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The democratic peace Lecture at HEI, 19 April 2007 Course E 584 Topics in Peace Research


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Title: The democratic peace Lecture at HEI, 19 April 2007 Course E 584 Topics in Peace Research

The democratic peaceLecture at HEI, 19 April
2007Course E 584 Topics in Peace Research
  • Nils Petter Gleditsch
  • Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW at
  • International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
  • Department of Sociology and Political Science,
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The democratic peace a survey
  • Levels of analysis
  • A brief history
  • Empirical status
  • Theoretical status
  • Extensions?

Defining and measuring democracy
  • Political system that ensures citizens access to
    political influence through democratic elections
  • Democratic institutions resolve disagreements
    through voting or negotiation
  • The median voters preferences are decisive for
    political decisions
  • Polity A country is democratic if the executive
    power has been chosen through open and
    competitive elections, participation in the
    political system is open and competitive, and the
    legislative branch is at least as powerful as the
  • Level of participation not included (alternative
    measure Vanhanens Polyarchy index SIP index)
  • Human rights not included (alternative measure
    Freedom House)

Sources Jaggers Gurr (1995), Marshall, Jaggers
Gurr (2004), Gates et al. (2006), Freedom
House, annual, Vanhanen (2000)
Levels of analysis
  • Dyadic level
  • do democracies fight one another?
  • Monadic level I interstate war
  • are democracies generally peaceful?
  • Monadic level II colonial war
  • do democracies fight colonial war more or less
  • Monadic level III political change
  • do politically unstable countries fight more
  • System level
  • more democracy in the world more peace?
  • Intrastate war (26 April)
  • do democracies experience more or less civil

History of the democratic peace
  • Kant's Zum ewigen Frieden
  • The classical studies of war Richardson,
    Sorokin, Wright
  • Babst (1964, 1972)
  • Singer Small (1976), Correlates of War Project
  • Rummel (1983), Doyle (1983, 1986)
  • Maoz Russett (1992, 1993), Russett (1993)
  • - and then the take-off

A pioneer on World War I
Allied and associated powers Central powers
Elective governments Non-elective governments Elective governments Non-elective governments
Australia Belgium Canada Great Britain France Italia Brazil New Zealand South Africa United States 10 China Costa Rica Cuba Greece Guatemala Haiti Honduras Japan Liberia Luxemburg Montenegro Nicaragua Panama Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Siam 19 0 Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Turkey 4

Source Babst (1964 11, Table 1). World War I
participants omitted (not independent) India,
Hejaz, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia
- and on World War II

Allies Axis powers
Elective governments Non-elective governments Elective governments Non-Elective governments
14 30 1 (Finland) 7
Source Babst (1964 12, Table 2)
Empirical status at the dyadic level
  • A strong relationship
  • Down to a low level of violence
  • Has survived the end of the Cold War
  • Survives controls for third variables, with some
  • Democracy not a necessary condition for peace
  • Reverse causality?
  • What about covert action?

Empirics at the dyadic level
  • Type Two One No Missing All
  • of conflict democr. democr. democr. data dyad-year
    s (n) p
  • War 0.01 0.14 0.11 0.19 0.13 693,351 lt 0.001
  • Armed conflict 0.01 0.09 0.08 0.06 0.07 574,129
    lt 0.001
  • MID 0.09 0.28 0.25 0.28 0.25 675,015 lt 0.001
  • War ( gt 1000 deaths) 18162002
  • Armed conflict ( gt 25 deaths) 19462002
  • MID (militarized interstate disputes) 18162001
  • - source of error fisheries conflicts
  • Source Gleditsch Hegre (2004 296, Table 1).

The normative explanation
  • Democracies are governed by nonviolent norms and
  • When a democracy is facing another democracy
    known to be governed by the same principles,
    these norms can be externalized
  • When facing a country not governed by the same
    norms, it cannot expect nonviolent norms to be
  • A borderline case both countries are democratic
    but do not recognize one another as such

The structural explanation
  • The citizens can place constraints on political
    leaders, who are accountable to them
  • Executive authorities are accountable to other
  • The debate between the institutions and the
    citizens is public
  • Political mobilization and decision-making take
    time in democratic systems
  • Political leaders tend to be removed if their
    actions fail

The signaling explanation
  • In a world of complete information the weaker
    party would always concede to the stronger
  • War occurs where the parties have incomplete
    information or problems with committing
  • Crises are public events used to signal
    intentions to the opponent but also to the
    domestic public
  • When signaling to the opponent, each side has an
    incentive to bluff
  • Democracies have higher domestic audience costs
    and their signals are therefore more credible
  • The security dilemma is therefore modified
    between democracies, which are able to clearly
    signal to each other

Fearon (1994)
The interest-based explanation
  • Democracies refrain from fighting each other
    because they have common interests in the
    international system
  • Democracies get little out of conquest, since the
    spoils have to be divided by many
  • Power in democracies is dispersed and such
    countries are not the best targets for conquest
  • Democracies tend to be trading states rather than
    warfare states

Gartzke (1998)
The monadic interstate democratic peace
  • Rummels 'freedom proposition'
  • Still debated
  • Fewer multivariate analyses
  • Fits better after the end of the Cold War
  • Clear relationship for war casualties
  • No difference in terms of who starts a war
  • But clear difference for onset of new wars
  • Democracies join ongoing conflicts
  • Democracies build alliances
  • Politically mixed dyads are the most hazardous
  • Theoretical expectations at the monadic level?

