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Self-Containment: Achieving Peace in Anarchic Settings

  • Antonis Adam

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Ioannina)

  • Petros G. Sekeris

    ()

    (Center for Research in the Economics of Development, University of Namur)

In anarchic settings, the potential rivals are dragged in an arms race that can degenerate in an open war out of mutual suspicion. We propose a novel commitment device for contestants to avoid both arming and fighting. We allow the players to decentralize the two core decisions that determine whether peace or war ensues. While in centralized countries the decision makers are unable to credibly communicate to their foe their willingness not to arm and not to attack, where the two decisions are dissociated there exists scope for not arming with certainty, and hence overcoming the commitment problem that makes war otherwise inevitable. This mechanism complements existing theories on the Democratic Peace.

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File URL: http://www.fundp.ac.be/eco/economie/recherche/wpseries/wp/1014.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by University of Namur, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1014.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nam:wpaper:1014
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Web page: http://www.fundp.ac.be/en/eco

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  1. Michael McBride & Gary Milante & Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Peace and War With Endogenous State Capacity," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 446-468, June.
  2. Jacobsson, Adam, 2005. "War and Peace - Cyclical Phenomena?," Research Papers in Economics 2005:8, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Carmen Beviá & Luis C. Corchón, 2008. "Peace Agreements Without Commitment," Working Papers 340, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Michelle R Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "Conflict Without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: How the Future Matters," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000011, David K. Levine.
  5. Gradstein, Mark, 2002. "Governance and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Anbarci, N. & Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 2000. "Comparing Bargaining Solutions in the Shadow of Conflict: How Norms Against Threats Can Have Real Effects," Papers 00-01-19, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2006. "Strategic Ambiguity and Arms Proliferation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001247, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2003. "It Takes Two: An Explanation of the Democratic Peace," CEPR Discussion Papers 3947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1990. "Arming as a Strategic Investment in a Cooperative Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 50-68, March.
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