, and the conceptualization of conflict. Employing a simultaneous equations model, we find that the claim that trade brings peace is not robust, but rather it is conflict that reduces trade.
It is well established that territorial issues are highly conflict prone. Furthermore, dyads encountering conflicts over territory should be expected to fight more frequently, with shorter durations of peace than other dyads. However, the growing literature examining factors leading to the recurrence of conflict has largely ignored the impact of territorial issues, focusing instead on factors such as the type of dispute settlement. In this article, I seek to examine the relationship between territorial issues, settlements, and conflict recurrence through survival analyses of the periods of peace following 2,974 dyadic militarized interstate disputes between 1816 and 2001.
This article addresses the effect of political instability and domestic conflict on the probability of militarized interstate disputes. Existing research on the subject has produced inconsistent findings. I hypothesize that the effect of political instability on international disputes is conditional on states' involvement in civil conflict. More specifically, I argue that while political instability provides leaders with the willingness to use force, civil war creates the necessary opportunities for initiating conflict abroad. A directed-dyad analysis of international rivals for the 1816-2000 time period shows that instability coupled with civil war increases the probability of militarized interstate dispute initiation among rival states. Results are consistent for alternative indicators of political instability and civil war.
This paper develops a positive analysis of stable group formation, highlighting the role of conflict management within groups. The analysis is based on a model of sequential conflict, starting with a "winner- take-all" contest for control of some resource. When a group forms, members pool their efforts in that contest and, if successful, apply the resource to a joint production process. While reducing the severity of conflict over the contestable resource relative to the case of individual conflict, the formation of groups adds another layer of conflict---that is, one between the members of the winning group over the distribution of their joint product. The effectiveness of conflict management in enabling groups to resolve this second layer of conflict in more "peaceful" ways involving less "social waste" has some important implications for the equilibrium structure of groups as well as for the allocation of resources.
This paper examines the interactive effect of distance and trade on international conflict and cooperation. The effect of geographic distance depends on trade, while the effect of trade varies with geographic distance. Trade reduces conflict to a greater extent when dyads are geographically close, but has a greater effect on cooperation when countries are more distant. Geographic proximity increases conflict and cooperation more among non-trading dyads.
We propose a framework for forecasting and analyzing regional and international conflicts. It generates forecasts that (1) are accurate but account for uncertainty, (2) are produced in (near) real time, (3) capture actors' simultaneous behaviors, (4) incorporate prior beliefs, and (5) generate policy contingent forecasts. We combine the CAMEO event-coding framework with Markov-switching and Bayesian vector autoregression models to meet these goals. Our example produces a series of forecasts for material conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians for 2010. Our forecast is that the level of material conflict between these belligerents will increase in 2010, compared to 2009.
Schellingâ€™s work laid the foundation for a reputational theory of conflict behavior, claiming that a stateâ€™s reputation for resolve, as established through its past behavior, should provide it with bargaining leverage in future conflicts. This argument is scrutinized both theoretically and empirically in this study and also juxtaposed to an alternative framework that modifies the impact of â€œface-savingâ€ stakes with those of a more inherent nature, such as the interests in a dispute. We advance an argument about the interplay between a stateâ€™s reputation from past behavior and its current interests in order to predict its crisis behavior. Our empirical expectations are subsequently tested in a quantitative analysis of deterrence crises for the period 1895â€“1985. The findings indicate that, while reputation matters, its impact is indirect at best and contingent on a stateâ€™s interests. Given the strong empirical support, we expect the interaction between reputation and interests as specified in our analysis to further contribute to a better understanding of conflict behavior.
Scholars have long been fascinated by the potential for leaders to engage in diversionary behavior, where leaders use militarized force abroad to distract their publics from various forms of domestic economic and political turmoil. While there is some evidence that diversionary behavior depends on contextual factors such as regime type, opportunities to use force, and interstate rivalry, we do not know whether and how diversionary strategies are used by states to resolve contentious issues. In fact, most diversionary studies compare the initiation of militarized disputes or crises to non-initiation cases, without considering the slew of interstate interactions in between these extremes, where states have an ongoing contested issue that gets managed with both peaceful and militarized confict management tools. In this article, we extend theories of diversionary behavior to the context of issue claims, including competing claims to territory, maritime areas, and cross-border rivers as coded by the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) project. Thinking about an ongoing issue claim as a potential diversionary opportunity, we examine the empirical effect of domestic turmoil on the militarization of issue claims. We consider whether issue diversionary behavior is conditioned by the salience level of the issue, previous wars over the issue in question, and whether the disputing states are involved in a broader rivalry. In a broad sample of directed dyad-years, we find that states are more likely to initiate militarized disputes if they are involved in contentious issues claims. We also find that states involved in issue claims are more likely to initiate a militarized dispute if they have high levels of infation and if they are contesting over highly salient and previously militarized issues.
