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Multidimensional Diplomacy


  • Trager, Robert F.


States often negotiate with each other over more than one issue at the same time. This article presents a model of multidimensional international crisis bargaining. Unlike unidimensional bargaining, with two issue dimensions states can send costless signals about their resolve that have dramatic effects on other states' beliefs and actions. One reason is that when states claim a willingness to fight over an issue they in fact are not willing to fight over, they may lose the opportunity to get what they really want without conflict. As a result, when there is a chance that adversaries may each be willing to fight over two issues, the states can even sometimes convey with certainty when they will fight for both issues. The model also leads to some surprising comparative statics, for example, decreases in the probability that the target is willing to fight can increase the probability of war.

Suggested Citation

  • Trager, Robert F., 2011. "Multidimensional Diplomacy," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 469-506, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:65:y:2011:i:03:p:469-506_00

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