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Issue 5.1


From Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding

From Violence to Peace: Terrorism and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Personal Empowerment as the Missing Ingredient for a Resolution of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Creating a More Peaceful Classroom Community by Assessing Student Participation and Process


To Protect Democracy (Not Practice It): Explanations of Dyadic Democratic Intervention (DDI)

Why did the Colombia Peace Process Fail?

Truth and Reconciliation: The Road Not Taken in Namibia

Africa Crisis Response Initiative: Its Workability as a Framework for Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Culture, Gender, Power and Conflict in Melanie Thernstrom's Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder

Kant's Perpetual Peace: A New Look at this Centuries-Old Quest

An Analysis of Bloody Sunday

The Jewish Group: Highlighting the Culture Problem in Nation-States

How Can I Teach Peace When the Book Only Covers War?

Cooperation in Pluralistic Societies: An Analytic Mathematical Approach

To Protect Democracy (Not Practice It): Explanations of Dyadic Democratic Intervention (DDI) (1)

John A. Tures

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The Use of Liberal Ends to Justify Illiberal Means

In the popular 1995 film Crimson Tide, a nuclear submarine commander played by Gene Hackman demonstrates the increasing difficulty of reconciling liberal values with an aggressive military mission. "We're here to protect democracy, not enforce it," he argues to his subordinates. While aiming to support high-minded democratic ideals including fair play, due process, and individual rights, policymakers in liberal countries have often struggled to justify illiberal procedures, especially against fellow democracies. Charles Kegley and Margaret Hermann (1995, 1996, 1997) find democracies have engaged in military interventions in the internal affairs of other liberal states. In studying why democracies intervene against other their fellow liberal states, I discovered democracies intervene in other democracies when the target gives its consent to the operation, when the target state has experienced a recent regime transformation, and when the dyad is marked by prior conflict. These findings support arguments by scholars such as Machiavelli (1950) Kant, Doyle (1986), and Gleditsch (1995), who warn liberal states are likely to use illiberal methods to promote democracy in the international system. Given the recent profusion of democracy throughout the world, we can expect freely elected states to engage in future interventions to support nascent liberal regimes.

Democracies Abstain from War…and Intervention?

The democratic peace proposition, which states no two democracies have ever fought a war with each other (Babst, 1972; Doyle, 1986; Russett, 1993; Gleditsch, 1995; Ray, 1995), has been described by scholars as the closest thing we have to a law in international relations (Levy, 1988). A variety of politicians have subsequently incorporated these arguments into their policymaking, labeling democracy as a prescription for peace (Russett, 1993, pp. 126-129; Clinton, 1994).

A recent set of studies (Hermann and Kegley, 1996, 1998; Kegley and Hermann, 1995, 1996, 1997; Kegley, Raymond and Hermann, 1998) challenge the democratic peace proposition, claiming democracies do intervene against each other. (2)

Such findings are troubling for the democratic peace, given the authors' premise that "interventionism is, after all, a prelude to war" (Kegley and Hermann, 1996, p. 319). (3)

Why are democracies intervening against each other? Kegley and Hermann's analyses are typically limited to tests as to whether or not dyadic democratic interventions occur more often than an expected model (based on the frequency of intervention dyads) predicts. (4)

These findings do not tell us what factors are strongly related to the presence of these DDIs. But their conclusions recommend analyzing the impact of democratic interventions to protect democracy in other countries, the role unstable regimes play (as interveners and as targets), how prior conflict produces future conflict, and the importance of international legal norms.


Making the World Safe for Democracy

In a 1917 speech, Woodrow Wilson identified a key motive for American participation in World War I as the need to make the world "safe for democracy" (Vasquez, 1996). Since then, many foreign policymakers have subsequently sought to justify their actions on Wilsonian precepts, calling for interventions to prevent democracy from being subverted by undemocratic elements.

Hermann and Kegley (1996) contend interventions are designed to bolster the target regime and protect its citizens. Kegley and Hermann (1995; 1996) argue democracies conduct interventions to promote, restore, or protect democracy by preventing its overthrow. In an analysis of United States interventions, Hermann and Kegley (1998) show such interventions designed to promote democracy produce a greater improvement in the target's regime score than those interventions taken to protect democracy.

Thus, if a liberal state invites a democracy to intervene, the scenario is one of democratic protection. A state would not agree to accept such a large foreign military contingent unless its most vital characteristics (territorial integrity or political independence) were at stake. Therefore, I contend cases of a target's consent to deploy troops on its soil represent a case of regime protection; democracies intervene in other democracies' affairs to defend the target regime.

Protect Democracy Hypothesis: An intervention is more likely to have a democratic dyad if the target state invites the initiator to intervene.

Diversionary Tactics and Dyadic Democratic Intervention

Another rationale for dyadic democratic intervention comes from the foreign policy literature arguing democratization may produce more conflict than peace. Mansfield and Snyder (1995, 1996) identify young democracies as war-prone, arguing regime transformations produce a great deal of political and economic turmoil. Leaders in nascent regimes therefore have incentives to distract public attention from internal problems by engaging in salient external acts designed to produce a "rally 'round the flag" effect. Such behavior is well-documented in the diversionary politics literature (Ostrom and Job, 1986; James and Oneal, 1991; Morgan and Bickers, 1992).

Mansfield and Snyder (1995) argue democratization produces this diversionary behavior. Citing Huntington's (1968) "Gap Thesis," the authors argue regime instability is most likely to occur in cases of praetorian politics, where popular participation outstrips the ability of fledgling institutions to handle public demands. Nascent liberal regimes owe their political support to great amounts of mobilization necessary to topple the prior regime. New democratic governments not only must face turmoil association with a regime transformation, but must contend with a mobilized public seeking to "cash-in" on promises made by the new regime. Democratic leaders also have less control over the political process then their autocratic counterparts do; international distraction is therefore a more viable option than domestic repression.

Kegley and Hermann also see institutional instability as a factor in dyadic democratic interventions. The authors argue the majority of DDIs involved pairs of fledgling, partly-free democracies (Kegley and Hermann, 1997). Hermann and Kegley (1996) cite Mansfield and Snyder's arguments in claiming fledgling democracies are prone to aggression. The authors also claim a rise in intervention approval is correlated with "frequent political transformations in authority structure and a high number of civil wars in sovereign states" (Kegley, Raymond and Hermann, 1998, p. 92).

Would democratizing states be more likely to target other liberal regimes, or autocratic nations? Blaming belligerent public opinion, Mansfield and Snyder contend "in this transitional phase of democratization, countries become more aggressive and war-prone, not less, and they do fight wars with democratic states" (1995, p. 5). Though the authors do not provide any specifics about how such a conflict might occur, it can be argued fledgling democracies (given their domestic problems) prefer to target weaker, rather than stronger governments. Democracies, lacking a strong centralized authority and ability to coercively mobilize, may be perceived as easier targets than autocratic regimes. Democratic regimes are also encumbered by institutions designed to constrain rapid policymaking, mitigating a quick response to a democratic intervention (Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman, 1992; Maoz and Russett, 1993).

Diversionary Hypothesis: An intervention is more likely to have a democratic dyad if the intervening state has experienced a recent regime transformation.

Unstable Democracies as Intervention Targets

As her counterparts have argued, Werner (1996) contends stable regimes are less war prone than less stable regimes. However, institutional instability does not apply to interveners alone. Others have suggested democratization in countries is more likely to make these states prey, not predators. Enterline (1996) argues fledgling and faltering democratic regimes make tempting targets. Democratizing regimes are more likely to focus on solving domestic problems to shore up their political standing than engage in risky foreign policy behavior such as an intervention. But such internal chaos may prompt others to attack the new democracy for political or economic gain.

Hermann and Kegley (1996) echo Enterline's argument concerning the propensity of fledgling democracies to serve as intervention targets. Kegley, Raymond and Hermann (1998) state interventions occur in periods of turmoil punctuated by nationalistic sentiment, separatist revolts, and transformations in forms of governance. Kegley and Hermann also find democracies intervene in civil conflicts and domestic upheavals, including internal battles over who should govern (Kegley and Hermann, 1996).

Unstable Target Hypothesis: An intervention is more likely to have a democratic dyad if the target state has experienced a recent regime transformation.

Dyadic Democratic Intervention and Enduring Rivalries

Not all interventions are isolated incidents; many occur in the context of prior disputes. Given the like-minded behavior attributed to democratic governments, including united response to a common threat, alliance similarity, etc. (Maoz and Russett, 1992), it takes an extremely hostile situation to overcome these incentives to work together. Often, an unresolved issue such as an ongoing territorial claim drives states to value a favorable settlement of the contentious issue over tendencies to unite against antidemocratic forces.

Hensel (1995) argues an evolutionary approach to interstate conflict and rivalry may explain why democracies may fight each other. As pairs of states continue to engage each other in protracted conflicts, they tend to accumulate hostility and grievances against each other over previously unresolved issues, even if they are both democratic. Hensel (1995) also identifies territorial issues as a salient source of interstate friction guiding these conflicts, which remain difficult to solve due to their intangible symbolism, source of national pride, and importance for security considerations.

The cycle of intervention extends beyond contention over unresolved issues. Pearson, Baumann and Pickering (1994) venture countries tend to develop interests in states they have repeatedly targeted. For example, an intervention to impose a democratic client regime might produce incentives for future interventions if the target state's regime is often threatened.

Kegley and Hermann also find support for arguments linking prior conflict with dyadic democratic interventions; the authors assert interventions among free and partly free states primarily center on long-standing territorial disputes (Kegley and Hermann, 1996; 1997). Hermann and Kegley (1998) also maintain diversionary tactics (in the context of the democratic peace) are more likely to succeed against traditional adversaries.

Prior Conflict Hypothesis: An intervention is more likely to have a democratic dyad if the participants have an ongoing enduring rivalry.

The Role of International Law and Institutions in DDIs

Another issue democracies consider is whether or not the intervention is considered legal by international norms. Authors (Maoz and Russett, 1993; Dixon, 1993) have argued democracies pay particular attention to normative constraints upon foreign policy behavior, especially when dealing with other democracies. According to Maoz and Russett (1993) democracies externalize their internal respect for norms of fair play and legal settlement of issues, accounting for the lack of war among democracies. Others contend international institutions and major powers provide the legal norms concerning conflict, which democratic states feel compelled to follow.

Kegley and Hermann do note the important ramifications international legal norms have for intervention behavior. Kegley and Hermann (1995, 1996, 1997) note Joyner's (1992) and Rosas' (1994) arguments international legal principles are designed to preclude states from intervening in the internal governing affairs of other states. (5)

Kegley and Hermann (1996) also cite the United Nations Charter (Article 2, Section 4), calling for states to refrain from the threat or use of force against another state's territorial integrity and political independence.

So when do democracies intervene, given the apparent scorn international law holds for intervention? A possible solution is permission by international institutions whose doctrines and pronouncements have legal authority. If an organization such as the United Nations were to support the intervention, such an act would go a long way towards a democracy's ability to justify such an aggressive foreign policy against a liberal state.

International Legal Norms Hypothesis: An intervention is more likely to have a democratic dyad if the United Nations has sanctioned the intervention.

Research Design

Spatial-Temporal Domain

In tests of the link between interventions and the regime type of participants, I employ Tillema's Foreign Overt Military Intervention (1997) dataset, analyzing all cases from 1945 to 1991. Tillema's FOMI dataset on interventions defines conflict as "a distinct category of militarized international behavior that (1) involves the use of force, (2) results in the loss of soldier's lives, and (3) is described by a target as a hostile act" (Tillema, 1989b, p. 419). Such conflicts exclude "less blatant forms of international interference, such as covert operations, shows of force, deployments of troops, and cross-border incursions" (Tillema, 1989b, p. 419). A complete list of dyadic democratic interventions (DDIs) is available in Table 1.

The dataset serves as a case-selection mechanism, yet I am not selecting upon the dependent variable. In this study, I analyze the likelihood (among all intervention dyads) of a dyadic democratic intervention, given the regime type of all participants. I also study the elements of an intervention which are high correlated with the presence of a DDI.

Operationalization of Variables

Regime Type

Kegley and Hermann (1997) call for multiple measures of democracy in studying the link between regime type and intervention. To do so, I apply two separate measures of a country's institutional characteristics. Both classifications of democracy are derived from the Polity IIId dataset (McLaughlin et al., 1998). This dataset is employed for two reasons. First, the polity institutional codings (Gurr, Jaggers, and Moore, 1989) have been previously employed in studies of the regime type of intervention participants (Hermann and Kegley, 1996; Kegley and Hermann, 1996). Second, the updated Polity IIId codes regime type and transformations up to the month, day, and year of the event (as does Tillema's foreign overt military intervention dataset). This allows us to code regime type in a manner which avoids mistakes from relying on purely annual data (Tures, 2001). (6)

Using the Polity IIId dataset, I employ two measures of classifying a country as a democracy. The first uses a more restrictive measure employed by Dixon (1993). This involves coding countries with a democracy score of six or higher as liberal states; all other countries are labeled nondemocracies. The second measure, adopted by scholars (Oneal, 1994; Ray, 1995) subtracts a country's autocratic score from its democratic score. Countries with a positive overall score are judged to be democracies, while states with scores of zero or less are nondemocratic. I identify all dyads that are jointly democratic and assign them a score of one; dyads characterized by mixed regime type or are jointly autocratic receive a score of zero.


Tillema's FOMI dataset (1997) also includes variable identifying cases where a target country gives its approval to the intervener's incursion. The variable includes three categories: consent, no consent, and questionable. (7)

I convert the variable into a dichotomous measure, including these questionable cases as "no consent," given the ambiguous nature of the permission.

Regime Transformation

As for a measure of embryonic regimes, the literature on changing regimes gives little indication for how long a country should be considered "in a transition period." Since Mansfield and Snyder (1995) use decade increments, I select the arbitrary cutoff period of a maximum of ten years. To determine which dyads contain a transition regime, I look at the years subsequent to the change in regime type, as well as those periods (and subsequent years) where a country is coded by Polity IIId as having "no government" due to foreign occupation, internal instability, etc.

For example, a fully democratic government in 1991 officially replaces the Noriega government in Panama. Panama is considered to embark on its first year of transition in the year 1991, its second in 1992, and so on. Another example is Lebanon, which underwent a period between 1975 and 1990 where Polity IIId coded the regime as "no government." Those years coded as indicating the presence of a transition. The first year Lebanon is coded as having a regime (1991) is listed as being year one of the transition government; 1992 is year two, and so on through ten years after Lebanon ended its cycle of no government. If the transition government's tenure does not last ten years, the new government's transition period begins. (8)

Other cases of transition regimes include countries are coded by Polity IIId as experiencing their first year of self-rule. Such a scenario might occur either through a successful independence movement against a colonial regime (Ghana from Britain in 1960) or simply being the first year of a state's existence (such as Taiwan in 1949).

Another important issue in transition regimes is the particular direction of change. When a democracy's score drops below six, it is considered to be in a stage of autocratizing, and countries whose democratic score increased beyond a "six" are considered democratizing. However, it is possible a previously authoritarian state can autocratize after an interregnum. (9)

The same can happen to a democracy whose government tenure is interrupted by a significant event and is either returned to a democratic status or replaced by another democracy.

The next question is what happens to governments heading in the direction of a given regime type whose transition period is replaced by a government headed in the "opposite direction" in terms of liberalization? Once forced from office, a regime can no longer be said to have an impact upon the transition process and a transition period is recorded for the incoming power group. (10)

This approach differs from research definitions in previous scholarly works, for reasons that will become apparent once they are discussed. Mansfield and Snyder (1995) analyze each country's regime type at decade-long increments. In other words, Country X would be coded as an autocracy for the 1960s, but a democracy for the 1970s if a transition occurred during that decade. What the measurement fails to address, however, is multiple transitions could occur during a decade (Enterline, 1996). For example, Turkey underwent two transitions in the 1980s (a military coup occurred late in 1980, and the country returned to democracy in 1983). Yet any decade-long analysis might conclude Turkey did not have a transition because it is coded as a democratic country at the very beginning and the very end of the 1980s. Also, the authors ignore the categories of national independence and transition from no government.

Another problem with the Mansfield and Snyder approach is it gives no consistent measure of transition duration. It makes no difference in the Mansfield and Snyder measure whether the transition occurred at the beginning or the end of the decade's measurement point or whether the conflict in the subsequent decade occurred at the beginning or end of that decade (Thompson and Tucker, 1997). In other words, a country that adopts democracy and fights a war in 1988 is considered a "conflict-engaging democratizer" by Mansfield and Snyder, even though the regime transformation occurred 18 years ago. The measurement I have chosen to use factors in every transition a country makes and the ten years a new government needs to get settled.

Alternatives offered by Mansfield and Snyder's critics are not much of an improvement. Enterline (1996) uses a bivariate negative binomial model, testing the lagged impact of changes in a state's democracy score on the frequency of dispute origins. But his measure is criticized by Mansfield and Snyder (1996) for lumping stable democracies increasing their democracy scores (from Polity III) with former autocracies undergoing democratization. My model only looks at shocks to the country's polity, in terms of overall shifts in regime type (from autocracy to democracy and vice versa), cases of national independence or state creation, and periods of no regime classification.

The variable is coded dichotomously; if a regime transformation has occurred in the previous ten years it receives a score of one. All cases where no regime transformation has happened in the past 10 years receive a zero. This is applied to both interveners and targets.

Enduring Rivalries

To develop a measure of prior conflict, I adopt Bennett's (1996) definition of enduring rivalry, which focuses upon identifying underlying issues at stake. I use Bennett's measure because it is consistent with the theory that intervention participants (even when both are democracies) repeatedly engage in conflict when underlying issues remain unresolved. Other measures of rivalry (Wayman and Jones, 1991; Goertz and Diehl, 1993) focus upon the number of conflicts over a given period of time, without regard to the issue at stake. Bennett's (1996) enduring rivalry measure expressly focuses on the issue at stake, termination via claim renunciation or formal agreement using public statements by policymakers. Dyads with an enduring rivalry are coded as a one; all other dyads receive a zero score.

United Nations Approval

Tillema's FOMI dataset (1997) also includes a variable measuring cases where the United Nations has sanctioned an intervention. In keeping with Tillema's coding method, I also treat this variable as dichotomous; UN approved missions are coded as a one; all others receive a zero score.

Empirical Analysis

To evaluate which factors are strongly related to DDIs, I use logistic regression to study the statistical relationship between the independent variables and the dichotomous dependent variable measuring the presence of a dyadic democratic intervention. To better gauge the importance of the intervention factors upon DDIs, I also include a table identifying the substantive significance of these variables, holding all other variables in the model to their modal values.

What Factors are Associated with DDIs?

Tables 2 and 3 provide the results of my logistic regression test of those factors associated with dyadic democratic interventions. I find support for the protect democracy hypothesis; the coefficient is positive and statistically significant at the .05 level. The unstable target hypothesis also has a statistically significant positive relationship with the interventions between democracies. Prior conflict is also strongly associated with dyadic democratic interventions; the enduring rivalry variable is positively signed and statistically significant. As for the other hypotheses, recent regime transformations in the intervention initiators and United Nations Approval are unrelated to the likelihood of an intervention containing a jointly-democratic dyad. Unlike the test of the democratic peace hypothesis, these results hold consistent for both the restricted democracy measure used by Dixon (1993) and the more inclusive version employed by Oneal (1994) and Ray (1995).

Tables 4 and 5 display the substantive significance of the independent variables. Using Dixon's (1993) measure of democracy, an intervention is 32% more likely to be characterized as a DDI if the target state has given its consent to the intervention, with all other variables held at their mean level. Interventions where the target has experienced a regime transformation in the past decade are 23 percent more likely to be a jointly-democratic dyad. As for enduring rivalries, they are also strongly associated with DDIs; an intervention is 27 percent more likely to be measured as a DDI if the dyad members are enduring rivals.


