Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

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 (
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

BanksJeffrey S.1990. “Equilibrium Behavior in Crisis Bargaining Games.” American Journal of Political Science34(August): 599614.

CartwrightNancy. 1979. “Causal Laws and Effective Strategies.” Nous13: 41937.

FinelBernard I., and Kristin M.Lord. 1999. “The Surprising Logic of Transparency.” International Studies Quarterly43(June): 31539.

GoemansHein E. 2000. “Fighting for Survival: The Fate of Leaders and the Duration of War.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution44(October): 55579.

HausmanDaniel M. 1992. The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

RosatoSebastian. 2003. “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory.” American Political Science Review 97 (November): 585602.

SchultzKenneth A. 1998. “Domestic Opposition and Signaling in International Crises.” American Political Science Review92(December): 82944.

SchultzKenneth A. 2001. Democracy and Coercive Diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 78 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 251 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.