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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A central issue that arises when there are more than two rivals, within the international system or within a single state, is the formation of alliances. What determines whether or not alliances form and, in the event that they do form, which groups are likely to do so? This article draws on several strands of the game theory literature, including but not limited to those on coalition formation and contests, to provide answers to such questions. One area of interest here concerns the choice of solution concept to ensure the stability of alliances. The sharing rule for the spoils of war among alliance members is another modeling choice to which theoretical predictions are sensitive but also empirically important.

Keywords: game theory, alliance formation, war spoils, alliance stability

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