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Probabilistic Causality, Selection Bias, and the Logic of the Democratic Peace


Rosato (2003) claims to have discredited democratic peace theories. However, the methodological approach adopted by the study cannot reliably generate the conclusions espoused by the author. Rosato seems to misunderstand the probabilistic nature of most arguments about democratic peace and ignores issues that an appropriate research design should account for. Further, the study's use of case studies and data sets without attention to selection-bias produces examples that actually support theories it seeks to undermine. These problems place in doubt the article's findings.

Corresponding author
Branislav L. Slantchev ( is Assistant Professor of Political Science, and Anna Alexandrova is a Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Philosophy, both at the University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0521 (
Erik Gartzke is Associate Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10027 (
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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
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