2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Partial Democracies: The Achilles' Heel of the Democratic Peace Theory?
Clee S. Shy
Dr. Michael Rudy, Faculty Mentor

The robustness of the Democratic Peace Theory, the notion that democracies don’t fight one another, has vaulted the importance of regime type into the foreign policy realm so much so that world leaders now use it as an excuse to institute democratic regime change around the world. While the theory receives considerable support, many scholars (e.g. Spiro 1994; Mansfield and Snyder 1995) suggest that certain types of democracies may not be as peaceful as the theory anticipates, specifically with regard to partial democracies. This study tests partial democracies effect on interstate conflict. Results from this study indicate some support for the idea that partial democracies are more war prone than other regime types. More specifically, using large N analysis from 1945-2000, partial democracies are more likely to conflict with other democratic regimes, directly conflicting with the Democratic Peace Theory.

Keywords: Democratic Peace Theory, Partial Democracies, MIDs, Conflict

Topic(s):Political Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 11-5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 9:00

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