Skip to main content Accessibility help

Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918–88

  • David L. Rousseau (a1), Christopher Gelpi (a2), Dan Reiter (a3) and Paul K. Huth (a4)


The literature on the democratic peace has emerged from two empirical claims: (1) Democracies are unlikely to conflict with one another, and (2) democracies are as prone to conflict with nondemocracies as nondemocracies are with one another. Together these assertions imply that the democratic peace is a dyadic phenomenon. There is strong support for the first observation, but much recent scholarship contravenes the second. This paper assesses whether the democratic peace is a purely dyadic, a monadic, or perhaps a mixed dyadic and monadic effect. Our analysis offers two important advances. First, our model directly compares the dyadic and monadic explanations by using the state as the unit of analysis rather than the potentially problematic dyad. Second, our model controls for an important but overlooked confounding variable: satisfaction with the status quo. Our results indicate that the initiation of violence within crises is predominantly a dyadic phenomenon, but we also find evidence suggesting a strong monadic effect regarding the emergence of crises.



Hide All
Achen, Christopher. 1986. The Statistical Analysis of Quasi-Experiments. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Beasley, William G. 1990. The Rise of Modern Japan. New York: St. Martin's.
Benoit, Kenneth. 1994. “Reexaraining Democracy and War Involvement: Democracies Really Are More Pacific.” Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. Working Paper 94–5.
Brecher, Michael, Wilkenfeld, Jonathan, and Moser, Sheila. 1988. Crises in the Twentieth Century: Vol. I. Handbook of International Crises. Oxford, UK: Pergamon.
Berger, Gordon M. 1988. “Politics and Mobilization in Japan, 1931–1945.” In The Cambridge History of Japan, ed. Duus, Peter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bremer, Stuart A. 1992. “Dangerous Dyads: Conditions Affecting the Likelihood of Interstate War, 1816–1965.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 36 (06):309–41.
Bremer, Stuart A. 1993. “Democracy and Militarized Interstate Conflict, 1816–1965.” International Interactions 18:231–49.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce. 1981. The War Trap. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, and Lalman, David. 1992. War and Reason. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, and Siverson, Randolph. 1995. “War and the Survival of Political Leaders: A Comparative Analysis of Regime Type and Accountability.” American Political Science Review 89 (12):841–55.
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Siverson, Randolph, and Woller, Gary. 1992. “War and the Fate of Regimes.” American Political Science Review 86 (09):638–46.
Carment, David, and James, Patrick. 1995. “Internal Constraints and Interstate Ethnic Conflict: Toward a Crisis-Based Assessment of Irredentism.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 39 (03):82109.
Chan, Steve. 1984. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall … Are the Freer Countries More Pacific?Journal of Conflict Resolution 28 (12):617–48.
Cohen, Raymond. 1995. “Pacific Unions: A Reappraisal of the Theory that Democracies Do Not Go to War with Each Other.” Review of International Studies 20 (07):207–23.
Degenhardt, Henry W. 1986. Treaties and Alliances of the World. Essex, UK: Longman Group.
Dixon, William J. 1993. “Democracy and the Management of International Conflict.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 37 (03):4268.
Dixon, William J. 1994. “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict.” American Political Science Review 88 (03):1432.
Domke, William. 1988. War and the Changing Global System. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Doyle, Michael W. 1986. “Liberalism and World Politics.” American Political Science Review 80 (12):1151–69.
Farber, Henry S., and Gowa, Joanne. 1995. “Common Interests or Common Polities? Reinterpreting the Democratic Peace.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 5005. Cambridge, MA: NBER.
Fearon, James D. 1994. “Domestic Political Audiences and the Escalation of International Disputes.” American Political Science Review 88 (09):577–92.
Fearon, James D. N.d. “Selection Effects and Deterrence.” In Deterrence Debates, ed. Oye, Kenneth. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Forthcoming.
Geller, Daniel. 1985. Domestic Factors in Foreign Policy: A Cross-National Statistical Analysis. Cambridge, MA: Shenkman Books.
Goldgeier, James. 1994. Leadership and Soviet Foreign Policy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Greene, William H. 1990. Econometric Analysis. New York: MacMillan.
