Freedom Under Fire Repression, Context and the Fragility of the Domestic Democratic Peace

Paper Presented at the 46th Annual ISA Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 1-5, 2005

39 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2016

See all articles by Christian Davenport

Christian Davenport

Political Science/Center for Political Studies

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

For forty years research has supported the claim that political democracy decreases state repression – the so called “domestic democratic peace.” This work has not only generated scholarly attention but it is now the cornerstone of President George W. Bush’s “War against Tyranny.” Several weaknesses exist within prior literature, however, which lead me to conclude that the democratic peace within the domestic context is somewhat less straightforward than we initially anticipated. For example, examining 137 countries from 1976 to 1996, I find that: 1) while certain aspects of democracy (measures of competition/participation and executive constraints) influence repression in the expected manner, some do not (suffrage and the number of veto players); 2) the pacifying influence of democracy on repressive behavior is increased in the context of interstate war, decreased in the context of violent dissent and mixed in the context of civil war; and 3) regional democratic contexts are not as strongly supportive as one would anticipate. While there is a domestic democratic peace, therefore, it is clearly not the cure-all, universally applied mechanism of pacification that it is commonly believed to be.

Keywords: Repression, State Repression, Human Rights Violation, Human Rights, Democracy, Pacification, Civil War, Interstate War, Public Policy, Riots, Dissent, Protest

Suggested Citation

Davenport, Christian, Freedom Under Fire Repression, Context and the Fragility of the Domestic Democratic Peace (2005). Paper Presented at the 46th Annual ISA Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 1-5, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2868361

Christian Davenport (Contact Author)

Political Science/Center for Political Studies ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.christiandavenport.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
249
PlumX Metrics