The Democratic Peace Unraveled: It’s the Economy
Recent research indicates that the democratic peace—the observation that democratic nations rarely fight each other—is spurious: that advanced capitalism accounts for both democracy and the democratic peace (Mousseau 2009). This is not a trivial prospect: if economic conditions explain the democratic peace, then a great deal of research on governing institutions and foreign policy is probably obsolete. This study addresses all the recent defenses of the democratic peace and reports new results using a new measure that directly gauges the causal mechanism of contract flows dependent on third-party enforcement. Analyses of most nations from 1961 to 2001 show contract-intensive "impersonal" economy to be the second most powerful variable in international conflict—following only contiguity—and, once considered, there is no evidence of causation from democracy to peace. It is impersonal economy, not democracy or unfettered markets, which appears to explain the democratic peace..
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- Gerald Schneider & Nils Petter Gleditsch, 2010. "The Capitalist Peace: The Origins and Prospects of a Liberal Idea," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 107-114, May.
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- Bruce Russett, 2010. "Capitalism or Democracy? Not So Fast," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 198-205, May.
- Michael Mousseau & Demet Yalcin Mousseau, 2008. "The Contracting Roots of Human Rights," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(3), pages 327-344, May.
- Michael Mousseau, 2000. "Market Prosperity, Democratic Consolidation, and Democratic Peace," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(4), pages 472-507, August.
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