IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Operationalization of Democracy and the Strength of the Democratic Peace: A Test of the Relative Utility of Scalar and Dichotomous Measures

  • ReÅŸat Bayer

    (Koç University, Turkey)

  • Michael Bernhard

    (University of Florida, USA)

Registered author(s):

    The idea that democracies are less apt to engage in conflict with each other is a central finding in international relations. Yet the operationalization of democracy in this literature has been relatively unreflective. Since the mid-1990s the majority of studies have used Polity. In this article we raise substantial concerns about its use, notably that there is a mismatch between conceptualization of democracy as a regime type and using an interval scale to measure it. If our contention is correct, we would expect to find that models that use a dichotomous coding should either provide different results from Polity or at minimum fit the data better. We then test this contention by comparing the results of tests of the democratic peace using Polity in its interval scalar form and several common dichotomous codings of democracy. The tests are supportive of the contention that dichotomous coding better captures the notion of “democracy.†At minimum we believe that findings using Polity should be verified for robustness using a dichotomous coding.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Conflict Management and Peace Science.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 85-101

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:85-101
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:85-101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.