Divergent beliefs in "bargaining and the nature of war": A reply to Fey and Ramsay

Alastair Smith, Allan C. Stam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Mark Fey and Kristopher Ramsay (2006) take issue with the presentation of how players' beliefs diverge in "Bargaining and the Nature of War" (Smith and Stam 2004). In that article, the authors constructed a model of bargaining between two nations in which the nations have noncommon priors about the probability with which either nation would eventually prevail, should a war between them continue to a decisive conclusion. The players' divergent beliefs make up one of the fundamental potential causes of war in the model. Fey and Ramsay argue that Smith and Stam's departure from the standard common priors assumption is an unnecessary deviation from convention. The authors disagree, arguing that their different approach to modeling disagreement between rational actors provides a useful way to approach the empirical puzzle they set out to explore, namely, how rational actors with divergent beliefs might settle their disagreements in the context of war.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)614-618
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Aug 2006


    • Bargaining
    • Common priors
    • Disagreement
    • Rational choice
    • War

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Business, Management and Accounting
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


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