IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

War and Democracy

  • Gregory D. Hess
  • Athanasios Orphanides

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.

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: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-1999/WP201.PDF
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 201.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_201
Contact details of provider: Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Garfinkel, Michelle R, 1994. "Domestic Politics and International Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1294-1309, December.
  4. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  5. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  6. Hess, Gregory D & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1995. "War Politics: An Economic, Rational-Voter Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 828-46, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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: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: (Julio Saavedra)

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.