Chiozza and Goemans seek to explain why and when political leaders decide to initiate international crises and wars. They argue that the fate of leaders and the way leadership changes, shapes leaders' decisions to initiate international conflict. Leaders who anticipate regular removal from office, through elections for example, have little to gain and much to lose from international conflict, whereas leaders who anticipate a forcible removal from office, such as through coup or revolution, have little to lose and much to gain from conflict. This theory is tested against an extensive analysis of more than 80 years of international conflict and with an intensive historical examination of Central American leaders from 1848 to 1918. Leaders and International Conflict highlights the political nature of the choice between war and peace and will appeal to all scholars of international relations and comparative politics.
Giacomo Chiozza is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and is a student and scholar of international relations and international security. He is an expert on the study of attitudes towards US power and the study of political leaders in conflict processes. He is the author of Anti-Americanism and the American World Order (2009) and of several articles published in academic journals including the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the American Journal of Political Science and the European Journal of International Relations. In 2008-09 he served as a member of the American Political Science Association Presidential Task Force on US Standing in World Politics. Professor Chiozza holds a PhD from Duke University. H. E. Goemans is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester and studies international relations with a focus on conflict. He is the author of War and Punishment: The Causes of War Termination and the First World War (2000) and has authored and co-authored articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, International Organization, the Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Peace Research. Professor Goemans holds a PhD from the University of Chicago.
1. Introduction; 2. When do leaders fight?; 3. International conflict and the fate of leaders; 4. The fate of leaders and incentives to fight; 5. Case studies: fighting for survival; 6. Conclusions.