Given that DDIs do occur, it is important we understand the factors strongly correlated with these interventions if we are to learn more about the democratic peace and why such conflicts occur short of war. Tests confirm the hypotheses which state interventions are more likely to be characterized as DDIs when the target regime invites the intervention, when the target regime has recently experienced a transformation, and when relations between the intervener and target are marred by prior conflict.

Support for protect democracy and unstable target hypotheses are consistent with arguments made by scholars who claim democracies often feel compelled to engage in militarization to ensure the survival of democracy. Machiavelli (1950) contends democracies are ideal imperialists, given their ability to mobilize the public behind foreign policy initiatives. In 1795, Kant warned republican states would use liberal justifications for their illiberal external behavior (Doyle, 1995). Doyle (1986) notes a contradiction between liberal pacifism and liberal imperialism, or strategies designed to promote democracy worldwide. Gleditsch argues there is "a growing tendency to justify interventions on the basis of securing or promoting democracy" (1995, p. 299). As for findings about the link between prior conflict and the regime type of interveners, such conflicts may also be initiated by a country who feels it has a stake in who governs the target country (Pearson, Baumann and Pickering, 1994). A democracy may repeatedly intervene to protect a fellow democracy or push the target to liberalize.

These findings do give us reasons to be concerned about the prospects for the democratic peace in the coming century. Scholars (Huntington, 1991; Jaggers and Gurr, 1995) have pointed to the presence of "democracy's third wave," a trend which has produced a number of liberalizing regimes in East Europe, Latin America and other economically developing regions. Given democracies have shown these tendencies to intervene when democracy seems imperiled elsewhere, such conflicts seem likely to continue in the near future. If Kegley and Hermann's (1996) assertion that intervention is a prelude to war, we may soon witness more serious challenges to the assertion that democracies do not make war on other democracies.

Table 1: Dyadic Democratic Interventions (DDIs): 1945-1991 Using Tillema's (1997) Foreign Overt Military Interventions and Oneal's (1994) and Ray's (1995) Democracy Measure

Intervention Dyads Years Dixon Democracy? Consent?
Palestinian War Israel-Egypt (2x) 1948 No No
Israel-Syria (2x) 1948 No No
Israel-Lebanon (2x) 1948 No No
PPS Suppression Syria-Lebanon 1949 No No
Rafah Raid Israel-Egypt 1950 No No
Gualingo Raids Peru-Ecuador 1951 No No
Suez Canal Riots Britain-Egypt 1951-52 No No
Kashmiri Raid Pakistan-India 1951 No No
Rann-Kutch Conflict Pakistan-India (2x) 1956 No No
Lebanese Civil War U.S.-Lebanon 1958 No Yes
Surma River Pakistan-India (2x) 1958 Yes No
Henry Rebellion Britain-Jamaica 1960 Yes Yes
Tripura Skirmishes Pakistan-India (2x) 1962 Yes No
India-Pakistan 1962 Yes No
Anti-Youlou Riots France-Congo 1963 No Yes
Army Mutiny Britain-Uganda 1964 Yes Yes
Kenya Army Mutiny Britain-Kenya 1964 No Yes
Kashmiri Skirmishes Pakistan-India 1964-65 Yes No
India-Pakistan 1964-65 Yes No
"Confrontation" Britain-Malaysia 1964-66 Yes Yes
Australia-Malaysia 1964-66 Yes Yes
N. Zealand-Malaysia 1964-66 Yes Yes
Mauritius Riots Britain-Mauritius 1965 Yes Yes
Houle Raids Israel-Lebanon 1965 No No
Kashmiri Shelling Pakistan-India 1967 No No
Kashmiri Raid India-Pakistan 1967 No No
Lebanese Conflict Israel-Lebanon 1968-92 No No
Lebanese Shelling Lebanon-Israel 1969 No No
Border Operations Malaysia-Thailand 1969-70 No Yes
Essequibo Shelling Venezuela-Guyana 1970 No No
Bengali Civil War Pakistan-India 1971-72 No No
India-Pakistan 1971-72 No No
Lebanese Shelling Lebanon-Israel 1975 No No
Rhodesian Civil War Rhodesia-Botswana 1976-79 Yes No
S. Africa-Rhodesia 1979-80 Yes Yes
Paquisha Incident Peru-Ecuador 1981 Yes No
Sanyang Coup Senegal-Gambia 1981 No Yes
Maitengwe Disorders Zimbabwe-Botswana 1983 No No
Corrientes Incident Ecuador-Peru 1984 Yes No
Gabarone Raid S. Africa-Botswana 1985 Yes No
Harare Raids S. Africa-Zimbabwe 1986 No No
Mogaditsane Raid S. Africa-Botswana 1986 Yes No
IPKF Operations India-Sri Lanka 1987-90 No Yes
Gabarone Raid S. Africa-Botswana 1988 Yes No
Herrera's Mutiny U.S.-Panama 1990 Yes Yes

Note: "2x" Indicates the Intervention is coded by Tillema as a reciprocal intervention

Table 2: Factors Associated With Dyadic Democratic Intervention, 1945-1991 Using Dixon's (1993) Measure of Democracy

N 444
-2LLR 163.08895
Chi-Square 16.778**

Dependent Variable: Probability of An Intervention Containing A Joint-Democratic Dyad

Independent Variable B Coefficient Standard Error
Target Consent to Intervention 1.5269 0.5965*
Regime Transformation in Intervener -0.3223 0.54
Regime Transformation in Target 1.0278 0.4982*
Enduring Rivalry Among Interveners 1.3996 0.6007*
Intervention Approved by United Nations -6.6353 15.5729
Constant -4.3533 0.578**

* = p < .05; ** = p <.01

Table 3: Factors Associated With Dyadic Democratic Intervention, 1945-1991 Using Oneal's (1994) and Ray's (1995) Measure of Democracy

N 444
-2LLR 312.52539
Chi-Square 27.996**

Dependent Variable: Probability of an Intervention Containing a Joint-Democratic Dyad

Independent Variable B Coefficient Standard Error
Target Consent to Intervention 0.9174 0.3959*
Regime Transformation in Intervener 0.3312 0.3339
Regime Transformation in Target 0.7135 0.3225*
Enduring Rivalry Among Interveners 1.1104 0.3616**
Intervention Approved by United Nations -7.5386 15.8494
Constant -3.0381 0.3384**

* = p < .05; ** = p <.01

Table 4: Substantive Significance of the Factors Associated With Dyadic Democratic Intervention (DDI) Using Dixon's (1993) Measure of Democracy

Independent Variable Categories % Chance of Intervention Being A DDI Change in Likelihood of Intervention Being a DDI
Target Consent Yes 0.8158 +32.55%
to Intervention No 0.4902
Regime Transformation Yes 0.5989 -7.44%
in Intervener No 0.6733
Regime Transformation Yes 0.7402 +23.54%
in Target No 0.5048
Enduring Rivalry Yes 0.8498 +26.72%
Among Interveners No 0.5827
Intervention Approved Yes 0.0055 -80.23%
by United Nations No 0.8078

Table 5: Substantive Significance of the Factors Associated With Dyadic Democratic Intervention (DDI) Using Oneal's (1994) and Ray's (1995) Measure of Democracy

Independent Variable Categories % Chance of Intervention Being A DDI Change in Likelihood of Intervention Being a DDI
Target Consent Yes 0.6765 +22.13%
to Intervention No 0.4552
Regime Transformation Yes 0.6079 +8.11%
in Intervener No 0.5268
Regime Transformation Yes 0.6255 +17.55%
in Target No 0.4501
Enduring Rivalry Yes 0.7503 +25.29%
Among Interveners No 0.4974
Intervention Approved Yes 0.0017 -75.68%
by United Nations No 0.7584

Note: The changes in the probability of an intervention containing a democratic intervener and target are calculated using the coefficients from Tables 4 and 5. The value of a single explanatory variable is changed while all dichotomous variables in the equation are held at their modal values. The change in the location on the cumulative normal distribution is subsequently converted into the percentage change in the probability of an intervention being a dyadic democratic intervention (King, 1989, p. 106-108).


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1. The author would like to thank Herbert K. Tillema for the provision of his dataset and codebook, as well as Will H. Moore and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell for their helpful insights, comments, and data.

2. Not only do Charles Kegley and Margaret Hermann find these dyadic democratic interventions (DDIs) occur, but they are more likely to happen than projected by an expected model (1995). In fact, they claim democracies are more likely to intervene in other liberal states than against countries that are anocratic and autocratic (Kegley and Hermann, 1996). Furthermore, they argue (Kegley and Hermann, 1995, 1996, 1997) these DDIs have been increasing over time; we can expect more of these intervention types in the future.

3. Others argue this "democratic peace" finding does not extend to lower levels of conflict. Farber and Gowa (1995) claim democracies often fight each other in militarized interstate disputes. Forsythe (1992) and James and Mitchell (1995) note democracies have engaged in covert activities against other liberal states.

4. In one analysis, Hermann and Kegley (1996) conduct a probit test of the effects of polity type on being selected as an intervention target (1975-1991) with several control variables, including alliance bonds, political stability, economic development levels and degree of militarization. While theoretically interesting, this test only examines why democracies are less likely to be targets of interventions, not why liberal states intervene against other liberal states.

5. Joyner (1992) states that since the origin of the Westphalian interstate system, unilateral military intervention is regarded as a crime.

6. For example, employing yearly aggregated data on regime type might lead us to conclude the conflict between Cyprus and Turkey involved an intervention between democratic dyads (Gleditsch and Hegre, 1997). Using the Polity IIId dataset, however, shows the Cypriot government was overthrown by a military coup just before the intervention, producing a case of mixed regime type intervention (McLaughlin et al., 1998). Given that prior studies of dyadic democratic intervention utilized data (Freedom House, Polity III) reported at the aggregate level (Kegley and Hermann, 1995, 1996, 1997), I feel this new dataset offers an improvement.

7. Unclear cases include those where two factions claim sovereignty over a state, but only one side welcomes the intervention. For example, in the case of the Dominican Republic in 1965, forces loyal to Donald Reid Cabral and General Wessin y Wessin appealed for American intervention, while constitutionalist forces under Colonel Francisco Deno opposed foreign troops (Moreno, 1970; Logan, 1970; Atkins and Wilson, 1972).

8. For example, Argentina's democratic government was overthrown by the military junta, producing an autocracy in 1976. When the military officers themselves stepped down from power in 1982, 1983 became year one of the new democratic transition, 1984 becomes year two of the transition, and so on.

9. Consider the case of Kuwait around the time of the Gulf War. Before 1990, the Emirate was a dictatorship. Thanks to the Iraqi invasion, Kuwait received a score of "no government" for 1990 while Kuwait vacillated between government-in-exile and battles between rebels and their occupiers. Starting in 1991, the Kuwaiti emirate was restored and Polity III began coding the country as an autocracy again. However, the emir, having been dislodged by invaders and pressured by some democratic movements (albeit relatively weak ones), had to begin reconsolidating his authority. That is why the period including and subsequent to 1990 leads Kuwait to be considered an autocratizing transition regime for that time frame, even though the emir had held power just before the invasion.

10. For example, Sudan had an authoritarian government in 1984, and a democratic government in 1986. However, that government was overthrown and an autocracy returned in 1989.

John A. Tures is an assistant professor of political science at LaGrange College in Georgia.  He received his doctoral degree from Florida State University in 2000.  He has taught at the University of Delaware and the FSU - Universidad Costa Rica de San Pedro program.  He has also served as an analyst for Evidence Based Research, Inc. in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  He has
also published in
International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Peace Research, East European Quarterly, American Diplomacy, Cato Journal, and the Journal of Conflict, Security and Development.  He has also written or co-authored several government research monographs on the environment and political instability in developing areas.

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