More dangerous than dyads : bargaining and war in multi-actor disputes

Gallop, Max (2017) More dangerous than dyads : bargaining and war in multi-actor disputes. Journal of Theoretical Politics. ISSN 0951-6298

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    Abstract

    For the bargaining model of war, in the absence of incomplete information and commitment problems, war is irrational. But this finding rests on a simple and rarely dis- cussed assumption – that bargaining is between exactly two participants. When we relax this assumption, in a three-player bargaining game, war is an equilibrium. Thus, a key finding of the bargaining model – that there is always an agreement that all states prefer to war – is an artifact of dyadic analysis. By removing this limitation, we can find new factors that affect the risk of war: the number of actors, divergence in state preferences, alliance dynamics, and the issue being bargained over.