Ethnic Bargaining in the Shadow of Third-Party Intervention
by Rupen Cetinyan
Relatively weak ethnic groups mobilize and rebel against their governments just as frequently (or infrequently) as strong ones. However, such seemingly irrational behavior is not inconsistent with a rationalist approach to ethnic separatism. A bargaining model that treats all the relevant actors as strategic players suggests that power disparities between an ethnic minority and the state-including those based on a group's access to third-party intervention-should affect how the state treats the group but not the likelihood that the group rebels against the state. Greater mistreatment by the state should not be correlated with greater external intervention on a group's behalf. New empirical support for the model is drawn from the Minorities at Risk data set, and the discussion has implications for the field of international relations beyond ethnic conflict to extended deterrence more generally.