POLI 142K Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Austria-Hungary, Rationality

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8 Sep 2015
Poli Sci 142K, Politics and Warfare
Spring 2015
Class Notes
Week 4, Monday, April 20, 2015
1. Structural Explanation and the World War I Case:
a. Balance of Power 1891-1914
i. Stable but dynamic
1. Subject to forces of change including:
a. Decline of Austria-Hungary
b. Growing German Power
c. Technological Change
d. Threatens Balance Breakdown
b. Fundamental Faultline--Major Power Conflict
i. Contingent
ii. Objective (German Hegemonic Potential)
c. Armed Anarchy—States’ Capacity to Manage Unstable Anarchy Through
d. Alliance Polarization (1900-1914), Consolidations of Adversary Alliance
i. no major-power balance (unaligned power)
ii. alliance lock-in (exit too costly)
e. Security Dilemma Politics
i. Arms races and arms-racing
f. Survival Threat (Austria-Hungary)
g. Austria-Hungary and Serbia 1914
i. The assassination as tipping point
ii. Threat of German/System WAR
iii. Rationality of Austria-Hungary’s WAR choice (against Serbia)
iv. Mobilization and strategic vulnerability (Partial or total
v. Chain effect (Alliances)
2. WAR as Caused by the Absence of Any Credible Bargain (No Bargain Available)
a. State X faces a clear objective survival threat
b. State X’s adversaries (Y, Z) have no incentive to offer a bargain that
removes the survival threat (Prefer State X to disappear or first preference)
c. For State X, WAR can buy time to alter balance of power or win
d. For State X, Any bargain means state death
e. Preferences for State X (Strategy)
i. First preference—End decline by bargaining;
ii. Second preference (A)—WAR;
iii. Third preference—Trust States Y,Z;
iv. Fourth preference—Defeat or state death
f. Preferences for States Y,Z
i. First preference—Elimination of State X (Short of WAR)
ii. Second preference (A)—WAR
iii. Third preference—acceptable bargain
iv. Fourth preference—State X wins
g. (A,A) is equilibrium: War
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