Exam ANSWER KEY - PECOS 4010 Autumn 2018

I. Short Answer Essays (40%)

Provide answers for five of the following six terms

Define and briefly discuss significance


1. The commitment problem

a) Bargaining theory of war. Fearon (1995). The inability of an actor to commit to peace.

b) Given costs of war, actors should find a bargaining solution whereby war (and the costs of war) are avoided. Nonetheless, three main reasons for war with rationality can occur: information problems or misrepresentation, commitment problem, and issue indivisibility.

c) Commitment problem consists of three elements:

1. First strike problem – if one or both actors has an advantage in striking first, there will exist a temptation to attack.

2. Preventative war – if one actor is gaining an advantage over time – that actor will not be necessarily committed to peace in the future. Serves as an inducement for the slower growing power to attack now when relatively more powerful.

3. Strategic territory and appeasement, whereby the capture of territory alters the relative strength of the two parties.


2. Capitalist peace

  • Gartzke (2007). Capitalist peace not democratic peace that explains the lack of wars between democracies. Most strong democracies are capitalist and globally networked.
  • Economic development
  • Globalization (interdependent economies)
  • Shared interests from profit orientation of capitalist firms


3. Constraining power sharing institutions

  • Gates et al (2016). A type of power sharing – not inclusive and not dispersive.
  • “share the road” logic – no one gets too much – everyone is constrained.
  • Political institutions that constrain the state and protect individuals from repression.
  • Mechanism assuring peace is to work against mobilization and recruitment into a rebel group.


4. Vertical inequality

  • Inequality between individuals. Not horizontal inequality (inequality between groups); typically measured with the gini coefficient.
  • Gurr – relative deprivation theory
  • Stewart; Østby; Cederman et al find that vertical inequality is not associated with armed conflict, but horizontal inequality is.
  • Basis of horizontal inequality is the group, basis of civil war is the group – not the individual.


5. Specialists in violence

  • Key actor in the development of the early state. (Bates 2001).
  • Similar to Olson’s (1993) stationary bandits (not roaming bandits)
  • Similar to Tilly -- the state as an extortion racket
  • Implicit bargain whereby the specialists in violence tax but protect.
  • Creating a monopoly on the use of violence
  • Investment of the taxed wealth and protection from roving bandits increases investment and accumulation of wealth – development.
  • Development associated with increasing specialization
  • Specialists in violence become rulers.


6. Illiberal democracy

d) Zakaria (1997). Electoral democracies. Leaders are elected but the general public is not protected from repression from the state.

e) Liberalism – focus on liberties – protection of the freedom of expression, assembly, religion, property.

f) Constitutional liberalism. Separate and independent judicial system

g) Democracy does not lead to constitutional liberalism necessarily

h) Post-conflict state building should focus on developing liberal institutions, don’t focus on elections alone


II. Essays (60%)

Answer two of the following three questions:

1. Why would a rebel group recruit a child of 13 or 14 years old? What can they do to induce a child to join a rebel group? What can they do to motivate a recruit to remain in the group? Are the reasons for joining the same as for staying in a group? What differences are there between an adult and a child in terms of staying in the group?

a) Why recruit children?

  • Complementary labor – cabin boy, squire, scout, special talents of children that complement adult soldiers or seamen.
  • Labor substitutes – substitute for adult labor. When unable to recruit or retain soldiers, a group will focus on children.
  • Children are more loyal (not worried about getting back to the their wives and families), follow orders, don’t know fear.
  • Forcibly recruited children more loyal and less likely to desert than adults – easier to socialize.
  • Supply and demand. Demand is more important explanation for recruiting children. Forced recruitment increases the supply.
  • Demand for children affected by the nature of warfare, the phase of warfare, the types of weapons being used, the nature of the organization.

b. Inducements to join?

  • Andvig and Gates, Humphreys and Weinstein, Bleber and Blattman.
  • Pecuniary (material benefits) – food, money (wages), loot, clothes, and security (especially for a visible minority). Selective incentives.
  • Non-pecuniary (non-material) – kinship, religion, ideology (revolution), grievances, government repression, social sanctions and peer pressure
  • Poverty, high orphan rate, unsecured camps increase supply of recruits – easier for groups to induce people/children to join
  • Forced participation (abduction) – simply force people to join – focus on abduction of children

c. Motivations to remain in group?

