Users' questions

What is a commitment problem?

What is a commitment problem?

Definition: A commitment problem is a situation in which people cannot achieve their goals because of an inability to make credible threats or promises. If both players in the Prisoner’s Dilemma could make binding promise to remain silent, both would be assured of a shorter sentence.

What is a commitment problem in international relations?

A commitment problem exists when an individual would rationally choose a present-day costly lottery, where the lottery outcome is uncertain, over a certain bargained future outcome, because her bargaining leverage significantly decreases in the future.

Why is preventive war a commitment problem?

For most of the past two decades, political scientists have analyzed preventive war as a species of “commitment problem.” In game theory, a commitment problem arises when two actors would be better off in the present by committing themselves to a cooperative relationship in the future.

How do commitment problems cause civil wars?

Commitment problems can lead to conflict primarily because negotiated outcomes and conflict often imply different future strengths for the adversaries. Added “benefits” of war can induce adversaries to fight instead of negotiate.

Why is War considered as a commitment problem?

Although formal work on war generally sees war as a kind of bargaining breakdown resulting from asymmetric information, bargaining indivisibilities, or commitment problems, most analyses have focused on informational issues.

What are the three types of commitment problems?

The present analysis then shows that a common mechanism links three important kinds of commitment problem: (1) preventive war, (2) preemptive attacks arising from first-strike or offensive advantages, and (3) conflicts resulting from bargaining over issues that affect future bargaining power.

When is a commitment problem a game problem?

In game theory, a commitment problem arises when two actors would be better off in the present by committing themselves to a cooperative relationship in the future.

How is preventive war a threat to peace?

Among the few very serious threats to interstate peace in the world today is the possibility of preventive war, in which one state attacks a second state because it fears the second state will become much more powerful in the future.