Monadic interstate empirics

All Type of Non- Missing country- conflict
Dem. dem. data years (n) p
War 4.80 4.67 6.26 4.93 13,212
0.77 Armed conflict 6.18 5.03 3.45 5.13
7,803 0.052 MID 15.67 12.61 13.17 13.38 12
,853 lt 0.001 War ( gt 1000 deaths)
18162002 Armed conflict ( gt 25 deaths)
19462002 MID (militarized conflicts)
18162001 Source Gleditsch Hegre (2004 303,
Table 2
Colonial war
  • Difficult to test dyadically
  • Monadic test under certain conditions
  • Most colonies conquered by democracies
  • Democracies overrepresented in colonial wars
    but only before 1945
  • Multivariate analyses democracies participate
    less in colonial war
  • Norm change after 1945

Alternative hypotheses

The colonized territories Assumption Frequency of colonial war
Mostly democratic Generous Less frequently for democracies
Proportional Neutral No correlation with democracy
Mostly undemocratic Ungenerous More frequently for democracies
Source Ravlo, Gleditsch Dorussen (2003 525,
Table 1)
Bivariate analysis of colonial wars

Period Democratic countries share of all country-years Democratic countries share of all country-years with war r
Colonialism (18161869) 9.0 24.0 0.06
Imperialism (18701945) 32.8 56.4 0.07
Decolonization (194692) 37.7 25.0 -0.04
18161992 31.8 36.0 -0.01
Source Ravlo, Gleditsch Dorussen (2003 535,
Table 2)
Multivariate analysis of colonial wars

Variable Area Colonialism Imperialism Decolonization All years
Democracy Europe - - -
Democracy Outside - - - -
Poisson analysis, controls for great power,
alliances, number of colonies, urbanization,
other conflicts - negative relationship
(democratic states fight less) positive
relationship (democratic states fight more)
Source Ravlo, Gleditsch Dorussen (2003 535,
Table 2?)
The democratic peace at the system level
  • More democracies
  • more peace (generalized from the dyadic level)
  • no difference (generalized from the monadic
  • an inverted U-shaped relationship
  • Will a higher number of democracies lead
    non-democracies to change their behavior? (By
    norm change or force.)
  • Empirical tests few and mixed

Gleditsch Hegre (1997)
Empirics at the system level

Source Gleditsch Hegre (2004)
System-level study of battle deaths
Risk of battle death, 19462002 (bivariate) Controlling for trade and membership in IGOs
Democracy ? -6.410-06 p0.08 ? -4.410-06 p 0.09
N 57 51
R2 0.01 0.27
Source Lacina, Russett Gleditsch (2005)
Democratization and war
Mansfield Snyder (1995) Democratization is
dangerous Oneal Russett (1997), Russett Oneal
(2001) It is not! Ward Gleditsch (1998)
Dangers of democratization soon outweighed by
level effect Failed democratization is
dangerous Mansfield Snyder (2002a,b, 2005)
Incomplete democratization is dangerous Limitation
s Change vs. level, longer-term effects,
neighborhood effect
Limitations of the democratic peace
  • Does it only apply to consolidated democracies?
  • Does it only apply to rich democracies? (10 May)
  • How is it modified by change?
  • How is it modified by regional patterns?
  • Democratic interventionism (2 May)
  • Case study evidence disputed
  • Lack of theory or theoretical overdetermination?

Extensions of the democratic peace
  • The liberal peace
  • - democracy, economic integration, international
  • The cooperative peace
  • - do democracies cooperate more?
  • A civil peace? (26 April)
  • - do democracies have fewer civil wars?
  • Genocide, 'democide', 'politicide (26 April)
  • - power kills or more murder in the middle?
  • Military expenditure
  • - Democracies are less militarized
  • Interventions (2 May)
  • - Democracies attract fewer interventions

