# War Power and the Willingness to Suffer Steven Rosen.

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War Power and the Willingness to Suffer Steven Rosen

Research Question How much are nations willing to suffer in war? How much are nations willing to suffer in war? How is this related to their chances for victory? How is this related to their chances for victory?

Power Ratio Power Ratio = Party A Party B Party B =Cost-tolerance of A/Strength of B Cost-tolerance of B/Strength of A

Measure of strength Government revenue Government revenue Does a state with more revenues win a war? Does a state with more revenues win a war? This measure does not take into account a loss of strength with distance or potential allied support. This measure does not take into account a loss of strength with distance or potential allied support.

Measure of cost tolerance 1971 survey of 600 college students 1971 survey of 600 college students Rosen compares battle deaths of military personnel in war Rosen compares battle deaths of military personnel in war He also takes into account the size of the population He also takes into account the size of the population

Measure of Wars 40 interstate wars (COW) from 1815- 1945 40 interstate wars (COW) from 1815- 1945 The winner is coded as the nation that came closer to achieving its goals. The winner is coded as the nation that came closer to achieving its goals.

Empirical Findings 1) Suffering fewer casualties does not result in victory. In only 22 of 40 wars (55%), the winner was the party that suffered less in absolute life loss.

Empirical Findings 2) In 30 of 40 wars (75%), the winner lost a smaller % of its population. However, population size explained 90% (27 of 30) of the cases where the victor was the party with a smaller population loss rate.

Empirical Findings Table 11-2 Lost More Lives Had More Population WinnerLoser Winner1215 Loser03 Overall, 70% of wars won by the party with a larger population.

Empirical Findings 3) Maximum level of population loss Richardson: defeat would occur when the less populous side lost between.05% and 5% of its population Richardson: defeat would occur when the less populous side lost between.05% and 5% of its population Rosen: Upper level confirmed (only 2 of 77 cases > 5% loss) Rosen: Upper level confirmed (only 2 of 77 cases > 5% loss) Lower level not confirmed (23 of 77 cases, the defeated party lost <.05%) Lower level not confirmed (23 of 77 cases, the defeated party lost <.05%)

Empirical Findings 4) 79% of the wars were won by the wealthier party.

Combining All Factors In the 31 cases where one state was wealthier and had a larger population, it won 26 times (84%). In the 31 cases where one state was wealthier and had a larger population, it won 26 times (84%). In the 8 cases where a state was wealthier but suffered greater population loss, it won 5 times. In the 8 cases where a state was wealthier but suffered greater population loss, it won 5 times. No cases of a winner losing more lives and having a smaller population No cases of a winner losing more lives and having a smaller population

Rosen’s conclusions Structural factors such as wealth and population have the greatest impact on war outcomes.

Additional Findings on Victory in War The single best predictor of whether an initiator will win a war is its industrial capacity (Wayman, Singer, and Goertz). The single best predictor of whether an initiator will win a war is its industrial capacity (Wayman, Singer, and Goertz). Nations with greater extractive capacity win wars (Organski & Kugler). Nations with greater extractive capacity win wars (Organski & Kugler). Democracies are more victorious in war. Democracies are more victorious in war. Initiators with positive expected utility are more likely to win wars than targets (Bueno de Mesquita). Initiators with positive expected utility are more likely to win wars than targets (Bueno de Mesquita).