Why Arms Control Is So Rare

  title={Why Arms Control Is So Rare},
  author={Andrew J. Coe and Jane Vaynman},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={342 - 355}
  • A. Coe, Jane Vaynman
  • Published 18 December 2019
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
Arming is puzzling for the same reason war is: it produces outcomes that could instead be realized through negotiation, without the costly diversion of resources arming entails. Despite this, arms control is exceedingly rare historically, so that arming is ubiquitous and its costs to humanity are large. We develop and test a theory that explains why arming is so common and its control so rare. The main impediment to arms control is the need for monitoring that renders a state’s arming… 
Bargaining over Costly Signals
Uncertainty over resolve is a central explanation for war, and costly signaling has become a textbook solution the problem. However, costly signals are an imperfect alternative—they resolve
When Deterrence Fails: How Improved Hassling Capabilities Produce Worse Outcomes∗
I formalize interactions between an endogenously rising state and a rival, non-rising state that can accept the rising state's rise, can go to war before the rise comes to fruition, or can degrade
Durable institution under fire? The NPT confronts emerging multipolarity
ABSTRACT The regime built around the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has helped curtail the spread of nuclear arms for fifty years. In hindsight, it is remarkable only
Deniability in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime: The Upside of the Dual-Use Dilemma
Nuclear technology is often “dual-use,” having both peaceful and military applications. This is widely regarded as a lamentable fact, as states can pursue nuclear weapons under the guise of
  • J. Marek, P. Bučka
  • Political Science
    STRATEGIES XXI - Security and Defense Faculty
  • 2021
In the 21st century, security is being discussed very often and extensively throughout the world it is one of the highest values in the life of all mankind and in the personal life of every human
Toward Trustworthy AI Development: Mechanisms for Supporting Verifiable Claims
This report suggests various steps that different stakeholders can take to improve the verifiability of claims made about AI systems and their associated development processes, with a focus on providing evidence about the safety, security, fairness, and privacy protection of AI systems.
Notes from the Editors
  • Sociology
    American Political Science Review
  • 2022
A s the flagship journal of the discipline of political science, the American Political Science Review (APSR) proudly publishes pathbreaking articles from many disciplinary subfields, including
The demise of the INF Treaty: a path dependence analysis


Sunken Treaties: Naval Arms Control Between the Wars
In this analysis of naval arms control between the two world wars, Emily Goldman dissects the underlying assumptions of arms control theory that have guided theorizing and practice for the past
Arms Races and Arms Control: Modeling the Hawk Perspective
Of the three major theories developed by post-World War 11 American social science to explain arms races, the repeated prisoner's dilemma, the spiral model, and the deterrence model, the deterrence
Containing Rogues: A Theory of Asymmetric Arming
  • A. Coe
  • Political Science, Economics
    The Journal of Politics
  • 2018
Weak opponents of a strong state often cannot compete directly with its power and so resort to other means of shifting the balance of power, such as developing weapons of mass destruction, sponsoring
Known Unknowns: Power Shifts, Uncertainty, and War
Abstract Large and rapid power shifts resulting from exogenous economic growth are considered sufficient to cause preventive wars. Yet most large and rapid shifts result from endogenous military
Arming and Arms Races
I consider a model of arming in which states choose in successive periods whether to build weapons and whether to attack, and in which arms accumulate across periods. Surprisingly, despite a long
Cooperation, Conflict, and the Costs of Anarchy
  • J. Fearon
  • Economics
    International Organization
  • 2018
Abstract I consider a model in which two states choose how much to arm and whether to attack in successive periods. Arms are useful not only for deterrence or taking territory, but also because they
Strategic Uncertainty as a Cause of War
This paper shows why states, acting in their own self-interest, may create informational asymmetries that lead to war. In our models, two actors with no private information invest in military
Arms Diffusion and War
The authors present a model of the relationship between the spread of new military technologies and the occurrence of war. A new technology could shift the balance of power, causing anticipatory war
Rationalist explanations for war
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
Guns, Butter, and Anarchy
A state in the international system implicit in realism must allocate its limited resources between satisfying its intrinsically valued ends and the means of military power. I formalize this