Fear, Hope, and War: Positive Inducements Help Win Wars

Presenter: Tyson Belanger

Abstract:  How do states win wars against other states? We have three explanations. By selection effects, states choose more winnable wars. By warfighting, states use negative inducements so enemies fear fighting. And by peacemaking, states use positive inducements so enemies hope for settling. This article investigates peacemaking. It theorizes that states optimally produce war influence only if they efficiently combine both warfighting negative and peacemaking positive inducements. It measures positive inducements by law of war compliance, where compliance is their presence and noncompliance means their absence, so it hypothesizes that compliance improves outcomes. It tests this by estimating average compliance effects on interstate outcomes from 1899 to 1991, in four models, with multiple specifications, and over nine issue areas. It finds that compliance likely on average causes better immediate military and final political outcomes. To win, states should be prudent by selection, fierce in warfighting, and principled enough for peacemaking.

Presentation Date: 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Presentation Files: 

See also: 2014