War and Peace in East Asia, Lecture 3

After spending the last lecture framing the East Asian regional system within the larger ebb and flow of the global international system, we dug into the weeds a little bit and examined one of Fearon’s now-classic explanations for war: private information with incentives to misrepresent. We covered that article yesterday in my graduate security course, so the prep was easy, and it was interesting to present it in two rather different ways on two consecutive days. However, I found myself in the awkward position of using non-East Asian examples of wars driven by private information, all because I didn’t want to undermine future lectures where we spend time applying different theories to East Asian wars. Still, I suppose referencing the Iran-Iraq War was better than saying, “Well, I’d love to give you an example of how wars end when states come to agree about their relative strength, but my devotion to the narrative of the course prevents me from ruining the suspense with an example that I’ll otherwise be teaching you later.”

Right?

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