Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Are Western-Educated Leaders Less Prone to Initiate Militarized Disputes?

  • Joan Barceló
Abstract

Recent theories on the causes of war focus on how institutional and structural factors shape leaders’ decisions in foreign policy. However, citizens, policy-makers, and a growing number scholars argue that leaders’ background experiences may matter for both domestic and foreign policy choices. This article contributes to an emerging body of scholarship on leaders in international relations by showing how personal attributes influence the initiation of militarized disputes. Based on the soft power theory of international experiences and the impressionable-years hypothesis of socialization, I theorize that leaders with the experience of attending a university in a Western democratic country should be less likely than non-Western-educated leaders to initiate militarized interstate disputes. I test this proposition by employing a new dataset, building on Archigos and LEAD, that includes background attributes of more than 900 leaders from 147 non-Western countries between 1947 and 2001. The results strongly support the hypothesis, even when accounting for leader selection, time-variant country and leader-level controls, other leaders’ background characteristics, and country and year fixed effects. This finding lends credence to the soft power thesis of academic institutions on international sojourners, and highlights the value of considering leaders’ experiences in analyses about international relations.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis (E-mail: joanbarcelosoler@wustl.edu). I thank James L. Gibson, Mi Jeong Shin, Taishi Muraoka, Miguel M. Pereira, Jofre Rocabert, Margit Tavits, Mauricio Vela and Jeffrey Ziegler for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article. Data replicaton sets will be available in Harvard Dataset at: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/08V0ZM and online appendices at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000527

