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How Wars End


Early in the study of international relations, many authors focused on how wars started, while the question of how wars ended was not considered as important.  Yet there are a number of questions to be answered on this, such as why would some belligerents agree to end a war when they haven’t yet achieved all of their goals, yet others refuse to end with anything short of total victory?  Clearly this is relevant for national security professionals, and Reiter takes what is called a “bargaining” approach to war to understand what states will settle for.  The bargaining model took a back seat to other debates in the world of scholarship after Schelling, but by the 2000s, it came into favor again.  This renewed interest in the bargaining model was occurring as the US was having a difficult time terminating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which opened a range of questions to be explored.

Central Argument:


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About the author: Dr. Dan Reiter is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Political Science at Emory University.  His other books include: Crucible of Beliefs: Learning, Alliances, and World Wars, and Democracies at War, coauthored with Allan C. Stam.

Original Work (How Wars End, by Dan Reiter) Copyrighted © Princeton University Press, All rights reserved.