Rationalist explanations for war

  title={Rationalist explanations for war},
  author={James D. Fearon},
  journal={International Organization},
  pages={379 - 414}
  • J. Fearon
  • Published 1 June 1995
  • Economics
  • International Organization
Realist and other scholars commonly hold that rationally led states can and sometimes do fight when no peaceful bargains exist that both would prefer to war. Against this view, I show that under very broad conditions there will exist negotiated settlements that genuinely rational states would mutually prefer to a risky and costly fight. Popular rationalist and realist explanations for war fail either to address or to explain adequately what would prevent leaders from locating a less costly… 

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