Donbass crisis: Domestic political battles in Kiev, Moscow & Washington could see Ukraine & Russia stumbling into war nobody wants | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Donbass crisis: Domestic political battles in Kiev, Moscow & Washington could see Ukraine & Russia stumbling into war nobody wants

The military build-up in Ukraine is creating the possibility for a major war. However, conflict remains unlikely for the simple reason that it is not in the self-interest of any protagonist. Nevertheless, that may not be enough.

All countries have a lot to lose from a war, and unpredictability is an important factor as a series of unknown variables will make it nearly impossible to exercise escalation control and calculate the consequences.

However, the assumption that states always act rationally is deeply flawed.

The rational unitary actor

We commonly and incorrectly assume that states are unitary actors – a single political entity that seeks to advance national interests that are uniformly defined by the political class and the people. Yet, cleavages exist within states and domestic in-fighting over defining national interests often results in irrational behaviour. States act irrationally when domestic politics influence foreign policies. Furthermore, domestic considerations and foreign posturing raise the possibility of miscommunication.

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