Explanation of War & Failure of Negotiations

Fearon, in Rationalist Explanations for War (1995), asserts that people might be irrational as they can ignore the costs of war. In addition, sometimes the leaders benefit from war or, thirdly, although leaders calculate costs and risks of war, they can decide on war. (p. 379- 380)

In this article, he takes the third argument which he calls ‘rational’ (p.379) and stresses on central puzzle, in which ‘states should have incentives to locate negotiated settlements that all would prefer to gamble of war’. (p. 380) While doing this, he also underlines the miscalculation caused by lack of information and also inability to calculate relative power in five points which also includes anarchy, expected benefits and rational preventive war. (p. 381)  I really like his points, especially on wanted/ unwanted wars, preemptive- preventive wars, failure of diplomacy to prevent lack of information but, I really wonder his suggestions to overcome this problem.

Zartman, in the chapter of ‘Ripeness Revisited’ in Negotiation and Conflict Management (2008) emphasizes the reason for the parties’ suspicions to efforts of the other party to reach a resolution. He starts with describing the ripe moment in which the conflict cannot be escalated anymore, the parties feel themselves in a deadlock due to Mutually Hurting Stalemate (MHS) and look for a Way Out. Although MHS is based on cost- benefit analysis, WO is perceptional for him. (p. 232- 233) He also points out the effects of MHS on negotiation by stressing the pressure that can prevent to reach an enduring solution as it cannot lead to meet the interests and needs of the parties better than status-quo. (p. 236) What I like in this chapter was his explanation on why parties use violence especially in an intrastate conflict but I would like to read how states legitimize their tendency for negotiation while the rebels use violence as the public always ask why to negotiate with the ones who destroy the people of the country. In addition, he brings Mutually Enticing Opportunity (MEO) for a comprehensive negotiation for resolution, rather than management, as in MHS, I would like to see his perspectives on audit of the negotiated agreement as he also touches on the situation of rebels in post- conflict.

One response so far

to “Explanation of War & Failure of Negotiations”

  1. you can check hereon 24 Apr 2016 at 05:59

    Very descriptive post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

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