- Subject index
International Conflict: Logic and Evidence is based on the premise that proper understanding of international conflict - a necessary prerequisite for achieving peace - can come only from logic and evidence, not from opinion and anecdote. This groundbreaking book introduces students to international conflict's key theories and empirical research. Throughout the text, author Stephen L. Quackenbush gives examples that enable readers to see the theory in real-world events, and provides the data from the most recent research. Covering the entire process of interstate war, from causes of conflict to escalation, conduct, resolution, and recurrence, the book provides readers with a fascinating, thorough study that will help them understand how international conflict works.
Chapter 3: Rational Choice Theory
Rational Choice Theory
Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan sign the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on 8 December 1987, in which the two countries agreed to eliminate their entire arsenals of the weapons. Rational choice theory can help us understand decisions such as these.
Source: © Reuters/CORBIS
[Page 45]Why do things happen in international relations? Wars start and end, alliances are formed, states build weapons, and so on. We are interested in understanding why events like these happen. Ultimately, things happen in international relations—as in the political, economic, and social worlds more generally—as a result of decisions made by people. These people may be leaders of states, members of the ...