Democracy, disputes, and negotiated settlements

W. J. Dixon, P. D. Senese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The argument that democracies are less belligerent toward one another because of their experience with mediation, negotiation, and compromise at the domestic level suggests that negotiated dispute settlements are more likely between relatively democratic states than other conflicting pairs. Militarized Interstate Dispute data and Polity Hid and Freedom House ratings of democracy are used to examine the propensities of disputants to resolve their grievances through negotiated means. Findings suggest a strong positive influence for mutual democracy. Specifically, the more democratic the less democratic member of a conflictual dyad, the more likely it is their dispute will be resolved through a negotiated settlement. This finding also holds across varying degrees of dyadic relative power and supports existing literature that chronicles the pacific conditioning power of democratic norms for several areas of interstate relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-571
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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