Elizabeth A. Stanley. “Ending the Korean War: Domestic Coalitions Shifts Overcoming Obstacles to Peace,” International Security, Vol. 34, no. 1 (2009): 42-82. https://doi.org/10.1162/isec.2009.34.1.42
The empirical record includes numerous examples of domestic governing coalition shifts leading to war termination, and many scholars from different theoretical perspectives have noted this tendency. Few scholars, however, have attempted to explain the causal mechanisms of this phenomenon in a rigorous and generalizable manner. In this article, I introduce a new theory about shifts in domestic governing coalitions, a state’s elite foreign policy decision-making group, and explain their role in the war termination process. I outline three obstacles to peace, as well as coalitional dynamics, that can lead incumbent governing coalitions to be unable to end the war—even when such a change is necessary or desirable. My argument refines the domestic-level mechanisms that lead to the international bargains that end war. I assess this theory in a plausibility probe of the Korean War, a quintessential example of stalemated war.