The Breakdown of Bargaining = War
Information Problems and the Outbreak of War (Theory)
Why did the 1st Gulf War occur, and to what degree did information problems play a role?
You must read and use:
James D. Fearon. “Rationalist Explanations for War,” International Organization. 49, No. 3 (1995): pp. 379-414.
(I will put the materials on additional files)
You are also required to write no longer than 3 double-spaced pages each. Paper should be 12 pt type, with one inch margins.
1. What are the main causes of bargaining failures that lead to war?
2. Why would leaders ever withhold or misrepresent information from each other if sharing it would allow them to avoid a costly war?
3. What effect, if any, do you think new information and communication technology (especially surveillance technology) is likely to have on information problems? Be as specific as possible about the type of technology you think will have an effect and why.
*read instruction below carefully:
You are free to use whatever outside sources are available to answer the short-paper questions. Note, there are good and bad sources of information on the internet. Some of the best sources for current international reporting are the major newspapers: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, and the Guardian. In addition, the Economist has excellent coverage on a wide range of countries and international events. For more in-depth analyses see Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic. You should be familiar with all of these sources and be reading extensively about a particular event before writing your memos.