DP13879 Third Party Intervention and Strategic Militarization

Author(s): Adam Meirowitz, Massimo Morelli, Kristopher Ramsay, Francesco Squintani
Publication Date: July 2019
Keyword(s): asymmetric information, conflict, Intervention Policies, Strategic Militarization
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13879

Codi fied at the 2005 United Nations World Summit, the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect articulates an ideal of international interventions motivated by compassion for victims and a desire to bring stability to hot-spots around the world. Despite this consensus, practitioners and scholars have debated the importance of unintended consequences stemming from the expectation of third party intervention. We analyze how third party intervention shapes the incentives to arm, negotiate settlements, and fi ght wars in a parsimonious game theoretic model. Among the unintended consequences we fi nd: interventions that indiscriminately lower the destructiveness of war increase the probability of conflict and increasing the cost of arming may increase the aggressiveness of negotiations and on balance could make destructive wars more likely. Other interventions, however, can have much more bene ficial eeffects and our analysis highlights peace-enhancing forms of third party intervention.