Earlier drafts of this article were presented at the PIPES seminar at the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, and the Annual Convention of the American Political Science Association, Washington D.C. We thank the commentators at those presentations; in particular we thank Thomas Blackwell, Chris Gelpi, Jessica Hardesty, Bob Keohane, Craig Koerner, Jeff Legro, Thomas Lumley, Kevin Morrison, Davide Raggi, Dan Reiter, Sebastian Rosato, Angelo Secchi, Randolph Siverson, Alastair Smith, David Soskice, Allan Stam, and Terry Therneau. Mistakes, omissions, and other assorted infelicities are our own responsibility. Authors' names are in alphabetical order.
International Conflict and the Tenure of Leaders: Is War Still Ex Post Inefficient?
Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2004
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 48, Issue 3, pages 604–619, July 2004
How to Cite
Chiozza, G. and Goemans, H. E. (2004), International Conflict and the Tenure of Leaders: Is War Still Ex Post Inefficient?. American Journal of Political Science, 48: 604–619. doi: 10.1111/j.0092-5853.2004.00090.x
- Issue online: 8 JUN 2004
- Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2004
Recent work in comparative politics and international relations has shown a marked shift toward leaders as the theoretical unit of analysis. In most of the new theoretical models a core assumption is that leaders act to stay in power. There exists, however, remarkably little systematic empirical knowledge about the factors that affect the tenure of leaders. To provide a baseline of empirical results we explore how a broad range of domestic and international factors affects the tenure of leaders. We focus in particular on the effect of conflict and its outcome. We find that political institutions fundamentally mediate the costs and benefits of international conflict and that war is not necessarilyex postinefficient for leaders. This suggests that the assumption that war isex postinefficient for unitary rational actors can not be simply extended to leaders. Therefore, a focus on leaders may yield important new rationalist explanations for war.