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Self-Containment: Achieving Peace in Anarchic Settings

Antonis Adam () and Petros Sekeris ()

No 1014, Working Papers from University of Namur, Department of Economics

Abstract: In anarchic settings, the potential rivals are dragged in an arms race that can degenerate in an open war out of mutual suspicion. We propose a novel commitment device for contestants to avoid both arming and fighting. We allow the players to decentralize the two core decisions that determine whether peace or war ensues. While in centralized countries the decision makers are unable to credibly communicate to their foe their willingness not to arm and not to attack, where the two decisions are dissociated there exists scope for not arming with certainty, and hence overcoming the commitment problem that makes war otherwise inevitable. This mechanism complements existing theories on the Democratic Peace.

Keywords: Conflict; Private Information; Democratic Peace (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 D82 F5 H56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2010-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta
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