A Quality of Government Peace? Bringing the State Back Into the Study of Inter-State Armed Conflict
19 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 21 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
Domestically, democracy or democratization has not proved as successful in bringing about preferred economic and social consequences as has “good governance” and quality of government. Within the field of international relations, by contrast, one of the strongest empirical regularities still remains that democracies do not wage war against each other. In this paper we show however that the impact of quality of government, most notably corruption, on the risk of interstate conflict by large amounts trumps the influence of democracy. These results draw on dyadic Militarized Interstate Disputes data in 1984-2000, and hold even under control for the capitalist peace, incomplete democratization, realist claims and geographic constraints. We argue that the causal mechanism underlying this finding is that quality of government reduces information asymmetry among potentially warring parties, improves their ability to communicate resolve, and to credibly commit to keeping to their promises.
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