Chapter 1, “Bargaining and War”

Chapter 1, “Bargaining and War,” by Dan Reiter

Over the last two decades, the study of conflict has been dominated by the bargaining perspective on war.  This chapter introduces undergraduates to the bargaining view of war in a simple, thorough, and approachable fashion, using almost no math.  It presents the basic puzzle of the bargaining model of war: if two sides both knew who would win, why would they fight?  It discusses the three canonical solutions to this puzzle, information, commitment credibility, and indivisibility.  It then moves beyond examining the causes of war, applying bargaining insights to diplomacy during war, war termination, and civil wars.  After reviewing salient critiques of the bargaining model, it presents a case study of World War II in the Pacific, and reviews a quantitative study applying the bargaining model to international peacekeeping.

Most appropriate for introduction to international relations and war and politics classes.

What Makes This Chapter Different?

●Most readable explanation of the bargaining model of war on the market
●Application to causes of war, intrawar dynamics, and war termination
●Application to interstate and intrastate conflict
●Unique case study on World War II in the Pacific

Dr. Dan Reiter is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is the author of several articles and books on international relations, including the award-winning How Wars End (Princeton, 2009).

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Chapter 2, “International Alliances”

Chapter 2, “International Alliances,” by Dan Reiter

This chapter covers international alliances, the most important institutions in all of international relations.  This chapter moves beyond traditional treatments of alliances focusing on balance of power and polarity.  Instead, the chapter builds on contemporary alliance research, focusing on alliances as institutions, and on the central question of why states comply with alliance treaty requirements even under anarchy.  The chapter tackles the critical questions of alliances, such as how alliances aggregate military power, how alliances deter, the role of international and domestic audience costs in encouraging compliance, the importance of variations in alliance types, and more. The chapter demonstrates these ideas with a case study of the onset of World War I, and a summary of a quantitative study evaluating how alliance commitments shape decisions to enter wars.

Most appropriate for classes on war and politics, international institutions, and international relations theory.

Why this chapter is different:

●Only review of alliances on the market that is appropriate for undergraduate readers and reflects current scholarly understanding of alliances
●Case study applying alliance insights to the onset of World War I
●Application to contemporary policy debates, including debates in the Trump administration about American’s commitments to NATO and other alliances

Dr. Dan Reiter is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is the award-winning author of several articles on alliances and NATO in particular, as well as Crucible of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars (Cornell, 1996).

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Chapter 3, “Nuclear Weapons”

Chapter 3, “Nuclear Weapons,” by Michael C. Horowitz

This chapter covers nuclear weapons, the most destructive and politically significant weapons ever developed, combining history, science, theory, and policy.  Students will learn about the development of the first nuclear weapon in the Manhattan Project, and the development of Cold War nuclear arsenals, including modern means of weapons delivery.  They will be introduced to core concepts of nuclear deterrence, nuclear coercion, arms control, and stability theory.  The chapter presents an extensive discussion of nuclear proliferation, why states acquire nuclear weapons, is nuclear proliferation fundamentally stabilizing or dangerous, and what kinds of policies can slow proliferation and make it safer.  The chapter includes a case study on the critical question of nuclear weapons and North Korea, and a summary of a quantitative study examining whether alliances can prevent proliferation.

Most appropriate for classes on war and politics and US foreign policy

Why this chapter is different:

●Comprehensive treatment of all issues pertinent to nuclear weapons in a compact, readable essay
●Integrated discussion of nuclear history, theory, and policy
●Case study applying chapter insights to North Korea

Dr. Michael C. Horowitz is Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the author of several leading articles on nuclear weapons, as well as the award-winning The Diffusion of Military Power (Princeton, 2010).

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Chapter 8, “Civil Wars”

Chapter 8, “Civil Wars,” by Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham

The deadliest and most widespread form of political violence today is civil war.  Any class on political violence must address conflicts within as well as between states.  This chapter comprehensively presents theories on the causes, duration, and termination of civil wars, written by a leading scholar of civil war.  It first provides an extensive introduction to civil wars, describing different types of issues civil wars are usually fought over.  It then provides a readable, contemporary discussion of key factors affecting civil war, including greed and grievance, relative deprivation, identity politics, state capacity, indivisibility, actor fragmentation, foreign fighters, and others.  The chapter includes a case study of the most important  and deadly civil war of the 2010s, the Syrian Civil War, as well as a summary of a quantitative study on whether peacekeepers succeed.

Most appropriate for classes on war and politics, political violence, and introduction to international relations.

Why this chapter is different:

●Most comprehensive treatment of civil war-related issues in a compact essay
●Coverage that accounts for the most contemporary theoretical and empirical scholarship
●Case study of the Syrian Civil War

Dr. Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham is associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland.  She is the author of several leading articles on civil wars, and of the award-winning book Inside the Politics of Self-Determination (Oxford, 2015).

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