War and Democracy
This paper presents a general equilibrium model of conflict based on a world populated by representative democracies. At the individual state level, when information regarding a leader's ability to defend the state against unavoidable conflict is va luable to voters, an incumbent leader seeking reelection may be tempted into potentially avoidable conflicts to demonstrate his ability and enhance his reelection prospects. As a result, democratic states may be responsible for at least some international conflict. In this paper, we investigate whether this motive is sufficiently important for war to persist in equilibrium if all countries are democracies. Three key findings emerge. First, the perpetual peace equilibrium hypothesized by Immanuel Kant (1795, 1991) always exists. The reason is that in the absence of the threat of war, leaders are unable to divert the public's attention away from domestic considerations. Consequently, the incentive for potentially avoidable conflicts vanishes. Second, if leader s are not sufficiently benevolent and wars are costly in expectation, then additional equilibria exist with a positive war frequency. Third, if multiple equilibria exist, the perpetual peace equilibrium may be unstable in which case an equilibrium with po sitive war frequency becomes the only stable outcome. The model is further extended to analyze the role of appropriative conflicts and non-democratic regimes. It is shown that if the diversionary motive of democratic leaders is strong, a more democratic world may not necessarily be more peaceful. We discuss the role that norms and institutions can play in facilitating a more peaceful world with democracies - for example, free trade areas and alliance formation.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich|
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994.
"Domestic Politics and International Conflict,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
- Garfinkel, M.R., 1992. ""Domestic Politics and International Conflict"," Papers 90-92-30, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Zeev Maoz & Nasrin Abdolali, 1989. "Regime Types and International Conflict, 1816-1976," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 33(1), pages 3-35, March.
- Diana Richards & T. Clifton Morgan & Rick K. Wilson & Valerie L. Schwebach & Garry D. Young, 1993. "Good Times, Bad Times, and the Diversionary Use of Force," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(3), pages 504-535, September.
- Kevin H. Wang, 1996. "Presidential Responses to Foreign Policy Crises," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 40(1), pages 68-97, March.
- Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
- Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bradley Lian & John R. Oneal, 1993. "Presidents, the Use of Military Force, and Public Opinion," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(2), pages 277-300, June.
- Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-846, September.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1996. "International Conflict, Defense Spending and the Size of Countries," NBER Working Papers 5694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
- Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, "undated". "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-921, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_201. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)
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.