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In this article, we demonstrate that changes in the partisan orientation of a country's executive branch influence the likelihood that the government of that country complies with international legal commitments aimed at integration of capital markets. We argue that relative shifts in executive partisan orientation, whether toward the left or toward the right, represent important shifts in “national preferences” that have heretofore been absent from statistical models of treaty compliance. Using a matching estimator combined with a genetic algorithm to maximize balance in our sample, we show that the causal impact of a state signing Article VIII of the IMF Articles of Agreement is conditioned by right-to-left shifts in partisan orientation. The evidence indicates that such preference changes reduce the constraining effects of Article VIII but also indicates that Article VIII continues to exercise significant causal effects even in the face of relative shifts in executive partisan orientation.
We attempt to explain when and why democratic states will prevail in international crises. We review several of the prominent theories about democratic political structures and derive hypotheses from each framework about crisis outcomes. These hypotheses are tested against the population of 422 international crises between 1918 and 1994. Our findings provide further evidence that the democratic peace is not a spurious result of common interests. Moreover, we also begin the difficult task of differentiating among the many theories of the democratic peace. In particular, we find strong evidence that democratic political structures are important because of their ability to generate domestic audience costs. Our findings also support the argument that democratic political structures encourage leaders to select international conflicts that they will win.
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