  • One of biggest problems for an army is desertion – problem for governmental armies and rebel armies
  • Same incentives that got someone to join in the first place may keep them in the group – especially non-pecuniary incentives (kinship, religion, ideology) – fighting the good fight and notions of solidarity
  • Rituals, separation of child from parents and home, indoctrination work to keep child in group
  • Committing actions or misdeeds, e.g. sexual violence or other types of violence work to develop group ties
  • Paternal roles played by leaders
  • Monitoring – buddy system (children monitor one another); outsourcing God (“spirits” watching – monitoring) (LRA)
  • Creating an “us vs. them” feeling

d. Differences between joining and staying

  • Desertion is a sign that the factors that got someone to join may not keep a person in the group
  • Mass desertion is a sign that many see a difference between what induced them to join and what it takes to stay
  • Forced recruitment is the starkest contrast between motive to join and to stay.
  • Paradox that groups that force recruitment also have longest tenure of soldiers
  • Indoctrination and socialization important. Psychology of fear – process of transformation from being a victim of fear to a creator of fear (control of fear).

2. How is governance related to war? Why are some political institutions more likely to lead to war than others? In war between two countries how could political institutions decrease the chances that a conflict would escalate to war? How could political institutions decrease the chances of armed civil conflict?


a. Governance and war / Political institutions associated with war or peace

  • Armed conflict is inherently political
  • Nature of government affects conflict between states and within a state
  • Political institutions – nature, change, level of consolidation all relate to interstate and intrastate armed conflict
  • Governance, legitimacy, state capacity, capabilities

b. Political institutions and conflict escalation processes between two countries (interstate war and armed conflict)

  • Liberal Peace / Democratic Peace (Russett and Oneal) – triangle of democratic institutions, economic interdependence, international mediation (international organizations)
  • Dyadic peace – weak link argument (least democratic institutions in a pair of countries) (least economically open society) (least internationally networked)
  • Capitalist peace Gartzke
  • Normative explanations
  • Structural explanations
  • Audience costs and reputation – bargaining theory of war
  • Mutual interests
  • Dyadic peace vs. global systemic peace

c. Political institutions and decreasing chances of civil conflict (intrastate war and armed conflict)

  • Inverted U – (Hegre, et al.) (Fearon and Laitin) – both strong autocracies and strong democracies do not experience much civil conflict – most conflict occurs among countries that are neither democratic nor autocratic
  • Political Change and instability leads to civil conflict – political stability associated with less armed civil conflict
  • Irregular changes in political leadership is strongly associated with political violence – more regular changes in leadership less associated with civil conflict
  • Consolidated vs. unconsolidated democracies
  • Unconsolidated institutions and political instability which in turn is related to civil conflict
  • State development and conflict – weak states experience more civil conflict – stronger states experience less conflict

3. How does political violence lead to state fragility? In contrast, how can violence lead to a stronger state? Discuss the relationship between state development and state fragility.

a. Political violence → state fragility

Definition of a fragile state (better term than state failure) – state unable to deliver social contract – unable to protect citizens

Political violence (civil war)

Conflict trap --- war is development in reverse – war → economic costs → war

Political conflict trap War → state repression → grievances → war

Conflict recurrence – most armed conflicts today (over 60%) recur. Conflict recurrence and state fragility


b. Violence → stronger state

  • Bates (2001) (specialists in violence), Olson (1993) (stationary bandits -- not roaming bandits), Tilly (the state as an extortion racket – War made the State and The State made War)
  • Implicit bargain whereby the specialists in violence tax, but protect.
  • Creating a monopoly on the use of violence – state development
  • Investment of the taxed wealth and protection from roving bandits increases investment and accumulation of wealth – development – increases the power and capability of the state
  • Early state development depends on implicit threat of violence – the coercive role of the state
  • Policing, judicial system

c. Relationship between state development and state fragility

  • State monopoly on violence – coercion harnessed to promote security, production, and investment – control violence that undermines security, production, and investment.
  • Connection between revenue and political legitimacy – problem of gaining wealth from natural resource rents – no elite investment in political system – no accountability (Bates – 2015 – When things Fell Apart)
  • Patterns of strong state development and patterns of weak state development
  • Weak states and opportunity to rebel
  • Changing political institutions (irregular transfers of power) and armed civil conflict.
  • Failed democratization. Rise of illiberal democracy
  • Corruption and revenues – no protection of property – no investment
Published Nov. 15, 2018 12:52 PM - Last modified Nov. 15, 2018 12:52 PM