About the talk:
Why do countries, groups, and individuals arm? Given that arming is costly and war brings about destruction, why is there violent conflict? Skaperdas will first review economic/rationalist perspectives that attempt to answer these two questions and include the relevance of incomplete information, risk-seeking, optimism, and the inability to make long-term agreements. He will then discuss alternatives and complementary answers to rationalist perspectives. They include the role of subjective frameworks that adversaries might have about the objectives of the other side, the possible outcomes, beliefs, and norms as well as the relevance of identity.
About the speaker:
Stergios Skaperdas is a professor of economics, the Clifford S. Heinz Chair (on the economics of peace) and director of the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is broadly interested in the interaction of economics with politics, society, and culture. His research has mostly examined the role of conflict and power in economics, with applications to international conflict, domestic conflict, organized crime, the emergence of states, as well as the effects of globalization in the presence of insecurity. His research has been published in a variety of economics and political science journals, including the American Economic Review and the American Political Science Review.