References (1)
  • Babst, Dean V., 1964. 'Elective Governments A
    Force for Peace', Wisconsin Sociologist 3(1)
  • Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce Randolph M. Siverson,
    1995 War and the Survival of Political Leaders
    A Comparative Study of Regime Type and Political
    Accountability, American Political Science
    Review 89(4) 841855
  • Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce James D. Morrow,
    Randolph M. Siverson Alastair Smith, et al.
    2004. Testing Novel Implications from the
    Selectorate Theory of War, World Politics 56(3)
  • Chan, Steve, 1997 In Search of Democratic
    Peace Problems and Promise, Mershon
    International Studies Review 41(1) 5991
  • Doyle, Michael W., 1983 Kant, Liberal Legacies,
    and Foreign Affairs, Philosophy Public
    Affairs, part 1 12(3) 205235, part 2 12(4)
  • Doyle, Michael W., 1986. Liberalism and World
    Politics, American Political Science Review
    80(4) 11511169
  • Fearon, James D., 1994. Domestic Political
    Audiences and the Escalation of International
    Disputes, American Political Science Review
    88(3) 577592
  • Freedom House, annual. Freedom in the World 2005
    The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil
    Liberties. Lanham, MD Rowman Littlefield.
    Earlier editions from various publishers. See
  • Gartzke, Erik, 1998. Kant We All Just Get Along?
    Opportunity, Willingness, and the Origins of the
    Democratic Peace, American Journal of Political
    Science 42(1) 127
  • Gates, Scott Håvard Hegre, Mark P. Jones
    Håvard Strand, 2006. Institutional Inconsistency
    and Political Instability Polity Duration,
    18002000,  American Journal of Political
    Science 50 (4) 893908
  • Gleditsch, Nils Petter Håvard Hegre, 1997.
    Peace and Democracy Three Levels of Analysis,
    Journal of Conflict Resolution 41(2) 283310
  • Gleditsch, Nils Petter Håvard Hegre, 2004.
    Fred og demokrati Peace and democracy, in Knut
    Midgaard Bjørn Erik Rasch, eds, Demokrati
    vilkår og virkninger. Sec. Ed. Oslo Bergen
    Fagbokforlaget (293322)
  • Jaggers, Keith Ted Robert Gurr, 1995. 'Tracking
    Democracys Third Wave with the Polity III Data',
    Journal of Peace Research 32(4) 469482
  • Kant, I. 1795 Zum ewigen Frieden. English
    edition Perpetual Peace A Philosophical Sketch.
    Reprinted in Hans Reiss, ed., Kants Political
    Writings. Cambridge Cambridge University Press
  • Lacina, Bethany Bruce Russett Nils Petter
    Gleditsch, 2005. 'The Declining Risk of Death in
    Battle', paper presented to the 46th Annual
    Convention of the International Studies
    Association, Honolulu, 25 March
  • Macmillan, John, 2004. Liberalism and the
    Democratic Peace, Review of International
    Studies 30(2) 179200

References (2)
  • Mansfield, Edward D. Jack Snyder, 1995
    Democratization and the Danger of War,
    International Security 20(1) 538
  • Mansfield, Edward D. Jack Snyder, 2002a.
    Incomplete Democratization and the Outbreak of
    Military Disputes,  International Studies
    Quarterly 46(4) 529549
  • Mansfield, Edward D. Jack Snyder, 2002b.
    Democratic Transitions, Institutional Strength,
    and War, International Organization 56(2)
  • Mansfield, Edward D., Jack Snyder, 2005.
    Electing to Fight. Why Emerging Democracies Go to
    War. Cambridge, MA MIT Press
  • Marshall, Monty Keith Jaggers Ted Robert Gurr,
    2004. The Polity IV Project, Political Regime
    Characteristics and Transitions, 18002004,
  • Mousseau, Michael, Håvard Hegre John R Oneal,
    2003. How the Wealth of Nations Conditions the
    Liberal Peace, European Journal of International
    Relations 9(2) 277314
  • Oneal, John R. Bruce Russett, 1997. The
    Classic Liberals Were Right Democracy,
    Interdependence, and Conflict, International
    Studies Quaterly 41(2) 267294
  • Ravlo, Hilde Nils Petter Gleditsch Han
    Dorussen, 2003. Colonial War and the Democratic
    Peace, Journal of Conflict Resolution 47(4)
  • Richardson, Lewis Fry, 1960. Statistics of Deadly
    Quarrels. Edited by Quincy Wright C.C. Lienau.
    Pittsburgh, PA Boxwood.
  • Rosato, Sebastian, 2003. The Flawed Logic of
    Democratic Peace Theory, American Political
    Science Review 97(4) 585602. See also Forum,
    with articles by David Kinsella Branislav L.
    Slantchev, Anna Alexandrova Erik Gartzke
    Michael W. Doyle and Sebastian Rosato, American
    Political Science Review 99(3) 453472
  • Rummel, Rudolph J., 1983 Libertarianism and
    International Violence, Journal of Conflict
    Resolution 27(1) 2771
  • Rummel, Rudolph J., 1994 Focus on Power,
    Genocide and Mass Murder, Journal of Peace
    Research 31(1) 110
  • Rummel, Rudolph J., 1995 Democracies ARE Less
    Warlike Than Other Regimes, European Journal of
    International Relations 1(4) 457479
  • Russett, Bruce Harvey Starr, 2000. From
    Democratic Peace to Kantian Peace Theory
    Democracy and Conflict in the International
    System, i Manus Midlarsky, ed., Handbook of War
    Studies II. Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan
    Press (93128)
  • Russett, Bruce, 1993. Grasping the Democratic
    Peace. Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press.
  • Russett, Bruce John Oneal, 2001. Democracy
    Reduces Conflict, ch. 3 in Triangulating Peace.
    Democracy, Interdependence, and International
    Organizations. New York, Norton (81124)
  • Small, Melvin J. David Singer, 1976 The
    War-Proneness of Democratic Regimes, Jerusalem
    Journal of International Relations 1(1) 5069

Next week
  • Civil Peace
  • the democratic peace at the intrastate level