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# The Big Picture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

The Big Picture. PLSC 379r Lecture 6. Setting the Stage. Two actors, A and D Can’t agree on how to split some issue States don’t want to fight. Why? However, each actor is thinking strategically, and that can get them into trouble. Onset of Violent Conflict.

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### The Big Picture

PLSC 379r

Lecture 6

• Two actors, A and D

• Can’t agree on how to split some issue

• States don’t want to fight. Why?

• However, each actor is thinking strategically, and that can get them into trouble

• A violent bargaining match should occur when one of two things happens

• One or both sides over-estimates their own strength or under-estimates the opponents

• One side believes a conflict is inevitable, and it has a “window of opportunity”

• A wants something from D

• A has a belief about D’s type

• Strong

• Weak

• Resolved

• Unresolved

• A “knows” its own type

• If A is unresolved, will it likely make a threat? Will it under any conditions?

• A will balance 1)issue importance, 2) p(win), and 3) e(costs)

• A is most likey to make a demand (and be resolved) when it believes that its share of the benefits are not about equal with its power

• D observes A make a first move and therefore has a clue about A’s type

• If A makes a demand, what does D “know”

• A uses everything it can to signal resolve

• Domestic institutions

• Democracies constrain

• Democracies inform

• D now “knows” that if it rejects A’s demand a costly conflict will occur

• D will choose war when it believes that its share of the benefits are not about equal with its power

• However, when D chooses war, what does that signal to A?

• If both sides believe their share of the benefits is not about equal to their share of the power, then someone is likely wrong

• The purpose of fighting is to reveal the “true” balance of power between A and D so the balance of benefits can be set to match

• A is not unreasonable. The demand it made initially will be one that a weak type should accept

• If the course of the battle suggests that D is indeed a weak type, A will continue to fight

• A became less optimistic when D chose war

• Losses cause A to become less optimistic, while wins cause her to be more optimistic

• As fighting continues, A and D update their expectations about 1) p(win) and 2 e(costs), and adjust demands and concessions accordingly

• War ceases when A and D can agree on a split of the benefits that BOTH prefer to continued fighting