This paper develops and tests a game-based model of enduring international rivalries. The model is embedded in a theoretical framework that conceives of interstate conflicts as series of temporally related games. Transition across games is governed by learning, which occurs when actors revise their perception of the oppenent in response to previous interactions. The model shows that learning can sometimes produce patterns of repeated conflict. An empirical analysis of four enduring rivalries reveals a high incidence of conflictual games in their early years. As posited by the model, learning does account for game transformations (or evolutionary patterns), but changes in relative capabilities also have an important effect on how actors define their preferences and perceive the opponent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations