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Bargaining and Rationalist Explanations for War
Unformatted Document Text:  16 1 can respond by accepting it, rejecting it with a counteroffer, or waging a (general) war. In each round, both states have to pay for some bargaining costs ( and ). While Figure 1 only displays two rounds of such bargaining, in principle the process can last for many rounds until a state accepts an offer or wages a war. Readers familiar with bargaining literature will immediately realize this is a Rubinstein- style bargaining game, which has been very popular in the bargaining approach. Different variants have been designed to investigate aspects of the bargaining process. Technical details will be presented in the next section when a particular bargaining game is defined. Here, I only emphasize two conceptual distinctions of this bargaining model. The first distinction is that this model provides an angle to unify traditional models of crisis and intrawar bargaining. As discussed above, all those military contests modeled as limited wars, regardless of their particular casualties, are considered functionally similar. Their difference is captured in the bargaining costs and risks of general war in each round. Figure 1 Process of crisis bargaining (a) (b) (c)

Authors: Ye, Min.
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1 can respond by accepting it, rejecting it with a counteroffer, or waging a (general) war. In each
round, both states have to pay for some bargaining costs (
and
). While Figure 1 only
displays two rounds of such bargaining, in principle the process can last for many rounds until a
state accepts an offer or wages a war.
Readers familiar with bargaining literature will immediately realize this is a Rubinstein-
style bargaining game, which has been very popular in the bargaining approach. Different
variants have been designed to investigate aspects of the bargaining process. Technical details
will be presented in the next section when a particular bargaining game is defined. Here, I only
emphasize two conceptual distinctions of this bargaining model.
The first distinction is that this model provides an angle to unify traditional models of
crisis and intrawar bargaining. As discussed above, all those military contests modeled as limited
wars, regardless of their particular casualties, are considered functionally similar. Their
difference is captured in the bargaining costs and risks of general war in each round.
Figure 1 Process of crisis bargaining
(a)
(b)
(c)


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