Please be invited to a brownbag this Wednesday 28th of March from 12:00-13:30, in Philosophers Hall with. Erik A. Gartzke will present the paper ‘Losing Streak.’
Some pairs of countries fight more frequently than others. Research on enduring rivalries has tended to assume that the greater frequency of conflict in some dyads is caused by conflict itself, that disputes beget disputes. However, no connection among disputes is necessary if pairs of countries vary substantially in their initial incentives to fought, and if other motives exist for contests to recur. This study offers a view of rivalry based on informational bargaining theory. If disputes are linked informationally, then researchers should expect a negative correlation between contests in dyads. However, the dampening effects of information on conflict are likely to be masked by heightened hostility among rivals. We test the informational argument using data on militarized interstate disputes from 1816-2001. Our analysis reveals that fighting reduces the likelihood of conflict recurrence and that this effect is not merely the result of war exhaustion.