Reiter and Stam advance the study of the conflict behavior of authoritarian regimes in two ways. First, they clearly demonstrate the importance of using directed dyad data sets for studying mixed pairs of political regimes. Second, they have refocused our attention on the question of decisional constraints and international conflict. This response examines the dispute patterns of a specific mixed pair of authoritarian regimes, single-party regimes, and personalist dictatorships. We find that single-party regimes are significantly less likely to start militarized disputes against personalist dictatorships than is true of other types of regime dyads. In contrast, personalist regimes are somewhat more likely to initiate militarized disputes against single-party regimes than is the norm for other regime dyads. These findings indicate that the relationships among specific types of authoritarian regimes may be as consequential as the relationships between democracies and authoritarian regimes of any type. They also indicate that we need to examine further the role that institutional constraints play in shaping the conflict behavior of authoritarian regimes.
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