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War and Democratic ConstraintHow the Public Influences Foreign Policy$
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Matthew A. Baum and Philip B. K. Potter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164984

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164984.001.0001

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Democratic Constraint, the Democratic Peace, and Conflict Initiation

Democratic Constraint, the Democratic Peace, and Conflict Initiation

(p.53) 3 Democratic Constraint, the Democratic Peace, and Conflict Initiation
War and Democratic Constraint

Matthew A. Baum

Philip B. K. Potter

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines democratic constraint, democratic peace, and conflict initiation. It begins with a time-series, cross-sectional analysis of conflict initiation in all possible pairs of countries (that is, all dyads) from 1965 to 2006. This analysis reveals the interactive relationship between media access and political opposition. Across a variety of indicators of conflict, states with media and political institutions that facilitate the flow of information between leaders and the public are less prone to initiate military conflicts. These findings suggest not only an underlying mechanism that could fuel the democratic peace proposition, but also that not all democracies are likely to be equally peaceful. Aside from conflict initiation and the extent of opposition with political parties, press freedom is also measured.

Keywords:   democratic constraint, democratic peace, conflict initiation, media access, political opposition, media, information, military conflicts, political parties, press freedom

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