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Predicting democratic peace (DP) breakdown : a new game-theoretic model of democratic crisis behavior

Research into the democratic peace (DP) proposition has shown that democracies rarely, if ever, fight wars against each other. At the same time, rational choice models predict that there will sometimes be circumstances in which war is a rational option for rational states. If democratic states are rational, then war between them should, theoretically, be an option that is exercised. This thesis examines the possibility of Democratic Peace (DP) Breakdown, whereby the causal factors responsible for democratic peace fail to operate properly and war between democracies becomes either likely or inevitable. Applying a game theoretic model of asymmetric deterrence and the concepts of communication and commitment problems in crisis bargaining, the author shows that there is a strong deductive argument for DP Breakdown. / This thesis will attempt to show that a strong deductive argument can be made for deterrence failure between democracies embroiled in an international crisis. While most research into the democratic peace is concerned with identifying and explaining how and why democratic peace succeeds, this thesis will develop a counter-intuitive theoretical approach for understanding how and why democratic peace fails. By doing so it is expected that a greater understanding of the behavioral dynamics of democratic peace will be developed. The argument developed here will draw on the theoretical works of Fearon and Kilgour & Zagare and attempt to bridge the gap between democratic peace studies, formal deterrence modeling, and rationalist theories of war. It is hoped that the synthesis of these three bodies of literature will produce a model of democratic crisis behavior that is capable of generating new and interesting hypotheses about democracies and international crisis.
Date January 1999
CreatorsStocco, Aaron B.
ContributorsMeadwell, Hudson (advisor)
PublisherMcGill University
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
CoverageMaster of Arts (Department of Political Science.)
RightsAll items in eScholarship@McGill are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
Relationalephsysno: 001658057, proquestno: MQ50575, Theses scanned by UMI/ProQuest.

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