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Adolph Christopher. 2013. Bankers, Bureaucrats, and Central Bank Politics: The Myth of Neutrality. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Allport Gordon W. 1954. The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Atkinson Carol. 2010. Does Soft Power Matter? A Comparative Analysis of Student Exchange Programs 1980–2006. Foreign Policy Analysis 6 (1):122.
Bausch Andrew W. 2015. Democracy, War Effort, and the Systemic Democratic Peace. Journal of Peace Research 52 (4):435447.
Berkman Michael B., and O’Connor Robert E.. 1993. Do Women Legislators Matter? Female Legislators and State Abortion Policy. American Politics Quarterly 21 (1):102124.
Besley Timothy, and Reynal-Querol Marta. 2011. Do Democracies Select More Educated Leaders? American Political Science Review 105 (3):552566.
Besley Timothy, Montalvo Jose G., and Reynal-Querol Marta. 2011. Do Educated Leaders Matter? Economic Journal 121 (554):F205F227.
Bond Robert M., Fariss Christopher J., Jones Jason J., Kramer Adam D. I., Marlow Cameron, Settle Jaime E., and Fowler James H.. 2012. A 61-Million-Person Experiment in Social Influence and Political Mobilization. Nature 489 (7415):295298.
Carlyle Thomas. 1841[1866]. The Hero as Divinity. Odin’. P. 31 in On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. New York, NY: John Wiley.
Carnes Nicholas. 2012. Does the Numerical Underrepresentation of the Working Class in Congress Matter? Legislative Studies Quarterly 37 (1):534.
Carnes Nicholas, and Lupu Noam. 2015. Rethinking the Comparative Perspective on Class and Representation: Evidence from Latin America. American Journal of Political Science 59 (1):118.
Carnes Nicholas, and Lupu Noam. 2016. What Good Is a College Degree? Education and Leader Quality Reconsidered. Journal of Politics 78 (1):3549.
Checkel Jeffrey T. 2005. International Institutions and Socialization in Europe: Introduction and Framework. International Organization 59 (4):801826.
Chiozza Giacomo, and Goemans Hein Erich. 2011. Leaders and International Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Christensen Henrik Serup. 2015. Power Sharing and Political Dissatisfaction: A Multilevel Analysis of the Link between Power-Sharing Institutions and Kinds of Political Dissatisfaction in 24 European Democracies. European Politics and Society 16 (2):280300.
Colgan Jeff D. 2013. Domestic Revolutionary Leaders and International Conflict. World Politics 65 (4):656690.
Collier Paul, and Hoeffler Anke. 2004. Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers 56 (4):563595.
Croco Sarah E., and Weeks Jessica L. P.. 2016. War Outcomes and Leader Tenure. World Politics 68 (4):131.
Crosby Alfred W. 1986. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe 900–1900. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Dafoe Allan. 2011. Statistical Critiques of the Democratic Peace: Caveat emptor. American Journal of Political Science 55 (2):247262.
Dafoe Allan, and Caughey Devin. 2016. Honor and War. World Politics 68 (2):341381.
Dafoe Allan, Renshon Jonathan, and Huth Paul. 2014. Reputation and Status as Motives for War. Annual Review of Political Science 17:371393.
De Mesquita Bruce Bueno, Morrow James D., Siverson Randolph M., and Smith Alastair. 1999. An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace. American Political Science Review 93 (4):791807.
Diamond Larry. 1994. Political Culture and Democracy in Developing Countries, Textbook edition, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Esteban Joan, Mayoral Laura, and Ray Debraj. 2012a. Ethnicity and Conflict: An Empirical Study. American Economic Review 102 (4):13101342.
Esteban Joan, Mayoral Laura, and Ray Debraj. 2012b. Ethnicity and Conflict: Theory and Facts. Science 336 (6083):858865.
Fearon James D. 1994. Domestic Political Audiences and the Escalation of International Disputes. American Political Science Review 88 (3):577592.
Fearon James D., and Laitin David D.. 2003. Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War. American Political Science Review 97 (1):7590.
Finkel Steven E., and Ernst Howard R.. 2005. Civic Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Alternative Paths to the Development of Political Knowledge and Democratic Values. Political Psychology 26 (3):333364.
Freyburg Tina. 2015. Transgovernmental Networks as an Apprenticeship in Democracy? Socialization into Democratic Governance through Cross-national Activities. International Studies Quarterly 59 (1):5972.
Fuhrmann Matthew, and Horowitz Michael C.. 2015. When Leaders Matter: Rebel Experience and Nuclear Proliferation. Journal of Politics 77 (1):7287.
Gift Thomas, and Krcmaric Daniel. 2017. Who Democratizes? Western-educated Leaders and Regime Transitions. Journal of Conflict Resolution 61 (3):671701.
Gleditsch Kristian S., and Ward Michael D.. 1999. A Revised List of Independent States Since the Congress of Vienna. International Interactions 25 (4):393413.
Goemans Henk E., Gleditsch Kristian Skrede, and Chiozza Giacomo. 2009. Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders. Journal of Peace Research 46 (2):269283.
Goldsmith Benjamin E. 2006. A Universal Proposition? Region, Conflict, War and the Robustness of the Kantian Peace. European Journal of International Relations 12 (4):533563.
Griffin John D., and Anewalt-Remsburg Claudia. 2013. Legislator Wealth and the Effort to Repeal the Estate Tax. American Politics Research 41 (4):599622.
Hakhverdian Armen. 2015. Does it Matter that Most Representatives are Higher Educated? Swiss Political Science Review 21 (2):237245.
Haslam Nick. 2006. Dehumanization: An Integrative Review. Personality and Social Psychology Review 10 (3):252264.
Hegre Havard, and Sambanis Nicholas. 2006. Sensitivity Analysis of Empirical Results on Civil War Onset. Journal of Conflict Resolution 50 (4):508535.
Henderson Errol A. 2009. Disturbing the Peace: African Warfare, Political Inversion and the Universality of the Democratic Peace Thesis. British Journal of Political Science 39 (1):2558.
Horowitz Michael C., and Stam Allan C.. 2014. How Prior Military Experience Influences the Future Militarized Behavior of leaders. International Organization 68 (3):527559.
Horowitz Michael C., Stam Allan C., and Ellis Cali M.. 2015. Why Leaders Fight. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Hout Michael, Brooks Clem, and Manza Jeff. 1995. The Democratic Class Struggle in the United States, 1948–1992. American Sociological Review 60 (6):805828.
Hutteman Roos, Nestler Steffen, Wagner Jenny, Egloff Boris, and Back Mitja D.. 2015. Wherever I May Roam: Processes of Self-esteem Development from Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood in the Context of International Student Exchange. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 108 (5):767.
Inglehart Ronald. 1977. The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles among Western Publics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Inglehart Ronald. 1997. Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Jennings M. Kent, and Markus Gregory B.. 1984. Partisan Orientations over the Long Haul: Results from the Three-wave Political Socialization Panel Study. American Political Science Review 78 (4):10001018.
Jervis Robert. 2013. Do Leaders Matter and How Would We Know? Security Studies 22 (2):153179.
Jones Benjamin F., and Olken Benjamin A.. 2005. Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth since World War II. Quarterly Journal of Economics 120 (3):835864.
Kagan Donald. 1991. Western Values are Central, New York Times May 4, 1991. Available from http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/04/opinion/western-values-are-central.html, accessed 30 November 2017.
Kern Margaret L., Della Porta Serenity S., and Friedman Howard S.. 2014. Lifelong Pathways to Longevity: Personality, Relationships, Flourishing, and Health. Journal of Personality 82 (6):472484.
King Gary, Tomz Michael, and Wittenberg Jason. 2000. Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation. American Journal of Political Science 44 (2):347361.
Kitschelt Herbert, and Rehm Philipp. 2014. Occupations as a Site of Political Preference Formation. Comparative Political Studies 47 (12):16701706.
Krosnick Jon A., and Alwin Duane F.. 1989. Aging and Susceptibility to Attitude Change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (3):416425.
Lewis Jeffrey. 2005. The Janus Face of Brussels: Socialization and Everyday Decision Making in the European Union. International Organization 59 (4):937971.
Lupu Noam. 2015. Class and Representation in Latin America. Swiss Political Science Review 21 (2):229236.
Ma Ying. 2007. China’s Stubborn Anti-democracy. Policy Review 141:316.
Maoz Zeev, and Russett Bruce. 1993. Normative and Structural Causes of Democratic Peace, 1946–1986. American Political Science Review 87 (3):624638.
Merritt Richard L. 1972. Communication in International Politics, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Montalvo Jose G., and Reynal-Querol Marta. 2005. Ethnic Diversity and Economic Development. Journal of Development Economics 76 (2):293323.
Mousseau Michael. 2000. Market Prosperity, Democratic Consolidation, and Democratic Peace. Journal of Conflict Resolution 44 (4):472507.
Neyer Franz J., and Lehnart Judith. 2007. Relationships Matter in Personality Development: Evidence from an Eight-Year Longitudinal Study across Young Adulthood. Journal of Personality 75 (3):535568.
Neyer Franz J., Mund Marcus, Zimmermann Julia, and Wrzus Cornelia. 2014. Personality-Relationship Transactions Revisited. Journal of Personality 82 (6):539550.
Nye Joseph S. 2004. Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, New York, NY: Public Affairs.
Nye Joseph S.. 2008. Public Diplomacy and Soft Power. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616 (1):94109.
Palmer Glenn, d’Orazio Vito, Kenwick Michael, and Lane Matthew. 2015. The MID4 Dataset, 2002–2010: Procedures, Coding Rules and Description. Conflict Management and Peace Science 32 (2):222242.
Pérez-Armendáriz Clarisa, and Crow David. 2009. Do Migrants Remit Democracy? International Migration, Political Beliefs, and Behavior in Mexico. Comparative Political Studies 43 (1):119148.
Pettigrew Thomas F., and Tropp Linda R.. 2006. A Meta-analytic Test of Intergroup Contact Theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90 (5):751.
Prorok Alyssa K. 2016. Leader Incentives and Civil War Outcomes. American Journal of Political Science 60 (1):7084.
Quaglia Lucia, De Francesco Fabrizio, and Radaelli Claudio M.. 2008. Committee Governance and Socialization in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy 15 (1):155166.
Redish Martin H., and Finnerty Kevin. 2002. What Did You Learn in School Today: Free Speech, Values Inculcation, and the Democratic-Educational Paradox. Cornell Law Review 88:62.
Reynal-Querol Marta. 2002. Ethnicity, Political Systems, and Civil Wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (1):2954.
Robbins Blaine G. 2012. A Blessing and a Curse? Political Institutions in the Growth and Decay of Generalized Trust: A Cross-national Panel Analysis, 1980–2009. PloS one 7 (4):e35120.
Sears David O., and Funk Carolyn L.. 1999. Evidence of the Long-Term Persistence of Adults’ Political Predispositions. Journal of Politics 61 (1):128.
Singer J. David. 1988. Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816–1985. International Interactions 14 (2):115132.
Spaiser Viktoria, Ranganathan Shyam, Mann Richard P., and Sumpter David. 2014. The Dynamics of Democracy, Development and Cultural Values. PloS one 9 (6): e97856.
Spilimbergo Antonio. 2009. Democracy and Foreign Education. American Economic Review 99 (1):528543.
Stoeckel Florian. 2016. Contact and Community: The Role of Social Interactions for a Political Identity. Political Psychology 37 (3):431442.
Suvarierol Semin, Busuioc Madalina, and Groenleer Martijn. 2013. Working for Europe? Socialization in the European Commission and Agencies of the European Union. Public Administration 91 (4):908927.
Swers Michele L. 2002. The Difference Women Make: The Policy Impact of Women in Congress. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Teorell Jan, Sören Holmberg Stefan Dahlberg, Anna Khomenko Bo Rothstein, and Svenson Richard. 2017. The Quality of Government Standard Dataset, version January 2017. University of Gothenburg: The Quality of Government Institute.
Tomz Michael R., and Weeks Jessica L. P.. 2013. Public Opinion and the Democratic Peace. American Political Science Review 107 (4):849865.
Visser Penny S., and Krosnick Jon A.. 1998. Development of Attitude Strength over the Life Cycle: Surge and Decline. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 75 (6):1389.
Waltz Kenneth N. 1979. Theory of International Politics, Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
Ward Michael D., Greenhill Brian D., and Bakke Kristin M.. 2010. The Perils of Policy by P-value: Predicting Civil Conflicts. Journal of Peace Research 47 (4):363375.
Weart Spencer R. 1998. Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Weeden Kim A., and Grusky David B.. 2005. The Case for a New Class Map 1. American Journal of Sociology 111 (1):141212.
Weeks Jessica L. 2012. Strongmen and Straw Men: Authoritarian Regimes and the Initiation of International Conflict. American Political Science Review 106 (2):326347.
Weidmann Nils B., Kuse Doreen, and Gleditsch Kristian Skrede. 2010. The Geography of the International System: The CShapes Dataset. International Interactions 36 (1):86106.
Weidmann Nils B., and Gleditsch Kristian. 2010. Mapping and Measuring Country Shapes: The CShapes Package. R Journal 2 (1):1823.
Welzel Christian. 2013. Freedom Rising. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Welzel Christian, and Deutsch Franziska. 2012. Emancipative Values and Non-Violent Protest: The Importance of ‘Ecological’ Effects. British Journal of Political Science 42 (2):465479.
Welzel Christian, and Inglehart Ronald. 2008. The Role of Ordinary People in Democratization. Journal of Democracy 19 (1):126140.
Welzel Christian, Inglehart Ronald F., and Kruse Stefan. 2017. Pitfalls in the Study of Democratization. British Journal of Political Science 47 (2):463472.
Ying Yu-Wen. 2002. The Effect of Cross-cultural Living on Personality: Assimilation and Accommodation among Taiwanese Young Adults in the United States. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 72 (3):362.
Zimmermann Julia, and Neyer Franz J.. 2013. Do We Become a Different Person When Hitting the Road? Personality Development of Sojourners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 105 (3):515.
Recommend this journal

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

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Barceló Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
PDF
Supplementary materials

Barceló supplementary material
Online Appendix

 PDF (164 KB)
164 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 40 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 259 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 7th February 2018 - 20th February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.