Repeated interaction between a terrorist group and a target government is analyzed in a game-theoretic model. The analysis identifies a dynamic inconsistency problem, which forces the government to under-invest in defensive measures while over-investing in offensive measures. Policy implications are discussed in light of recent US counterterrorism experience. It is shown that governments may resolve the problem by delegating the authority over defensive measures to an independent agency.
We use the Michigan Model of World Trade and Production to assess the sectoral effects on the U.S. economy of: (1) a 25% unilateral reduction of military expenditures in the United States and (2) a 25% multilateral reduction of military expenditures in all of the major Western industrialized and developing countries included in the Michigan Model. Our principal findings suggest that the overall effects are not substantial. Although the sectoral results differ significantly depending on the alternative assumptions concerning compensating macroeconomic policies, less than 1.0% of the workforce might experience dislocation in all cases. The results of the multilateral reduction are qualitatively similar to those of a unilateral reduction.
Research on women and post-conflict reconstruction tends to focus primarily on women as victims and passive targets for aid rather than conceptualizing peacebuilding as a process where greater participation by women may help increase the prospects for success. Here, I argue that women's social status is a dimension of social capital that is largely independent of general economic development. Societies and communities where women enjoy a relatively higher status have greater prospects for successful peacebuilding, as cooperation by the local population with peacebuilding policies and activities increases. Thus, in the presence of a UN-led peacebuilding operation, women's status has a direct and independent impact on post-conflict reconstruction. The theoretical claims are empirically assessed by looking at variation in levels of cooperation and conflict during the UN peacebuilding missions within the countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Political vulnerability is thought to influence the opportunities available to the US president to engage in uses of force abroad. Conventional theories linking economic misfortune and partisan opposition to presidential uses of force detail the incentives and constraints facing the president in decisions to use force. In contrast, these theories' strategic counterparts focus on the ability of US adversaries to respond to the president's vulnerability through either avoidance or exploitation. The behavior of US adversaries is thought to critically affect the president's opportunities to use force. Conventional and strategic accounts of the linkage between domestic political vulnerability and the use of force provide contradictory expectations. To assess these theories we identify hypotheses related to four dependent and selection variables corresponding to dispute initiation and reciprocation involving the US. These hypotheses are tested with a two-stage Heckman Probit model to account for selection effects due to strategic interaction. The results are most supportive of orthodox diversionary theory. Our findings challenge the other perspectives evaluated---the strategic conflict avoidance (SCA) perspective, Howell and Pevehouse's party cover approach, and Schultz's signaling model.
Our goal in this article is to examine the strategic interaction between terror groups, hosts, and the United States in order to better understand the parameters of the interaction and the elements of a winning strategy. We adopt a game theoretic approach assuming that each player has a well defined goal and accounts for the anticipated behavior of the others to develop strategy. The game that we develop is a repeated game in which the host and the US must decide whether to fight a terrorist organization whose membership and resources will grow indefinitely if left unchecked. Our model predicts circumstances in which a host will begin to push back against the terrorists in anticipation of a future involvement of the US. It also predicts circumstances in which the terrorist organization's hatred of the US prompts attacks that seal its fate and early demise.
The idea that democracies are less apt to engage in conflict with each other is a central finding in international relations. Yet the operationalization of democracy in this literature has been relatively unreflective. Since the mid-1990s the majority of studies have used Polity. In this article we raise substantial concerns about its use, notably that there is a mismatch between conceptualization of democracy as a regime type and using an interval scale to measure it. If our contention is correct, we would expect to find that models that use a dichotomous coding should either provide different results from Polity or at minimum fit the data better. We then test this contention by comparing the results of tests of the democratic peace using Polity in its interval scalar form and several common dichotomous codings of democracy. The tests are supportive of the contention that dichotomous coding better captures the notion of "democracy." At minimum we believe that findings using Polity should be verified for robustness using a dichotomous coding.