Elizabeth A. Stanley and John P. Sawyer, “The Equifinality of War Termination: Multiple Paths to Ending War,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 53, no. 5 (2009): 651-676. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002709343194
The authors’ theory contributes an alternative domestic politics pathway to traditional bargaining models of war termination. In bargaining models, the rational updating process that produces an overlapping bargaining space can develop a significant lag, which extends the war beyond a logical ending point. The authors posit that a change in the domestic governing coalition is often necessary to kick-start this updating process once it has become bogged down through preference, information, and entrapment obstacles. The authors demonstrate that domestic coalition shifts are a critical path to peace, using survival analysis techniques on Bennett and Stam’s (1996) war-level data set of wars (1862-1990) and a new belligerent-level data set of wars (1945-2006). These tests show that because war policies can become institutionalized over time, there is a very strong link between coalition shifts and war termination.