Guns and Butter examines the causes and consequences of war from a political economy perspective, taking as its premise that a consideration of the incentives and constraints faced by individuals and groups is paramount in understanding conflict decision making. The chapter authors—leading economists and political scientists—believe that this perspective offers deeper insights into war and peace choices than the standard state-centric approach. Their contributions offer both theoretical and empirical support for the political economy perspective on conflict.
Several broad themes cut across the chapters: war as an equilibrium phenomenon rather than an exogenous process; the interaction of politics, economics, and institutions and its effect on the frequency and severity of conflicts; the cost of fighting; and the often innovative character of conflict. Topics addressed include theoretical aspects of the ways in which domestic politics affects the decision to go to war; globalization and its effect on the net supply of terrorism; open markets and the likelihood of war and domestic insecurity; the costs of going to war in Iraq as compared to the costs of containment; the economic effects of the Rwandan genocide at a household level; and the evolving industrial organization of terrorist groups.
Contributors: Brock Blomberg, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Steven J. Davis, Michelle R. Garfinkel Edward Glaeser, Gregory D. Hess, Kai Konrad, Kevin M. Murphy, Peter Rosendorff, Stephen Sheppard, Stergios Skaperdas, Constantinos Syropoulos, Robert H. Topel, Marijke Verpoorten
CESifo Seminar series
About the Editor
Gregory D. Hess is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty and the Russell S. Bock Chair of Public Economics and Taxation at the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College.
"The chapters in this exemplary volume use simple, easy-to-follow formal models and statistical analyses to explain the political economy of interstate conflict and transnational terrorism. It is a fascinating, wide-ranging, and accessible book for scholars, students, and policymakers, and an important contribution to the field.", Jitendra Narayan, Indian Journal of Political Science
"The chapters in this exemplary volume use simple, easy-to-follow formal models and statistical analyses to explain the political economy of interstate conflict and transnational terrorism. It is a fascinating, wide-ranging, and accessible book for scholars, students, and policymakers, and an important contribution to the field."
David Andrew Singer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"This book consists of outstanding analyses by leading American and European economists and political scientists on a significant aspect of conflict, namely its economic causes and consequences. Topics treated include the theories of wars between nations and insecurity, terrorism, and costs of warfare, this last part covering two important case studies: the Iraq War and the Rwanda genocide. Given the current economic and political climate, this book is an important resource for current and future leaders."
Michael D. Intriligator, Professor of Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles
"Gregory Hess has brought together an excellent group of economists and political scientists to analyze military conflict. A series of cogent chapters cover major theoretical and empirical issues in understanding conflict among states, within countries, and between states and terrorist organizations. The chapters are of high quality and illuminate topics of great relevance to contemporary international relations. This fine edited volume will be of great interest to scholars, students, and others who want to go beyond today's headlines to understand the sources of international and domestic violent conflicts."
Jeffry Frieden, Stanfield Professor of International Peace, Department of Government, Harvard University
"Guns and Butter is an impressive study. A distinguished group of social scientists offer key insights into both the causes and the consequences of various dimensions of conflict, ranging from international war to terrorism. The result is a volume that will be of enduring value to scholars who are interested in the political economy of national security."
Edward Mansfield, Hum Rosen Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania