Ballots and Bullets by Joanne S. Gowa

By Joanne S. Gowa

There's a frequent trust, between either political scientists and executive policymakers, that "democracies do not struggle each one other." the following Joanne Gowa demanding situations that trust. In an intensive, systematic critique, she indicates that, whereas democracies have been much less most probably than different states to have interaction one another in armed conflicts among 1945 and 1980, they have been simply as prone to accomplish that as have been different states earlier than 1914. hence, no cause exists to think democratic peace will continue to exist the tip of the chilly struggle. on account that U.S. international coverage is at the moment directed towards selling democracy in another country, Gowa's findings are specially well timed and worrisome.

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Maintaining only weak armed forces, however, creates a risk of a takeover by rivals to rule outside the state. Heads of states of nondemocratic polities, therefore, confront a dilemma that does not plague leaders of democracies. This dilemma may make rulers of these states more interested in reducing the incidence of wars than in waging them. The founding principles of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) illustrate the importance nondemocratic leaders can place on this problem. Its prospective member states did not have large indigenous military units in place.

Alastair Smith concurs: in his analysis of the use of force, he assumes that the existence of asymmetric information biases leaders toward using military power abroad as elections approach (1996). Downs and Rocke (1994; 1995) argue that the combination of imminent elections and incomplete information can encourage leaders to continue to wage war. Thus, it seems that elections can as easily encourage as restrain would-be renegade leaders. , Callahan and Virtanen 1993; Gaubatz 1991; Hess and Orphanides 1995; James and Oneal 1991; Levy 1988; MacKuen 1983; Marra, Ostrom, and Simon 1990; Morgan and Bickers 1992; Mueller 1970; 1973; 1994; Oneal, Lian, and Joyner 1996; Ostrom, Simon, and Job 1986; Stoll 1984).

Moreover, it emerges as the most important economic variable in analyses of presidential elections (Fair 1978; 1988; 1996). Thus, I use real growth rates as a measure of the state of the economy and as a proxy for presidential popularity. In his most recent work on presidential elections, Ray C. Fair uses the growth rate per capita of real GDP during the last three quarters of the have yet to agree on how to measure its effects (Fiorina 1992; Mayhew 1991; McCubbins 1991). S. disputes between 1948 and 1976.

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