ASTK15350U COURSE:Bargaining and International Politics

Volume 2015/2016

Eletive in the Specialisation "International Relations, Diplomacy and Conflict Studies"

Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS
Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS


This is a new and innovative course the aim of which is to introduce students to bargaining models of international politics.  The course illustrates how bargaining models have been used to study a range of topics from civil war to international economic agreements.  In addition to a discussion of the application of these models to the study of international politics, students will be exposed to empirical “tests” of the implications that follow from the models.



Students completing this course will have been exposed to the canonical models of bargaining as they are applied to the study of international politics. They will learn how to solve and analyze simple models of bargaining. They will also acquire the skills of reading the literature on bargaining and international relations critically and analytically. 

Learning Outcome

This course aims:


• to introduce students to the widest possible range of applications of bargaining theory to the study of international politics.


• to inspire students to think imaginatively about how they might utilize bargaining models in their own research.  

--- Bapat, Navin A. 2006. “State Bargaining with Transnational Terrorist Groups.” International Studies Quarterly 50 (1): 213–230. doi:10.1111/​j.1468-2478.2006.00399.x.

———. 2011. “Transnational Terrorism, US Military Aid, and the Incentive to Misrepresent.” Journal of Peace Research 48 (3) (May 1): 303–318. doi:10.1177/​0022343310394472.

Cunningham, David E. 2006. “Veto Players and Civil War Duration.” American Journal of Political Science 50 (4): 875–892. doi:10.1111/​j.1540-5907.2006.00221.x.

Fearon, James D. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War.” International Organization 49 (03): 379–414. doi:10.1017/​S0020818300033324.

———. 1997. “Signaling Foreign Policy Interests Tying Hands Versus Sinking Costs.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (1) (February 1): 68–90. doi:10.1177/​0022002797041001004.

———. 1998. “Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation.” International Organization 52 (02): 269–305. doi:10.1162/​002081898753162820.

Fortna, Virginia Page. 2004. “Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace After Civil War.” International Studies Quarterly 48 (2): 269–292. doi:10.1111/​j.0020-8833.2004.00301.x.

Gartzke, Erik. 1999. “War Is in the Error Term.” International Organization 53 (03): 567–587. doi:10.1162/​002081899550995.

Powell, Robert. 1996. “Stability and the Distribution of Power.” World Politics 48 (02): 239–267. doi:10.1353/​wp.1996.0006.

———. 2006. “War as a Commitment Problem.” International Organization 60 (01): 169–203. doi:10.1017/​S0020818306060061.

Reed, William, David H. Clark, Timothy Nordstrom, and Wonjae Hwang. 2008. “War, Power, and Bargaining.” The Journal of Politics 70 (04): 1203–1216. doi:10.1017/​S0022381608081152.

Reiter, Dan. 2009. How Wars End. Princeton University Press.

Slantchev, Branislav L. 2011. Military Threats: The Costs of Coercion and the Price of Peace. Cambridge University Press.

Walter, Barbara F. 1997. “The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement.” International Organization 51 (03): 335–364. doi:10.1162/​002081897550384.

———. 2009. “Bargaining Failures and Civil War.” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (1): 243–261. doi:10.1146/​annurev.polisci.10.101405.135301.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner