Skip to main content
×
Home

The Enforcement Problem in Coercive Bargaining: Interstate Conflict over Rebel Support in Civil Wars

  • Kenneth A. Schultz (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article explores the strategic problems that arise when a state seeks to use military force to compel changes in another state's policies. Although the costs associated with military action mean that there generally exist compromises that both sides prefer to conflict, bargaining may fail if such deals are not enforceable in the face of temptations to renege on policy concessions. This study develops a model that shows that inefficient conflict can occur when states bargain over policies that one of them can change unilaterally and covertly. I then show that this theory is useful for understanding a common source of international conflict: conflicts that arise when one state supports rebel groups engaged in a civil war with another state. Episodes of rebel support are associated with a substantial increase in the risk of interstate militarized disputes, the lethality of these disputes, and the likelihood of repeated violence. Agreements to limit rebel support are unlikely to reduce interstate violence unless they are coupled with concessions by the target state and/or monitoring mechanisms, both of which are shown theoretically to mitigate the enforcement problem.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Bapat Navin A. 2006. State Bargaining with Transnational Terrorist Groups. International Studies Quarterly 50 (1):213–29.
Bapat Navin A. 2007. Explaining ‘Wars on Terrorism.’ Unpublished manuscript. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Bednar Jenna. 2006. Is Full Compliance Possible? Conditions for Shirking with Imperfect Monitoring and Continuous Action Spaces. Journal of Theoretical Politics 18 (3):347–75.
Blaydes Lisa. 2004. Rewarding Impatience: A Bargaining and Enforcement Model of OPEC. International Organization 58 (2):213–37.
Blechman Barry M. 1972. The Impact of Israel's Reprisals on Behavior of the Bordering Arab Nations Directed at Israel. Journal of Conflict Resolution 16 (2):155–81.
Bueno de Mesquita Bruce, Smith Alastair, Siverson Randolph M., and Morrow James D.. 2003. The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press.
Byman Daniel, Chalk Peter, Hoffman Bruce, Rosenau William, and Brannan David. 2001. Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND.
Correlates of War Project. 2003. Colonial/Dependency Contiguity Data, 1816–2002, version 3.0. Available at ⟨http://correlatesofwar.org⟩. Accessed 8 January 2010.
Correlates of War Project. 2008. State System Membership List Version 2008.1. Available at ⟨http://correlatesofwar.org⟩. Accessed 8 January 2010.
Cunningham David, Gleditsch Kristian Skrede, and Salehyan Idean. 2008. Expanded Armed Conflict Data: Non-State Actors and Transnational Linkages Version 2.3. Department of Government, University of Essex, United Kingdom.
Downs George W., and Rocke David M.. 1990. Tacit Bargaining, Arms Races, and Arms Control. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Downs George W., and Rocke David M.. 1995. Optimal Imperfection: Domestic Uncertainty and Institutions in International Relations. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Downs George, Rocke David M., and Barsoom Peter N.. 1996. Is Good News About Compliance Good News About Cooperation? International Organization 50 (3):379406.
Fearon James D. 1995. Rationalist Explanations of War. International Organization 49 (3):379414.
Fearon James D. 1998. Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation. International Organization 52 (2):269306.
Fearon James D. 2004. Why Do Some Civil Wars Last So Much Longer Than Others? Journal of Peace Research 41 (3):275301.
Fortna Virginia Page. 2004. Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Fortna Virginia Page. 2008. Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents' Perceptions After Civil War. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Gleditsch Kristian Skrede, Salehyan Idean, and Schultz Kenneth A.. 2008. Fighting at Home, Fighting Abroad: How Civil Wars Lead to International Disputes. Journal of Conflict Resolution 52 (4):479506.
Gleditsch Nils Petter, Wallensteen Peter, Eriksson Mikael, Sollenberg Margareta, and Strand Håvard. 2002. Armed Conflict 1946–2001: A New Dataset. Journal of Peace Research 39 (5):615–37.
Green Edward J., and Porter Robert H.. 1984. Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Information. Econometrica 52 (1):87100.
Greene William H. 1997. Econometric Analysis. 3d ed.Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Jones Daniel M., Bremer Stuart A., and Singer J. David. 1996. Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816–1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns. Conflict Management and Peace Science 15 (2):163213.
Keohane Robert O. 1984. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Kydd Andrew, and Walter Barbara F.. 2002. Sabotaging the Peace: The Politics of Religious Violence. International Organization 56 (2):263–96.
Langer Paul F. 1972. The Soviet Union, China, and the Pathet Lao: Analysis and Chronology. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND.
Maoz Zeev. 2005. Dyadic MID Dataset, version 2.0. Available at ⟨http://psfaculty.ucdavis.edu/zmaoz/dyadmid.html⟩. Accessed 8 January 2010.
Marshall Monty G., and Jaggers Keith. 2004. Polity IV: Projection: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2004, version 2004e. Available at ⟨http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/polity4.htm⟩. Accessed 8 January 2010.
Nagenda Joseph. 1999. Will Sudan Peace Agreement Hold? New Vision, 11 December 1999. Accessed on Lexis-Nexis Academic.
Oye Kenneth A. 1986. Cooperation Under Anarchy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Powell Robert. 1999. In the Shadow of Power: States and Strategies in International Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Powell Robert. 2004. The Inefficient Use of Power: Costly Conflict with Complete Information. American Political Science Review 98 (2):231–41.
Powell Robert. 2006. War as a Commitment Problem. International Organization 60 (1):169203.
Salehyan Idean. 2008. No Shelter Here: Rebel Sanctuaries and International Conflict. Journal of Politics 70 (1):5466.
Stinnett Douglas M., Tir Jaroslav, Schafer Philip, Diehl Paul F., and Gochman Charles. 2002. The Correlates of War Project Direct Contiguity Data, version 3. Conflict Management and Peace Science 19 (2):5866.
Trumbore Peter F. 2003. Victims or Aggressors? Ethno-Political Rebellion and the Use of Force in Militarized Interstate Disputes. International Studies Quarterly 47 (2):183201.
Von Stein Jana. 2005. Do Treaties Constrain or Screen? Selection Bias and Treaty Compliance. American Political Science Review 99 (4):611–22.
Weisiger Alex. 2008. From Small Wars to Armageddon: Explaining Variation in Interstate War Duration and Severity. Ph.D. diss. Columbia University, New York.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 12
Total number of PDF views: 195 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 449 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 11th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.