Issue Indivisibility

Does issue indivisibility cause war?

Takeaway Points

  1. An indivisible issue is something that cannot be adequately divided (who is king of a country or who controls an island, for example).
  2. If states cannot effectively bargaining because issues are indivisible, then war can result.
  3. However, states can make side payments to resolve the indivisibility and avoid war.
  4. Thus, we treat issue indivisibility as a rationalist explanation for war in theory but not in practice.