Two Cheers for Bargaining Theory: Assessing Rationalist Explanations of the Iraq War

  title={Two Cheers for Bargaining Theory: Assessing Rationalist Explanations of the Iraq War},
  author={David A. Lake},
  journal={International Security},
  • David A. Lake
  • Published 1 December 2010
  • Political Science
  • International Security
The Iraq War has received little sustained analysis from scholars of international relations. I assess the rationalist approach to waror, simply, bargaining theoryas one possible explanation of the conflict. Bargaining theory correctly directs attention to the inherently strategic nature of all wars. It also highlights problems of credible commitment and asymmetric information that lead conflicts of interest, ubiquitous in international relations, to turn violent. These strategic interactions… 

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