Dynamics of the Political 2-Level-Game in War Termination

Part of the NL ARMS book series (NLARMS)


National political leadership faces complex dynamics in order to plausibly exit a military mission. Putnam’s two-level game helps to understand the essence of these dynamics. National political leadership will aim to keep the domestic audience on its hand in order to remain in office, while simultaneously trying to adhere to international demands as well. Th is article argues that entering a conflict may be relatively less difficult than an exit, since most leaders have not been caught in the two-level game yet. On the other hand, staying-in-power dynamics, the constituency paradox, political bargaining and psychological effects let leaders often refuse a rational decision to exit. Th is chapter introduces new venues for additional research into whether a player may plausibly be forced out of a conflict by its allies, the relevance of a national military culture on exit, and to what extent the size of a nation plays a distinctive role in war termination.


War termination exit dynamics politics leadership domestic international 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Netherlands Ministry of DefenceThe HagueThe Netherlands

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