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The authors examine the mechanics of deterrence and intervention when fear is a motive for conflict. They contrast results obtained in a complete information setting, where coordination is easy, to those obtained in a setting with strategic risk, where players have different assessments of their environment. These two strategic settings allow defining and distinguishing predatory and preemptive incentives as determinants of conflict. They show that while weapons have an unambiguous deterrent effect under complete information, this does not hold anymore under strategic risk. Rather, they find that increases in weapon stocks can have a non-monotonic effect on the sustainability of peace.
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