The onset of enduring rivalries: A progress report

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In the past decade, enduring international rivalries have once again become the focus of intense scholarly inquiry due to the realization that many conflicts in the modern international system have taken place between the same pairs of states. Although much progress has been made in tracing the evolutionary patterns of enduring rivalries and in identifying the key variables that may be involved in their emergence, we still do not have a theory of rivalry formation. This article reports on the state of the literature and points to several key problems in the way enduring rivalries are conceptualized and measured. Decision-making - the least employed approach to enduring rivalries - is most likely to make theoretical sense of what we already know about rivalry dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-57
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Decision-making
  • Enduring rivalries
  • Evolution
  • Protracted conflict
  • Punctuated equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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