Gurr, Ted Robert, Jaggers, Keith, and Moore, Will H.. 1989. “Polity II Codebook.” Center for Comparative Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado.
Hanushek, Eric A., and Jackson, John E.. 1977. Statistical Methods for Social Scientists. San Diego: San Diego Academic Press.
Head, Richard G., Short, Frisco W., and McFarlane, Robert C.. 1978. Crisis Resolution: Presidential Decision Making in the Mayaguez and Korean Confrontations. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Hewitt, J. Joseph, and Wilkenfeld, Jonathan. 1995. “Democracies in International Crisis.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Chicago, IL.
Huth, Paul K. 1996. Standing Your Ground. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Kant, Immanuel. [1795] 1971. “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Essay.” In Kant: Political Writings, 2d ed., ed. Reiss, Hans. London: Cambridge University Press.
Kegley, Charles W., and Skinner, Richard A.. 1976. “The Case-for-Analysis Problem.” In In Search of Global Patterns, ed. Rosenau, James N.. New York: The Free Press.
Layne, Christopher. 1994. “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace.” International Security 19 (Fall):594.
Leeds, Brett A., and Davis, David R.. 1995. “Beneath the Surface: Regime Type and International Interactions, 1953–1978.” Emory University. Typescript.
Leng, Russell. 1993. “Reciprocating Influence Strategies in Interstate Crisis Bargaining.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 37 (03):341.
Maoz, Zeev, and Abdolali, Nasrin. 1989. “Regime Type and International Conflict.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 33 (03):335.
Maoz, Zeev, and Russett, Bruce M.. 1993. “Normative and Structural Causes of Democratic Peace, 1946–1986.” American Political Science Review 87 (09):624–38.
Mearsheimer, John. 1994/1995. “The False Promise of International Institutions.” International Security 19 (Winter):549.
Morgan, T. Clifton, and Schwebach, Valerie L.. 1992. “Take Two Democracies and Call Me in the Morning: A Prescription for Peace?International Interactions 17 (4):305–20.
Oren, Ido. 1990. “The War Proneness of Alliances.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 34 (06):208–33.
Owen, John M. 1994. “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace.” International Security 19 (Fall):87125.
Ray, James L. 1995. Democracy and International Politics. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Ray, James L., and Wang, Kevin. 1995. “Democracy, Disputes, and Crises: The Impact of Regime Type on Conflict Escalation.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, IL.
Raymond, Gregory A. 1994. “Democracies, Disputes, and Third-Party Intermediaries.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 38 (03):2442.
Reiter, Dan. 1995. “Exploding the Powderkeg Myth: Preemptive Wars Almost Never Happen.” International Security 20 (Fall):534.
Ritcher, James. 1994. Khrushchev's Double Bind. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Robinson, Thomas W. 1981. “The Sino-Soviet Border Conflict.” In Diplomacy and Power: Soviet Armed Forces as a Political Instrument, ed. Kaplan, Stephen S.. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Roeder, Philip. 1984. “Soviet Politics and Kremlin Politics.” International Studies Quarterly 28 (06):171–93.
Rummel, R. J. 1983. “Libertarianism and International Violence.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 27 (03):2772.
Russett, Bruce M. 1993. Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Russett, Bruce M. 1995. “‘And Yet It Moves.’International Security 19 (Spring):164–75.
Russett, Bruce M., and Graham, Thomas. 1989. “Public Opinion and National Security Policy.” In Handbook of War Studies, ed. Midlarsky, Manus. Boston: Unwin Hyman.
Schweller, Randall L. 1992. “Domestic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific?World Politics 44 (01):235–69.
Small, Melvin, and Singer, J. David. 1976. “The War Proneness of Democratic Regimes.” Jerusalem Journal of International Relations 1 (1):5069.
Small, Melvin, and Singer, J. David. 1982. Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars, 1816–1980. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Small, Melvin, and Singer, J. David. 1990. “Formal Alliances, 1816–1965: An Extension of the Basic Data.” In Measuring the Correlates of War, ed. Diehl, Paul F.. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Snyder, Jack, and Mansfield, Edward. 1995. “Democratization and War.” Foreign Affairs 74 (May-June):7997.
Spiro, David E. 1994. “The Insignificance of the Democratic Peace.” International Security 19 (Fall):5086.
Waltz, Kenneth N. 1979. Theory of International Politics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Assessing the Dyadic Nature of the Democratic Peace, 1918–88

  • David L. Rousseau (a1), Christopher Gelpi (a2), Dan Reiter (a3) and Paul K. Huth (a4)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed