External Threat, Domestic Power Concentration, and Disputatious Foreign Policies
When we observe a correlation between democratic dyads and reduced conflict propensities, several possibilities exist. Democratic regime type may be responsible to some extent for the reduced conflict in the identified dyads. This is the now well-known democratic peace argument.1 Alternatively, the reduced conflict propensities may be responsible to some extent for the democratic regime types.2 This is sometimes called the reversed causal arrow hypothesis in the sense that it changes the direction of causality in the democratic peace argument 180 degrees. A third possibility is that both interpretations are correct. Democratic dyads produce less conflict within their dyads and, reciprocally, the reduced conflict propensities encourage democratization within the dyad. Or, it may be a sequential relationship in the sense that relatively peaceful neighborhoods encourage democratization which, in turn, increase the probability of reduced conflict with other democratic regimes. A fifth possibility is that the linkage between democratic dyads and reduced conflict propensities is simply spurious. Some other, unidentified factor(s) is (are) responsible causally for generating both democratic dyads and reduced conflict propensities.
KeywordsForeign Policy Regime Type Power Concentration Resource Mobilization External Threat
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