The Unitary Actor Assumption

To model war, we first need to make assumptions…

Takeaway Points

  1. The unitary actor assumption treats states as a single entity that tries to maximize national interest, broadly defined. (Thus, “national interest” could mean the states are very benevolent.)
  2. Thus, we rule out political cleavages between leaders and their citizens.
  3. While such cleavages certainly exist, they will exist simultaneously with the problems we will be discussing in this unit.