Fighting for Survival and Peace through Instability

Autocrats do not retire comfortably. So what?

Takeaway Points

  1. Autocrats who fight wars and lose are likely to be exiled, jailed, or killed.
  2. An autocrat might fight for survival when he expects a coup to happen without some sort of major disruption to the status quo.
  3. But sometimes the autocrat’s fears can lead to peace. A leader might pursue peace through instability and avoid a war even though it is in the national interest, precisely because he is worried he will die in the unlikely event the war goes poorly.
  4. Click here for the book containing the original argument.