Ballots and Blackmail: Coercive Diplomacy and the Democratic Peace

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Authors Michael Poznansky, Matt K. Scroggs
Journal/Conference Name INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Does the restraint that prevents pairs of democracies from fighting large-scale wars also prevent them from coercing one another? While scholars have long drawn a bright line between using force and threatening it, the literature on democratic-peace theory overwhelmingly emphasizes the former. Using a dataset uniquely suited for the study of militarized compellent threats, we find that pairs of democracies are significantly less likely to engage in coercive diplomacy than are other types of regimes. We employ a variety of estimators to ensure the robustness of our results; the finding holds in all cases. We also elaborate on several alternative logics that might account for the hypotheses. This allows us to adjudicate between a variety of mechanisms. Our findings reveal that democratic-peace theory has broader applicability than even proponents give it credit for: not only are democracies less likely to fight wars with one another, but they also prove less likely to threaten each other with force.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language R
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