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Bargaining and War

R. Harrison Wagner
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Jul., 2000), pp. 469-484
DOI: 10.2307/2669259
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2669259
Page Count: 16
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Bargaining and War
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Abstract

Nearly all wars end not because the states that are fighting are incapable of further fighting but because they agree to stop. Thus to explain why wars occur one must explain why states must fight before reaching agreement, which implies that war must be considered part of the bargaining process that leads to a negotiated settlement and not as an alternative to it. However, most attempts to explain the occurrence of war assume that it is entirely the result of a choice made before it begins. I show that this way of posing the problem can only lead to misleading conclusions by analyzing a model in which a negotiated settlement remains possible after war starts.

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