Sunday, January 6, 2013

Breaking Down Slantchev 2012

I began this series of posts by discussing Fearon's influential "Rationalist Explanations for War", wherein he argues that we cannot understand war if we cannot answer the question "Why war and not negotiation?"  Fearon identified three classes of answers, and provided three specific answers within one of those classes.

That is, Fearon first acknowledges both that leaders who are prone to various errors or pathologies might fight wars no matter how inefficient it is to do so and also that war need not be seen as inefficient from the perspective of individual leaders.  In other words, he is quite transparent about the fact that the three "rationalist" explanations for war he provides are necessary to explain war if and only if we view war as inefficient.\(^1\)