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2 - A Theory of War Onset in Post-Soviet Eurasia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Dominique Arel
Affiliation:
University of Ottawa
Jesse Driscoll
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego
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Summary

Chapter 2 presents a statement of the book’s theory. The geography and demography of the post-Soviet space suggests a strategic game with three actors, all second-guessing each others strategies: peripheral elites in Russian-speaking communities, “national” elites in the capital, and elites in the Kremlin. The output of bargaining processes is the distribution of symbolic cultural goods. The game is played in two stages. In the first, inside Russian-speaking communities, elites attempt to coordinate to threaten to secede, or not. In the second stage, bargaining takes place between the capital and the potentially seditious community. If bargaining breaks down, the Russian government might intervene. We outline the analytic narrative structure that organizes the remainder of the book. The theory is formalized in a mathematical appendix (Appendix A).

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Chapter
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Ukraine's Unnamed War
Before the Russian Invasion of 2022
, pp. 23 - 45
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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