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Revisiting democratic civil peace: Electoral regimes and civil conflict

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Revisiting democratic civil peace: Electoral regimes and civil conflict. / Bartusevicius, Henrikas; Skaaning, Svend-Erik.

I: Journal of Peace Research, Bind 55, Nr. 5, 2018, s. 625-640.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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@article{4491d21a42cd4370a00c9bc66cd46fd6,
title = "Revisiting democratic civil peace: Electoral regimes and civil conflict",
abstract = "The debate on democratic civil peace has centered on three general claims: democracies have a low risk of civil conflict, autocracies have the same low risk of conflict as democracies, and hybrid regimes have the highest conflict risk. We reevaluate these claims, emphasizing that previous studies have focused on the aggregate categories of regimes, neglecting the role of particular institutional features. We propose focusing on the electoral qualities of regimes, which constitute the core of democracy, and argue that constraints on electoral contestation generate incentives for opposition to use force. Building on this framework, we distinguish between five regime types according to their electoral features—non-electoral autocracies, single-party autocracies, multi-party autocracies, minimalist democracies, and polyarchies—and specify hypotheses regarding the likelihood of conflict in each. In a global statistical analysis spanning 1817‒2006 and employing the new Lexical Index of Electoral Democracy (LIED), we find that polyarchies, characterized by unconstrained contestation, have a lower risk of conflict than any other regime type (although minimalist democracies are only slightly more prone to conflict). Subsequently, we find that single- and multi-party autocracies, characterized by non-competitive elections, are more peaceful than non-electoral autocracies. Our analysis also reveals two factors that have the most substantive effects on peace: the presence of (any form of) elections and minimal electoral competition. Overall, our study underscores the importance of focusing on the central attributes of democracy and sheds new light on the relationship between particular regime features (or types) and conflict, thereby contributing to the growing efforts in conflict research to disaggregate political regimes.",
author = "Henrikas Bartusevicius and Svend-Erik Skaaning",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1177/0022343318765607",
language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "625--640",
journal = "Journal of Peace Research",
issn = "0022-3433",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Revisiting democratic civil peace: Electoral regimes and civil conflict

AU - Bartusevicius, Henrikas

AU - Skaaning, Svend-Erik

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - The debate on democratic civil peace has centered on three general claims: democracies have a low risk of civil conflict, autocracies have the same low risk of conflict as democracies, and hybrid regimes have the highest conflict risk. We reevaluate these claims, emphasizing that previous studies have focused on the aggregate categories of regimes, neglecting the role of particular institutional features. We propose focusing on the electoral qualities of regimes, which constitute the core of democracy, and argue that constraints on electoral contestation generate incentives for opposition to use force. Building on this framework, we distinguish between five regime types according to their electoral features—non-electoral autocracies, single-party autocracies, multi-party autocracies, minimalist democracies, and polyarchies—and specify hypotheses regarding the likelihood of conflict in each. In a global statistical analysis spanning 1817‒2006 and employing the new Lexical Index of Electoral Democracy (LIED), we find that polyarchies, characterized by unconstrained contestation, have a lower risk of conflict than any other regime type (although minimalist democracies are only slightly more prone to conflict). Subsequently, we find that single- and multi-party autocracies, characterized by non-competitive elections, are more peaceful than non-electoral autocracies. Our analysis also reveals two factors that have the most substantive effects on peace: the presence of (any form of) elections and minimal electoral competition. Overall, our study underscores the importance of focusing on the central attributes of democracy and sheds new light on the relationship between particular regime features (or types) and conflict, thereby contributing to the growing efforts in conflict research to disaggregate political regimes.

AB - The debate on democratic civil peace has centered on three general claims: democracies have a low risk of civil conflict, autocracies have the same low risk of conflict as democracies, and hybrid regimes have the highest conflict risk. We reevaluate these claims, emphasizing that previous studies have focused on the aggregate categories of regimes, neglecting the role of particular institutional features. We propose focusing on the electoral qualities of regimes, which constitute the core of democracy, and argue that constraints on electoral contestation generate incentives for opposition to use force. Building on this framework, we distinguish between five regime types according to their electoral features—non-electoral autocracies, single-party autocracies, multi-party autocracies, minimalist democracies, and polyarchies—and specify hypotheses regarding the likelihood of conflict in each. In a global statistical analysis spanning 1817‒2006 and employing the new Lexical Index of Electoral Democracy (LIED), we find that polyarchies, characterized by unconstrained contestation, have a lower risk of conflict than any other regime type (although minimalist democracies are only slightly more prone to conflict). Subsequently, we find that single- and multi-party autocracies, characterized by non-competitive elections, are more peaceful than non-electoral autocracies. Our analysis also reveals two factors that have the most substantive effects on peace: the presence of (any form of) elections and minimal electoral competition. Overall, our study underscores the importance of focusing on the central attributes of democracy and sheds new light on the relationship between particular regime features (or types) and conflict, thereby contributing to the growing efforts in conflict research to disaggregate political regimes.

U2 - 10.1177/0022343318765607

DO - 10.1177/0022343318765607

M3 - Journal article

VL - 55

SP - 625

EP - 640

JO - Journal of Peace Research

JF - Journal of Peace Research

SN - 0022-3433

IS - 5

ER -