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

  • Colin Jennings


    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

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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Paper provided by University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0809.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:0809
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  1. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  2. Colin Jennings & Alan Hamlin, 2004. "Leadership and Conflict," Economics Series Working Papers 200, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Mariano Tommasi, 1995. "Why Does it Take a Nixon to go to China?," UCLA Economics Working Papers 728, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 957-76, December.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:85-114 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
  8. Stefan Brandauer & Florian Englmaier, 2006. "A Model of Strategic Delegation in Contests between Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 1654, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Why Does Centralisation Fail to Internalise Policy Externalities?," Working Papers 04-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
  10. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 2002. "Expressive Constitutionalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 299-311, December.
  11. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 501, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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).
  13. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  14. Colin Jennings, 2007. "Political Leadership, Conflict and the Prospects for Constitutional Peace," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 83-94, January.
  15. repec:str:wpaper:0001 is not listed on IDEAS
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