Strategic Retrenchment, Power Shifts, and Preventive War

“The Domestic Politics of Strategic Retrenchment, Power Shifts, and Preventive War,” by Terry Chapman, Pat McDonald, and Scott Moser, has been published as an early view article, and is forthcoming in International Studies Quarterly: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/isqu.12154/abstract.

Abstract: We present a formal model of international bargaining between two states in which one government must negotiate with a domestic opposition faction to secure tax revenue for military spending. The model examines how robust the international order is to domestic political crises that activate a stark trade-off to a governing coalition. Namely, offering fiscal relief to stave off domestic revolution can simultaneously undermine the larger international political order by facilitating military spending that can, under some circumstances, result in sizable shifts in the relative distribution of military power between states. We find that two key domestic conditions influence the likelihood of preventive war: the distribution of income within the state’s economy and the relative economic stake that opposition groups possess in international settlements.