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

  • Jennings, Colin

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.

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File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/43
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2008-30.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:43
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  1. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Stefan Brandauer & Florian Englmaier, 2006. "A Model of Strategic Delegation in Contests between Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 1654, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jennings, Colin & Roelfsema, Hein, 2008. "Civil conflict, federalism and strategic delegation of leadership," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-16, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  4. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
  5. Colin Jennings, 2007. "Political Leadership, Conflict and the Prospects for Constitutional Peace," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 83-94, January.
  6. 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 180-97, March.
  7. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," NBER Working Papers 3460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Why Does Centralisation Fail to Internalise Policy Externalities?," Working Papers 04-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
  9. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 2002. "Expressive Constitutionalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 299-311, December.
  10. Colin Jennings & Alan Hamlin, 2004. "Leadership and Conflict," Economics Series Working Papers 200, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 1997. "The economics of split-ticket voting in representative democracies," Working Papers 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:str:wpaper:0001 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
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