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Oct. 22 - Dyadic Interactions.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Todd Hall

Oct. 22 – Dyadic Interactions - Dyadic relations: Who Gets Along with Whom? o Three basic possibilities:  With  Against  Neutral o Three basic possibilities when one of the states is a great power:  Bandwagon  State aligning with greater actor  Balance  Counteracting opponent’s power  Free-riding  Trying to stay out of the conflict and letting another state take the reins without enduring costs of conflict Stephen Walt – Origins of Alliances - How the state does make decisions? What is it that makes is align with others? - He is known for proposing “the balance of threat” Balance of Threat - Aggregate power (blatant power) o Function of amount resources, size of population, economic might of a country - Geography o Is there easy access, separated by an ocean, are there mountain ranges - Offensive power o Does the state have military capacity to launch an attack - Aggressive intentions o Does state show signs of invading, looking to take over territory = i.e. Germany displayed signals of having aggressive intentions o This is up to the eye of the beholder  Cannot explain why a state would choose the balance of power without choosing these  When these four components all work in balancing powers Bandwagoning... 1) Simply too weak to oppose the power in question 2) No possible allies 3) A conflict is coming to an end with a clear victor - E.g. WWI and WWII – all joined Allied nations * Exception: the state simply appears too aggressive - If state is so aggressive and bandwagoning cannot appease it, that’s when state has no choice but to stand up against it James Fearon - Basic question: “If war is costly, why does it occur?” o Couldn’t you just make a deal to avoid the cost of war that would get you the same outcome o E.g. Imagine you have a bully coming up to steal your lunch money. You say you’ll make him a deal: we could fight this out (both end up hurt and bully will get lunch money) or we could save all that and I can give you 75% of my lunch money. No one gets hurt, no effort and we both get something, plus no cost of fight. => Bargaining Theory of War - Represented mathematically – the Cost of War and the Bargaining Range (chart) o State should be willing to accept matters in between – because both better off with deal then if went to war - War makes no sense because a deal can be made ahead of time and war would never happen => rationalist view - Why does the bargaining fail? o Private Information  States may withhold information or mis-convey intentions in order to achieve a better deal => incentive to misrepresent (bluff)  Over-represent what you want to do and how capable you are to do it  No incentive to believe people (the states know their own strength but never know if telling truth or not)  Likelihood of misrepresenting increase likelihood that states will mis- engage intentions = war  Cannot convey information credibility  Ex. U.S and Iraq o Bush and Saddam Hussein o Miscalculation of threat and accountability therefore leading to a lot of deaths for Iraq people  How can states show they are willing to use force?  Sinking Costs: taking costly actions to show resolve  Tying Hands: actions that increase the costs of backing down  Sunk Costs  Making promises that makes an actor have the incentive to misrepresent that has the potential to lead to war – solution is sinking costs such as mobilizing population, building tanks,  Massive measures that require extensive resources that no state would perform unless serious  Ex. China and Taiwan o China has invested in thousands of mid-range missiles that aimed at Taiwan. A lot of resources in artillery division to threaten Taiwan into no longer declaring independence. o Would make no sense if just bluffing.  Tying Hands  E.g. prenuptial agreements – costs to backing out; no costs for following through  In IR, tying hands has been associated with audience costs o Audience costs are when a leader goes up in front of the public and says “if we don’t do what we say we are going to do, there will be consequences” – vote out of office; public action; loses face of having to make promises but then humiliated when fails o Suffer political repercussions  More willing to make bargain move since state may really want it o Commitment Problems  In some cases, you can make a bargain but if the other side if growing stronger, you will worry if other side will remain on the deal (won’t back out)  Worry that an actor will not follow through o
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