Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Bargaining over power: when do shifts in power lead to war?

  • Thomas Chadefaux (a1)
Abstract

Students of international relations have long argued that large and rapid shifts in relative power can lead to war. But then why does the rising state not alleviate the concerns of the declining one by reducing its expected future power, so that a commitment problem never emerges? For example, states often limit their ability to launch preemptive attacks by creating demilitarized zones, or they abandon armament programs to avoid preventive wars. In a model of complete information, I show that shifts in power never lead to war when countries can negotiate over the determinants of their power. If war occurs, then, it must be that negotiations over power are impossible or too costly. I then show how third parties, domestic politics, and problems of fungibility can increase the costs of such negotiations, and hence lead to war, even under complete information.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: thomasc@ethz.ch
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Robert. Gilpin 1981. War and Change in World Politics, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Barbara. Walter 2000. “Explaining the Apparent Indivisibility of Territory.” Paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Robert. Powell 1999. In the Shadow of Power: States and Strategies in International Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Recommend this journal

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

International Theory
  • ISSN: 1752-9719
  • EISSN: 1752-9727
  • URL: /core/journals/international-theory
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 77 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 252 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.