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POLI 244 Lecture Notes - Irredentism, Hot Pursuit, Rationality

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 244
Stephen Saideman

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What do the Stakes Mean?
More war is over ethnic/linguistic ties
e.g. Jerusalem
Does shared ethnicity mean more trust?
Theory that war in between the same ethnic group is more easy to solve
Less of other ethnic groups --> more difficult to solve
Does hate overpower rational calculus?
If you're really angry/upset, you probably will over overestimate your
capabilities and underestimate the enemies' capacities
War is naturally irrational
Ethnicity and War
Efforts to unify lost territory inhabited by ethnic kin
Clear path between ethnicity and interstate violence
e.g. Kashmir
Internationalization of civil war
Civil war always drag outsiders inside the conflict
Hot pursuit
What do you do when rebels leave the country?
Dominated by those interested in prolonging the conflict
Reciprocal support
If country A supports rebels in country B, then country B will support rebels in
country A
Countries will retaliate for support
War as a Mistake
Always irrational?
Costs of war should make for bargaining
Unless key constituencies do not pay, but perhaps profit from war
We're more likely if we don't have a draft
Incomplete information
Resolve, capabilities
Incomplete info about the army
Believe we can't make mistakes
Under-estimate opponent
Pretend forces are better to scare off opponent
Outside actors
Coercive diplomacy gone awry
If you always use coercion, you will make a mistake at some point
They won't back down --> your bluff gets called
War as Least Bad Choice
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