Arctic Yearbook 2014
likelihood of its outbreak. This argumentation can be illustrated and summarised in the following
general causal diagram:
right timed preventive action
by right preventive actor
Reduction of Potential
Cause of Armed
at least one
Figure 4: Causal Diagram of Conflict Prevention.
In other words, in order to analyze and understand the conflict preventive effects of preventive
actions, it is first of all necessary to identify the causal mechanism which links these actions to the
reduction of a certain cause or even numerous causes of armed conflict. How this general approach
of conflict prevention translates to the specific effects of CSBMs as a structural tool of conflict
prevention shall be discussed in the subsequent section of this article.
Fearon’s Rationalist Explanations for War
The issue of ‘uncertainty’, regarding other nation’s military capabilities presents one of the root
causes of armed conflict in the international system and is also subject to the bargaining theories of
war, one of the most prominent in the field of peace and conflict research (e.g. Levy & Thompson
2010: 68; Mitzen & Schweller 2011: 12).
As many scholars in the field argue: war from a rational perspective is too risky [