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Intra-Group Competition and Inter-Group Conflict: An Application to Northern Ireland

Author

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  • Jennings, Colin

Abstract

This paper reviews four economic theories of leadership selection in conflictual settings. The first of these by Cukierman and Tomassi (1998) labeled the ‘information rationale’, argues that hawks may actually be necessary to initiate peace agreements. The second labeled the ‘bargaining rationale’ borrowing from Hamlin and Jennings (2007) agrees with the conventional wisdom that doves are more likely to secure peace, but post-conflict there are good reasons for hawks to be rationally selected. The third found in Jennings and Roelfsema (2008) is labeled the social psychological rationale. This captures the idea of a competition over which group can form the strongest identity, so can apply to group choices which do not impinge upon bargaining power. As in the bargaining rationale, dove selection can be predicted during conflict, but hawk selection post-conflict. Finally, the expressive rationale is discussed which predicts that regardless of the underlying structure of the game (informational, bargaining, psychological) the large group nature of decision-making by making individual decision makers non-decisive in determining the outcome of elections may cause them to make choices based primarily on emotions which may be invariant with the mode of group interaction, be it conflictual or peaceful. Finally, the paper analyses the extent to which the theories can throw light on Northern Ireland electoral history over the last 25 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennings, Colin, 2008. "Intra-Group Competition and Inter-Group Conflict: An Application to Northern Ireland," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-30, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:43
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/43
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Colin Jennings & Hein Roelfsema, 2008. "Civil Conflict, Federalism and Strategic Delegation of Leadership," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(4), pages 557-573, July.
    2. Colin Jennings, 2007. "Political Leadership, Conflict and the Prospects for Constitutional Peace," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 83-94, January.
    3. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 2002. "Expressive Constitutionalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 299-311, December.
    4. Stefan Brandauer & Florian Englmaier, 2009. "A model of strategic delegation in contests between groups," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 13(3), pages 205-232, September.
    5. Robert Dur & Hein Roelfsema, 2005. "Why does centralisation fail to internalise policy externalities?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 395-416, March.
    6. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-976, December.
    7. Horowitz, Donald L., 2002. "Explaining the Northern Ireland Agreement: The Sources of an Unlikely Constitutional Consensus," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 193-220, April.
    8. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    9. Cukierman, Alex & Tommasi, Mariano, 1998. "When Does It Take a Nixon to Go to China?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 180-197, March.
    10. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2007. "Leadership and conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 49-68, September.
    11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701.
    12. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    13. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bueno De Mesquita, Bruce & Morrow, James D. & Siverson, Randolph M. & Smith, Alastair, 2002. "Political Institutions, Policy Choice and the Survival of Leaders," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(04), pages 559-590, October.
    17. repec:str:wpaper:0001 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Eric Kaufmann & Henry Patterson, 2006. "Intra-Party Support for the Good Friday Agreement in the Ulster Unionist Party," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 54, pages 509-532, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jennings, Colin, 2012. "Rationalising ‘Irrational’ Support for Political Violence," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-87, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Tridimas, George, 2011. "The political economy of power-sharing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 328-342, June.
    3. Colin Jennings, 2012. "Rationalising ‘'Irrational'' Support for Political Violence," Working Papers 1212, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; leadership; strategic delegation; consociation; Northern Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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