War and peace: Third-party intervention in conflict

Yang Ming Chang, Joel Potter, Shane Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This paper develops a simple sequential-move game to characterize the endogeneity of third-party intervention in conflict. We show how a third party's "intervention technology" interacts with the canonical "conflict technologies" of two rival parties in affecting the sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium outcome. From the perspective of deterrence strategy, we find that it is more costly for a third party to support an ally to deter a challenger from attacking (i.e., to maintain peace or acquiescence), as compared to the alternative case when the third party supports the ally to gain a disputed territory by attacking (i.e., to create war), ceteris paribus. However, an optimally intervening third party can be either "peace-making", "peace-breaking", or neither depending on the characteristics of the conflict and the stakes the third party holds with each of the rival parties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-974
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Peace
  • Territorial conflict
  • Third-party intervention
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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