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Bargaining and Rationalist Explanations for War
Unformatted Document Text:  20 In another study, Slanchev (2003) attempted to explain why war could be in equilibrium in intrawar bargaining. In particular, he modeled the bargaining process using a Rubinstein game and modeled all the possible conflict into an abstract conflict game embedded into the bargaining process. At the end of each round of bargaining (after an offer is rejected), the states have to play the conflict game. The conflict game is a normal form game in which each state has to simultaneously select an action . could be a military fighting or a peaceful negotiation, or something in between. The outcome of the conflict game actually determines both states’ payoffs if they failed to reach an agreement. With complete information, Slanchev argued, this game has multiple SPEs. Some SPEs are efficient in the sense that agreements will be reached immediately without any delay, but states’ payoffs could be very small in some of the agreements. Other SPEs are inefficient because states will select to fight in the conflict game. Those inefficient SPEs exist because states are rational to fight (in conflict game) to avoid an even worse agreement, which can be supported in some efficient SPEs. Therefore, the reason for war in those inefficient SPEs is nothing but complete information, only with which can states make infallible prediction about what is going to happen in the future. Common (intrawar or crisis) bargaining models treat war (or crisis) as a background, the influence of which is embodied as bargaining costs and/or risks of breakdown. In Slanchev’s model, by contrast, the background is modeled as an independent move in the bargaining process —the conflict game. Since states can select actions from a convex action space , it actually indicates the intrawar bargaining can occur in a context of varying level violence. In this regard, Slanchev’s model is based an understanding of war that is quite compatible with my above discussion. In the rest of this section, I will demonstrate that war could be in equilibrium with complete information even in a common Rubinstein-type bargaining game widely adopted

Authors: Ye, Min.
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20
In another study, Slanchev (2003) attempted to explain why war could be in equilibrium
in intrawar bargaining. In particular, he modeled the bargaining process using a Rubinstein game
and modeled all the possible conflict into an abstract conflict game embedded into the bargaining
process. At the end of each round of bargaining (after an offer is rejected), the states have to play
the conflict game. The conflict game is a normal form game in which each state has to
simultaneously select an action . could be a military fighting or a peaceful negotiation, or
something in between. The outcome of the conflict game actually determines both states’ payoffs
if they failed to reach an agreement. With complete information, Slanchev argued, this game has
multiple SPEs. Some SPEs are efficient in the sense that agreements will be reached immediately
without any delay, but states’ payoffs could be very small in some of the agreements. Other SPEs
are inefficient because states will select to fight in the conflict game. Those inefficient SPEs exist
because states are rational to fight (in conflict game) to avoid an even worse agreement, which
can be supported in some efficient SPEs. Therefore, the reason for war in those inefficient SPEs
is nothing but complete information, only with which can states make infallible prediction about
what is going to happen in the future.
Common (intrawar or crisis) bargaining models treat war (or crisis) as a background, the
influence of which is embodied as bargaining costs and/or risks of breakdown. In Slanchev’s
model, by contrast, the background is modeled as an independent move in the bargaining process
—the conflict game. Since states can select actions from a convex action space
, it
actually indicates the intrawar bargaining can occur in a context of varying level violence. In this
regard, Slanchev’s model is based an understanding of war that is quite compatible with my
above discussion. In the rest of this section, I will demonstrate that war could be in equilibrium
with complete information even in a common Rubinstein-type bargaining game widely adopted


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