Robert Jervis: Cooperation under the Security Dilemma
Anarchy vs. the Security Dilemma
Anarchy encourages behaviour that leaves all concerned worse off than
they could be.
o “Stag Hunt”: if they cooperate to eat the stag, they all eat well; if
one prefers a rabbit and goes off to find it, they all lose out.
1) cooperate and trap the stag (cooperation and
disarmament), 2) chase rabbit while everyones at their
post (maintain high levels of arms while others are
disarmed), 3) all chase rabbits (arms competition/high
risk of war), 4) stay at post while another chases rabbit
(being disarmed while others are armed)
o International case – problems not mentioned in Stag Hunt
1) incentives to defect must add potent fear even if the
other state supports the status quo, it can eventually
become dissatisfied later.
2)For protection of own posessions, states seek to control
resources or land outside their own territory/their borders
- quest for security.
3)Found in Security Dilemma: a lot of the ways a state tries
to increase its security, decreases the security of
Making Cooperation More Likely
Stag Hunt vs Prisoner’s Dilemma: PD – there’s no solution that is in the
best interests of all the participants.
Costs of Being Exploited (CD)
o The easier it is to destroy a state, the more reason for it to join a
larger/more secure unit or be especially suspicious of others
If the costs of CD are lower (if people are well fed or states
are resilient) they’re able to take a more relaxed view with
threats. [Obviously now higher CD means more guard]
States that can afford to be cheated in a bargain or cant be
destroyed by a surprise attack can more easily trust others
and don’t need to act at the first sign of menace.
It is easier for status-quo states to act on their common
interests if they are hard to conquer (tolerable CD means
low level of arms/passive foreign policy they can adopt
securely are less likely to threaten others)
Cost of CD: loss of sovereignty – the lower it is, the less the
impat of the security dilemma
Offense, Defense and the Security Dilemma
An increase in one state’s security decrease the security of others
Need to be aware if a) defensive weapons and policies can be
distinguished from offensives ones and b) whether the defense or the
offense has the advantage o B) Offense/Defense Balance
“offense has the advantage”: easier to destroy the othr’s
army and take its territory than to defend one’s own.
If states can’t conquer each other, then the lack of
sovereignty no longer forces states to devote their primary