Security, bargaining, and the end of interstate rivalry

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Abstract

I examine how security concerns affect if and when interstate rivals end their rivalries by settling their outstanding differences over important issues and ceasing to threaten each other militarily. I argue that when leaders are simultaneously willing to accept some offered settlement, a rivalry will end, and argue that security concerns affect this willingness to accept different bargains. I hypothesize that external threats to the security of the rivals should increase leaders' willingness to accept given offers, increasing the probability that a rivalry will end, while high-salience issues should make it less likely that a rivalry will end. However, neither the dyadic power balance nor the occurrence of war between rivals should affect rivalry termination. I propose a new operationalization of rivalries and their termination which centers on disputed issues. In a statistical analysis of rivalries from 1816 to 1988, I find that external military threats and low issue salience do positively affect the probability that rivalries will end, and that the dyadic balance of power, the occurrence of war, and bipolarity do not affect rivalry duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-184
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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